Robin Ruth Linden

Robin Ruth Linden began her journey within the Second Wave of the Feminist Movement in Sinister Wisdom’s eigthth issue. At the time, she was simply a normal woman. Her author description at the back of the periodical was simply, “lives in San Francisco” (Desmoines and

Robin Ruth Linden’s untitled poem featured in Sinister Wisdom vol. 8, pg 22

Nicholson 103). She submitted an untitled poem in which she tackles the complexities of the lesbian identity. In a society where lesbian love felt unstructured when stacked against the strong heteronormative influences of love, Linden asserted that there was no set formula for lesbian relationships, which she articulated as “We are the points along the matrix    phonemes / We are the matrix, syntax” (Linden 15-16).

It’s reasonable to think that Linden set a precedent for herself when she published herself as a poet, but Linden did not continue with poetry. Though in Sinister Wisdom’s tenth issue, she submitted a creative writing piece that expressed her views on age, rage and language, Linden found her calling in editing. Alongside Darlene R. Pagano, Diana E. H. Russell, and Susan Leigh Star, Linden curated an anthology of feminist works called Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis. This anthology received support from the majority of feminist periodicals of the time. Periodicals such as WomanNews, Big Mama Rag, New Women’s Times, and Sojourner all featured an advertisement for the anthology, illustrating how interconnected the feminist press culture was at the time. Linden made a name for herself in the Lesbian community, bolstered by the collaborative nature of feminst periodicals. By Sinister Wisdom’s sixteenth issue in 1981, Linden’s author description was, “an editor and video producer living in San Francisco” (Cliff and Rich 115).