On October 2, 2011 Small Press Traffic hosted a celebration of the groundbreaking feminist journal
HOW(ever), published between May 1983 and January 1992. All of HOW(ever) and its second generation journal HOW2, available online here.
During this period two dozen print-on-paper issues were created. Kathleen Fraser, Beverly Dahlen and Susan Gevirtz were on hand to talk about the journal's genesis, describing its origins in the lack of attention to modernist women poets and contemporary experimental feminist poets and poetics. The journal was launched by Fraser, Dahlen and Frances Jaffer (who died in 1999). Gevirtz became one of the editors in 1985 when Beverly Dahlen left the editorial board.
Myung Mi Kim and Meredith Stricker assumed guest co-editorship of HOW(ever) for Vol. VI, Nos. 1-4 from January,1990 through January 1991.
HOW(ever) was a revolutionary and exciting journal that was smart, challenging, and seriously engaged. For many of us, it changed the context we were working in; it provided a context for our own experiments, a community with which to share our forays into the unknown. I was a student of Kathleen Fraser's in the mid-80s at San Francisco State University and I recall that many of the women in my cohort at State--people like Sally Doyle, Mira Pashikov, Megan Simpson, Lori Lubeski, Talli Ebin, and others, were jazzed about, changed, and charged up by HOW(ever). I know it has influenced me and each of the three other
women--Camille, Yedda, and Norma--who spoke at the event. Thank you HOW(ever)!
A lively and free-form discussion, the celebration is impossible to capture here on the blog. But, I've included notes, commentaries, and writing from the three editors and from each of the four women who read and spoke at the event.
Frances Jaffer: "Why HOW(ever)?"
Excerpts from Jaffer's obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle
Four contributors to HOW(ever) were invited to read from work that appeared in the journal's pages. These women included: