Lisa Harris

IMG_4630.JPGLisa Harris has published poetry and short fiction in a wide range of journals and her fiction and poetry have been anthologized. Two chapbooks, Low Country Stories and Boxes, each won first place in the Bright Hill Press Fiction category in 1995 and 1997. Her most recent novel, The Raven’s Tale, completes The Quest Trilogy. The first two books, ‘Geechee Girls and Allegheny Dream, received first place and honorable mention, respectively, in 2015 from The Author’s Zone (Pittsburgh).

Traveling Through Glass, Harris’ first poetry collection, was created collaboratively while in dialogue with Patricia Brown’s drawings and paintings. This collection is Cayuga Lake Books’ first poetry and art publication. Harris has taught and administered at private and public schools and colleges in Georgia, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania. For ten years, she was an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Writing and Thinking. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.

She lives with her husband, Jeff Spence, and their dog, Champion in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.

Stacey Murphy

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Stacey Murphy co-edited NY Votes for Women: A Suffrage Centennial Anthology (Cayuga Lake Books, 2017). Her first poetry collection Old Stones Understand (Shanti Arts) will be released in spring 2021. Stacey’s poems have appeared in the 2016 anthology Wild Voices (Wildflower Poetry Press), seasonal nature journal The Avocet, and in online places including the Painted Parrot, Hedgerow, and  She can be found online at and through her business, Murphy Grant Consulting,

Stacey Murphy & Nora Snyder


What sort of responses did you get when you asked for contributions to your book?

STACEY: The inspiration for the anthology, NY Votes for Women is the centennial anniversary of women getting the right to vote in New York State. When we put out the call for proposals, some people said, “I’ve always loved this movement.” They were history-minded, with ancestors involved in the original movement. Others said, “I’ve always had a sense that this is important to me as a woman and my right to vote in America, but I don’t know anything about these suffragists. We weren’t taught their stories.” And others said, “I don’t really know about the suffrage era, but let me tell you about my experience at the Women’s March in 2017.” So we got a whole range of stories. They make for a fascinating collection. 

Why do you think it’s important for people to know about the movement today?

STACEY: Because I think we learn a lot from history. As we’ve been doing this project, it’s been a chance for me to learn more about who was involved back then. For example, there were nuances in the movement in terms of how race played out—or didn’t. I contributed a poem based on something a woman suffragist from Tompkins County said. Her name was Juanita Breckenridge Bates. In 1917, the vote for women’s suffrage passed, but in 1915 a vote for it came up that failed. Bates was quoted in the paper then: “Suffrage has fallen, but it’s fallen forward.”

What were some of the things you discovered that interested you most?

STACEY: There’s a piece written about a transgender woman, and another about the experiences of a black woman. There are stories from people who are immigrants but call New York home now. We had some lovely meditations about the meaning of intersectionality.

How did you go about gathering writers for the project?

STACEY: We put out a call for proposals, started a Facebook page and a WordPress page, and reached out to writers we knew in the community. I did some email campaigns as well, contacting people in women’s studies and creative writing departments in colleges around New York State. One writer sent us a piece she had published in the Huffington Post.

NORA: We also contacted the League of Women Voters. In addition, I periodically hold a Writer’s Block Party for published and unpublished local writers. I plugged the anthology through that.

What surprised you as you edited the various essays in the book?

STACEY: There are a lot ties to the last election, and what we thought was going to happen that didn’t happen. A lot of people have been struggling with those issues. The quotation–If you fall make sure you fall forward–has almost become a mantra. It’s another way to say, Don’t be afraid to use your voice! 

Who are some of your favorite feminist writers working today?

NORA: I like what Audre Lorde has to say. Poet Nikki Giovanni, prose writers Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Jeanette Walls, Isabel Allende, and Barbara Kingsolver.

STACEY: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one badass lady and I love her. I’m inspired by a lot of the female political leadership we see now.

NORA: Senator Tammy Duckworth. Elizabeth Warren, of course. It’s exciting to see people standing up during times like this. Beyoncé. Wonder Woman!

What do you most want people to take away from this anthology?

NORA: A lot of it is about voice. It’s about women’s legacies, writing something that your kids can see. It’s about saying things that you’ve never said to anyone else before—having the freedom to do that. What will make this anthology compelling is a reader’s realization: “Oh, I’ve felt that! I’ve been there!”