Tell us about Ferine Magazine, its origins, where it’s at now and where you want to see it go!
My co-founder, Jen Sinkler, worked as a fitness editor for magazines for many years and had decided to launch her own magazine. She and I had discussed a position for me with the publication but when we got together to hash it out decided it was a joint project.
We wanted to create something that represented a whole new lens on topics “traditional women’s magazines” cover but with much more diverse perspectives.
No “very special editions” where perspectives that aren’t heteronormative and white centering are present. Which makes for a more fun and interesting take for everyone.
You have THREE published books, congratulations! How does it feel to be a published poet?
It honestly took until the 3rd book to feel like I could call myself an author. Imposter Syndrome is something I’ve always dealt with.
Now it feels accomplished, even though I have self-published all of them. I’m very comfortable in the scrappy, DIY space.
What is something we often get wrong when talking about women’s sexual health? And/or sexual liberation?
Not talking about pleasure. Consent is almost always presented as a way to avoid crime or trauma, but centering pleasure as a primary aspect of sex is a way more exciting way to understand consent.
Taking pleasure out of the conversation about sex, even in early stages of education, leads folks to discuss sex like a conquest and not an exploration of desires.
Did you always imagine yourself as a poet? When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was in elementary school. I have stacks and stacks of journals full of terrible poems about puberty and relationships and growing up. It’s always been an outlet for me to process whatever is happening in my life.
What’s something you wish you could say to your 16 year old self?
Nothing will go as planned. It will be perfect. Trust yourself.
Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?
One of my oldest friends, Kimbra. She always answers, is always honest and never lets me down.
What’s something you’re currently working on that’s both super challenging and exciting?
The magazine is taking most of my time right now. There are so many different skill sets involved and it’s fun to figure it all out, and learn how to work in intuitive ways.
It’s a lot of making art, collaborating with others, and learning new skills online and off. It’s the most excited I’ve been about a project and the PEOPLE involved make it exciting every day.
What’s one challenge you face in your work that you’re still working on navigating?
Managing my time well and not forcing myself to feel inspired when I’m not.
When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?
Every day! I lift weights 3 times a week. I take a lot of baths. When it’s nice out I try to spend time in my hammock.
It’s not something that’s negotiable for me. It’s the first thing I address every day before I do anything else.
What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?
If the places I move are not safe for everyone, I won’t be there. That’s been clear since college.
I’ve walked out of and been fired from lots of jobs, organizations and relationships behind my values and I wouldn’t change a thing.
What’s something you’re working to unlearn?
I am currently working on letting go of resentment and reminding myself that someone else succeeding doesn’t take away from me.
It’s frustrating to watch people I had to push to make small moves toward liberation work begin to move when I finally had to walk away from them out of fatigue.
I’m sure plenty of folks who share decades of social justice work with me are having similar experiences now.
Who are a few amazing people that we should follow and why?
@ihartericka -comprehensive sex ed/sexuality/gender
@wholeheartedcoaching life coaching advice, JOY
@jensinkler strength and stories
@ethereal.1 spirit work, constant reminders about self-care
@nikkiexperience – touchless orgasm, orgasms for health, lot of interesting sexual health options
It’s years in the future. You’re on stage to accept an award for your life’s work. What’s your five word acceptance speech?
I did my best.
Learn more about Erin + connect
Erin Brown is an activist and writer from Lawrence, Kansas. Her work focuses on liberation, autonomy and personal narrative as a political act. Two decades of activism have mostly taught her there is always more to learn. Instagram. Twitter. Website. Fernie Mag!