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Anansi launches #ReadWomen2014 campaign


House of Anansi Press publisher Sarah MacLachlan

Since writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh began her #ReadWomen2014 campaign in January, a movement that calls attention to the marginalization of female writers, the hashtag has swept the Internet, from TIME to Cosmopolitan. Today, House of Anansi Press, a publishing house run primarily by women, launched its own #ReadWomen2014 campaign to celebrate its stable of female authors.

Starting today, Anansi is challenging readers to identify as many faces as possible in this video for a chance to win all of the press’s 2014 women-authored titles. In the spirit of the Year of Reading Women, Anansi did its own VIDA-style count and found that, since publishing a pair of female-authored poetry collections in its founding year of 1967 (Janis Rapoport’s Within the Whirling Moment and Margaret Atwood’s Circle Game, which sold an impressive 5,000 copies), the press has published more than 90 female authors.* This year, women account for 52 per cent of Anansi’s list.

Anansi is also using the campaign to promote several recent titles, including Nadia Bozak’s El Niño, Lynn Thomson’s Birding with Yeats, and Elizabeth Renzetti’s Based on a True Story, as well as a pair of forthcoming debuts: Carrie Snyder’s highly anticipated first novel, Girl Runner, and National Post columnist Mireille Silcoff’s first foray into fiction, the story collection Chez L’Arabe.

Renzetti is set to participate in another #ReadWomen2014 initiative next week, a Luminato Festival talk with Lisa Gabriele (L. Marie Adeline), Heather O’Neill, and Miriam Toews. The event takes place June 11 at the Toronto Reference Library.


*Correction: June 5: An earlier version of this story stated that Anansi published nearly 75 female authors in its first 25 years. In fact the press has published more than 90 books by female writers since its founding in 1967. Q&Q regrets the error.