Kinsale Hueston

Poet, Founder of Changing Womxn Collective

changingwomxncollective.org

An enrolled member of the Navajo tribe, Kinsale focuses her work around her family histories, Diné stories, and contemporary issues affecting her tribe — particularly violence against Native women and settler-colonial violence, resource extraction, and land/body relationships. “It’s the best means of communicating this subject matter for me. It can be difficult sometimes but I think that’s what healing through art is. I’ve come to realize that I don’t write poetry for anyone else besides me, my family and my home community. Coming to terms with that as an artist was really helpful for me because when I was thinking about writing for other people, especially a non-Native audience, it inhibited the subjects I was talking about and made it harder to generate content that felt really honest.”

 

“It’s the best means of communicating this subject matter for me. It can be difficult sometimes but I think that’s what healing through art is."

That’s why Kinsale started on her most recent project, the literary arts magazine called Changing Womxn Collective, which provides a digital space where women of color can share their art, writing, and stories on their own terms. “I know it’s always a challenge going into a space knowing you’re going to have to start over at square one, just advocating for yourself. Changing Womxn was born from the fact that I had a platform from social media and I wanted to lift up other artists and other women of color. When I was growing up I didn’t have a platform like this to share my work on, so I was basically creating something that I wish I had when I was younger. It’s amazing to have a community where you’re surrounded by BIPOC women, femmes and nonbinary folks just making art and creating a space instead of asking to be let in.”

 

“I know it’s always a challenge going into a space knowing you’re going to have to start over at square one, just advocating for yourself."

After the first issue was released, Kinsale soon brought in more collaborators. “The masthead came in and those women became my best friends. They’re also artists and they inspire me so much — they keep the collective up and running. We don’t like the vertical power dynamic, we want it to be very horizontal. Everyone can do a little bit of everything. I’ve never wanted to do only one thing, I didn’t believe in the more colonial narrative of having to fit yourself into one box. And I think BIPOC women and nonbinary folks have definitely led the way in transcending certain boxes that people have to fit in professionally.”

 

"It’s amazing to have a community where you’re surrounded by BIPOC women, femmes and nonbinary folks just making art and creating a space instead of asking to be let in.”

Now, Kinsale and her team are figuring out ways to give their platform over to Black voices. “It’s important to us that we can now use this platform to lift up other voices in a very specific time. Although it’s interesting to figure out how you fit into the conversation as a literary arts journal. But it makes sense because art is so closely tied to revolution and so closely tied to envisioning the futurity that a lot of people are discussing.”

 

"...art is so closely tied to revolution and so closely tied to envisioning the futurity that a lot of people are discussing.”

More Muses

Kinsale Houston

Lauren Ash

Leah Thomas

Naj Austin