Spring 2018

Dear Readers of So to Speak:

This is my last issue as Editor in Chief of So to Speak. While it is bittersweet to be stepping down from my post, I am incredibly proud of what my staff has accomplished this past year and plans to accomplish within the coming years.

When I stepped in as Editor in Chief, I knew there were some issues our journal had to immediately address. Our literary journal strives for an intersectional feminist perspective. And while as editors we champion that ideal as we read through submissions, our mission statement simply did not reflect an intersectional ideology. As a staff, we had some difficult, yet productive, conversations about our feminist outlook that has played a large part in transforming our journal.

This past year, we’ve received more submissions than ever before. You sent us pieces that intersected with mental health, with gender identity, with domesticity, with immigration status, and race. One of my goals as Editor in Chief was to simply bring more diverse and compelling works of art into our literary world. I’m proud to say that we have exceeded these expectations, and I am pleasantly baffled at how much our journal, contributors, and readers have grown this past year.

We have dedicated our time to questioning, challenging, and changing what our intersectional feminism looks like to make sure our journal is as honest to itself and to its readers & writers. This is all to say that our momentum is because of our readers and contributors. Thank you for sending us beautiful pieces, for reading and sharing these pieces.

I am more than confident this journal’s incoming Editor in Chief, Alexandria Petrassi, will carry this journal to an even better place and keep necessary conversations going. Thank you so much for reading and watching this journal grow with me this past year. Being an editor has been such an important and vital experience for me, and I cannot wait to see how Alexandria and the incoming staff will further vitalize So to Speak.


Kristen Brida
Editor in Chief

Taxidermy Bride

After photographs by Francesca Woodman Head first from the bottom shelf, I spill out, sleep-tumbled, mirrored in the yellow eyes of a stuffed vixen. Here,

A Present To Herself

One day, Mercedes Bernal went to work in a three-piece suit, carrying a long umbrella. A big orchid bloomed from her buttonhole; a thin mustache

Two Poems

 girl with diagnosis or gun #10 this is where I always think it is | no | this is where it actually is I don’t

Lavinia Explodes

 As if you can’t lip read. Cut mute, & love— the mad season ended at the point I willingly put my lips around wood to


Us and every mammal on earth takes twenty seconds to piss. Imagine that, the great equalizer is between our legs (of course). It doesn’t matter

Four Poems

Self-Portrait as Jessica with Phoropter and Ursa Minor I. It was like following a map that line by line erased itself until one day it

Poet In Space

“If you write you can forge / A substance that is other than the woman of substance / You are. If you do it to

How We Were Born

There’s a myth in my family about the woman who was so fed up with her pregnancy, she forced her body into labor. She was


first remember the folded self paper layers           a nesting being unfulfilled           perhaps there is a bird thereat

Mothering in Black and White

  I have always been my mother’s child, but not always her daughter. It was my choice. She was not there for several years during

Retaso (Fabric Remnants) Series

Artist Statement My work explores psychological and socio-political themes surrounding liminal identity, cultural assimilation, and the Filipino/a diaspora, tempered by my experience as a Filipina

After Hours

Aimee did not intend to stalk her therapist. It happened, as these things do, somewhat naturally. One day she was taking a walk in her