call for writing/art: Lit Undressed: Women in Disguise

15 June 2012

In Conjunction with (downtown) omaha lit fest Lit Undressed Presents:
October 24 & 25, 2012, 8pm House of Loom, 1012 S. 10th St. $10, 21+

The focus of this year’s (downtown) omaha lit fest (October 19-20) is Women Writers. Authors will participate in panels, readings and discussions by authors, who, according to VIDA Women in the Literary Arts “Count 2011” are underrepresented as writers in publications and getting books reviewed (For example, The New York Review of Books shows a strong bias. Among authors reviewed, 83% are men (306 compared to 59 women and 306 men), and the same statistic is true of reviewers (200 men, 39 women).)

For the fourth installment of LIT UNDRESSED, a project that combines performance and reading with an emphasis on literature beyond the naked, we are focusing on WOMEN IN DISGUISE. Historically to get around the bias of getting published as females, women writers often disguised themselves with pen names (Bronte sisters, Louisa May Alcott, Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, to name a few). Some writers were concerned more with gender identity, like Claude Cahun, born as Lucy Schowb, who began disguising herself at age 16 and whose work examined the issues of female self-identity and subjectivity before they were really formulated as such. Other literary works such as Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte, 1947), East Lynne (Reginald Easton, 1861), and Third Girl (Agatha Christie, 1966) had strong characters that spent much of their time in disguise or dressed as the opposite sex.

The nude performance (including male and female readers) will include classic excerpts such as these, as well as selected poems and prose from a call for entries on the theme of WOMEN IN DISGUISE.

New to this performance, a call for art will result in a visual exhibit only on view during the performances on the same theme.

“Under this mask, another mask I will never be finished removing all these faces.” ~Claude Cahun (artist/writer, 1894-­1954)

“To unclothe, to allow your body to be read—scars and all—may be the most primitive and powerful expression of all.”
–Timothy Schaffert, director/founder, (downtown) omaha lit fest

Lit Undressed is calling for poetry and short-short fiction inspired by “women in disguise” maximum of 400 words. Send to by August 15, 2012 along with a 50-word bio. The selected pieces will be performed live by nude figure models and featured in the performance program; authors will also receive one free ticket to the performance. Notification by September 5, 2012.

Above: “Baroness Karen Blixen,” painting by Elbert Price; Behind a Mask, Or, a Woman’s Power, by Louisa May Alcott (“A.M. Barnard” 1866); Pope Joan, by Donna Woolfolk Cross, 2009)


During the performance October 24 & 25 at House of Loom, Lit Undressed is also calling for 2-dimensional art on the theme of “women in disguise.” Artists must be able to deliver and pick up work to House of Loom, 1012 S. 10th Street in October 2012. Art will also be considered for Lit Undressed: Women in Disguise press images. Email up to 5 .jpg images including title, dimensions, medium, and 50 word artist bio to before September 1. Notification by September 14, 2012

Sally Deskins


Visit the website: Les Femmes Folles: Celebrating Women in Art

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