By: Krystyn Decker
Innovative and inspiring entries from NL’s notable feminists
Fun, functional, and fierce—A Woman’s Almanac 2018 is a beautifully designed day planner and a daily source of insight and creativity. This year’s almanac is the second of what is hopefully an annual release by the St. John’s Status of Women Council. The day planner is filled with innovative and inspiring entries, poems and advice from some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most notable feminists.
From the 70s up into the early 90s, Marian Frances White produced the Woman’s Almanac all on her own. She would have a collection of essays, and one specifically for each month, about powerful Newfoundland and Labrador women and their history. Beginning last year, the St. John’s Status of Women Council decided to bring it back, as they should. I spoke with Jenny Wright, executive director of SJSWC, on why she thinks this is such an important project.
“I was down in the archives and I said what are all these books? And I was told that’s the woman’s almanac, Marian produced those for decades on her own. And I said, oh we have to bring this back. I went to Rebecca Rose at Breakwater, and said I’d like to bring back the Newfoundland and Labrador woman’s almanac, what do you think?”
From there, SJSWC partnered with Rebecca Rose and Breakwater Books to produce the almanac, which will be officially released November 28.
“We created a day planner, but we created it in a way that you can record your activism. All the work that you did throughout the year to push for change, to create change so that you would have a record of what you did to make the world a better place within the year” states Wright.
“We have wonderful women, we have inspirational words, essays, poetry, and adult colouring pages. Each month at a glance is kind of, what have you done to pay it forward, you know, what have you done for self-care, so we’ve made it almost interactive so it’s your very own journal that you can keep and when you’re losing inspiration at work or towards activism, then you can pick it up and say yep, this inspires me to keep going,” she continues.
There’s an abundance of familiar names inside such as Toni-Marie Wiseman, Jenelle Duval, Ophelia Ravencroft, Shannon Webb-Campbell, and many more. Each whom are known very well in this province.
“I think it’s just gonna be a very personal, very engaging, wonderful way to keep inspired, keep your activism going and highlight the incredible women that we have in this province. And I think it’s really gonna appeal to all ages, you know, I can really see it as something that Memorial University students would pick up and use, I’m so excited about it.”
The book is geared more towards empowering women, and young girls. However, gender equality requires all genders to be on the same page, therefore men can greatly benefit from it as well.
“I absolutely do think that men could also benefit from it, I mean I’ve never been one that doesn’t think a feminist perspective isn’t for all, for everyone. It’s about equality for everyone, and I think feminism has done some amazing things and has some wonderful tools and strategies for pushing change,” Wright says in regards to purchasing the book.
“Breakwater is already doing pre-orders for the book and a lot of people ordered them all over Atlantic Canada, which is amazing. We’re seeing pick up in Halifax, New Brunswick and so on.”
Last year’s edition received lots of recognition, not just in Newfoundland and Labrador, but within Atlantic Canada. This year’s edition should go above and beyond with the amount of amazing women featured in its pages. In my opinion, this book is one of the year’s must-haves, and especially one of Breakwaters must-haves.
“There’s gonna be a couple of launches. Breakwater will be having a launch November 30, launching five of their fall books and we’re going to be there,” Wright says.
“I’m really excited to be flown in with those. But we wanna do two more launches, so the St. John’s Status of Women council is a membership based organization, so what we really would like to do is open up a private launch to our members, and then within a couple of days have a public launch.”
To keep an eye out for the Woman’s Almanac 2018, visit Breakwater’s websitebreakwaterbooks.com/books/a-womans-almanac-2018/and pre-order your copy today.