“When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.”
— Adrienne Rich
Muriel Rukeyser wrote a poem about artist Kathe Kollwitz: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” It seems each day, as more women raise their voices on long overlooked issues—with #metoo, marches, and complex conversations—the world we live in is poised for change.
Great literature is a force for change. It authorizes voices to be heard and brings fresh perspectives to millions. The potency of books is one reason so many women, especially women of color, have been kept from publishing for so long or, when published, have not received the same attention as their white male counterparts. From its inception in 2015, the Bay Area Book Festival—the creator of Women Lit—has sought to fill this gap, selecting authors and programming to elevate women’s voices and issues. The Festival has brought you renowned writers such as Judy Blume, Rebecca Solnit, and Roxane Gay, along with less-recognized authors you need to know.
The Bay Area Book Festival was founded by a woman and continues to be largely run by women. We use our unique and powerful platform to elevate voices that for too long were told to quiet down. It is with this aim and passion that in 2018 we created Women Lit: a membership-based literary society that connects women writers and readers, building a force to be reckoned with.