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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women let their voices be heard

    Penelope Starr, a local poet, participates in the Other Voices Womens Reading Series held at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. The series, started by Liza Porter, acts as a forum for women to read their works. It will be held on Friday at 7 p.m.
    Penelope Starr, a local poet, participates in the Other Voices Women’s Reading Series held at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. The series, started by Liza Porter, acts as a forum for women to read their works. It will be held on Friday at 7 p.m.

    Women writers are often silent. But in Tucson, they have the opportunity to have their voices heard.

    Thanks to the Other Voices Women’s Reading Series, women writers, both published and novice, have the chance to speak out.

    The series began five years ago when poet and writer Liza Porter realized that Tucson needed such an event. For her, writing and reading were sources of communication for women, and she wanted to give women a medium for expression.

    Porter began writing later in life as an outlet to express her past. She became involved with a women’s writing support group, after six years of which she began putting on performances.

    Porter wanted to expand the format further by creating a reading event for women.

    “”I realized that I hadn’t really spoken my own truth until I was 30 years old,”” Porter said. “”There are women out there who haven’t been able to tell their truth, and that is what the series is there for.””

    Her idea blossomed in 2002 with the start of Other Voices, which resided in Downtown’s now-defunct Biblio Bookstore for three years. It was an open-mic session for women and took place the second Friday of every month.

    In the beginning, it was simply Porter reading her stories on stage. The series has since expanded to feature many other poets and writers.

    Eventually, the series moved to Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. There, the series exploded with increased attendance and readings by well-known writers.

    “”It seems like every month the readers get better and the audience is bigger,”” Porter said. “”We now have many published writers and poets coming to read.””

    One notable poet is Margo Tamez, who recently was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in literature for her book “”Raven Eye.”” Tamez took part in the series in the past, and she will be in the lineup again in November.

    Local storyteller Penelope Starr and poet Kaitlin Meadows will team up for next week’s series performing “”Reading with a Twist.””

    They are returning for their second reading together and enjoy the opportunities the series gives women.

    “”I was in the audience for years, and I appreciate what Liza does and that these are the other voices,”” Starr said. “”We are hearing women’s voices for a change.””

    After each reading an open-mic session follows, allowing both men and women to get up and read their chosen pieces. Porter said she hopes the segment will encourage people to read their stories or poems to the public.

    “”The goal is to let women tell their stories,”” Porter said. “”And I think we are reaching that goal.””

    Friday’s reading starts at 7 p.m.. Admission is free.

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