Assembling Information for Essay on Martha

Martha Courtot

Bay Area Project Honoring lesbians with disabilities who have joined the ancestors in the past 20 years

Fat Chance dances in Berkeley: Lynn Ellen Marcus, Hannah Martine, Martha Courtot (hidden), Judy Freespirit, Leah Kushner, 1979. (Photo © Cathy Cade)

Fat Chance dances in Berkeley: Lynn Ellen Marcus, Hannah Martine, Martha Courtot (hidden), Judy Freespirit, Leah Kushner, 1979. (Photo © Cathy Cade)

Description at Sonoma County Library

Martha Courtot was a lesbian, an activist, the mother of three, the grandmother of one, and a prolific poet. In her lifetime she published books and chapbooks. Some of her poems took on lives of their own, passed lesbian to lesbian on handwritten, typed, dittoed, or xeroxed pages.

Martha Courtot - a lesbian feminist poetry and a friend. We lived in a women's collective in upstate New York together for a year and corresponded for another seven years. I took this photo in 1974 on the way to Ausable Chasm

Martha Courtot – a lesbian feminist poetry and a friend. We lived in a women’s collective in upstate New York together for a year and corresponded for another seven years. I took this photo in 1974 on the way to Ausable Chasm

Martha’s Online Obit Page

Poem to Martha from Oriethyia on her blog
Heritage

Martha quoted in Christine Overall’s A Feminist I: Reflections from Academia:

Life self-described “working-class intellectual” Martha Courtot, “In order to succeed in the world I [have had] to deny my deep root system and to become something different, a social construct of an upwardly-mobile working person who would succeed or fail depending on how much of myself I could remove, forget, leave behind. (1991)

This quotation is from Sinster Wisdom 45 (Winter): 88-92. (Note – guess who’s quote was on the cover of that issue? MINE.)

commentary from Marilyn Wann about Martha’s essay in Shadow on a Tightrope:I finally had a word for the alienation and anger and outsiderness I’d felt all my life. Martha Courtot’s essay on weight stigma, especially, served as a lightning rod for my new rage and new consciousness.

In the Crossing Press Anthology A Faith of Our Own: Explorations by Catholic Lesbians Martha had a piece called “Had a Name for God”

>Judy Freespirit Archives</a entries on Martha:
Series 6 box 5
5/7 Group Readings JAMB at Mama Bears: Judy, Adrienne Lauby, Martha Courtot, Barbara Ruth, 1994

Series 7 box 6,
two videos of selections from Fat Chance showing Judy, Martha Courtot and others performing with trapezes. See "Fat Chance 1," 1979 and "Fat Chance II: 1979 showing more of Martha Courtot.

Cherie Rolfe has a page on her blog about Martha at: Martha Courtot

Hannah Blue Heron has written a book called That Strange Intimacy which in part details her friendship with Martha.

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One thought on “Assembling Information for Essay on Martha

  1. We have a patron with the following request: Can you direct me to the proper individual from Martha Courtot’s estate who can give me permission to use her poem, “Crossing a Creek” in the book I have written for single mothers.

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