The 2017 volume in the Manifest West series, Women of the West, delves into the rich mixing pot created in the West, derived from assorted cultures and ethnicities and from a variety of beliefs and traditions across the world, all manifested in today’s Western culture.
There is no one type of Western woman. They are beautifully diverse in race, religion, and sexual orientation, yet they are bonded through the shared experiences and approaches to life that identify them as distinctly Western. Like individual squares of a quilt, women’s interactions with the culture, landscape, and geography of the West, as well as with their families and one another, offer us a unified variety.
In this collection of poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction, twenty-five writers and poets present a broad understanding of the Western woman, sometimes defying and sometimes reinforcing expectations and stereotypes. Perspectives vary from daughters grieving the loss of fathers whose rugged ways resonated with them to mothers striving to share an adoration for the delicacy of nature with their sons. For every woman seeking to conquer the wilderness, another yearns to be tamed by it. These are the stories of natives and Natives, of immigrants from around the world, spanning from eastern states of America to Vietnam in the East. From historical figures toting guns and whips to those who must overcome today’s manifestations of violence against women, these ladies, and so many more, are the Women of the West.
Manifest West is Western Press Books’ literary anthology series. The press, affiliated with Western State Colorado University, produces one anthology annually and focuses on Western regional writing.