Harm reduction image; drug users deserve dignity and care.


Wayward Writers Write/Share Zoom Sessions

A group of us are meeting Thursday evenings and writing together. It’s a balm to the soul, a relief in a time of hopelessness. See more about these sessions here! Join us if you are, or ever have been, part of the Literary Kitchen. (Or if you are a friend and can respect the agreements.)

Prompt: Duty calls – eight minutes

Harm reduction image; drug users deserve dignity and care.I have a job that makes people literally want to kill me. They imagine me as a drug dealing enabler. I work in harm reduction. I’m the ED (executive director) of a harm reduction agency in a rural town in northern california. 

What I am coming to know is that every job feels somewhat like war. Is it just every job I’m drawn to? Because honestly, I would rather be in a job bound by duty than one motivated only by money. By survival. 

But the fucked up thing about capitalism is that each job literally is motivated by survival. 

I lived the first number of years outside the system, doing what I “wanted” to make money. Writing and teaching and coaching. But even that became a yoke, even my highest duty became an albatross. 

Capitalism is rotten to the core. 

I like to think that this field, harm reduction, is abolitionist; in even the most idealized world I can imagine, harm reduction still has its place. I am working in a field that is of benefit. And I love the battle parts of it. The activism parts. 

If only money were not the motivation, and time were not the grandmaster. 

I don’t think people were designed to specialize. To do one thing for hours at a time. I think we were designed to hunt and peck, to hunt and gather. 

In the most idealized world I can think of, no one has to work eight hours a day or more in order to survive. And for most, eight hours worth of pay is not ample. So we glamorize “busy.” We make friends with the side-hustle. 

I have been in school for five years, working toward my MSW. I am at the precipice. For the first time in my life, coaching and writing, of course, included, I am about to maybe not need a side-hustle. 

And I’m scared. Duty is my identity. Busy is my ballast. I joke that being an overachiever is my trauma response, only it’s not a joke. We are bound to this hustle, for survival. 


See more about Wayward Writer Write/Share Zoom session sessions here

Lasara Firefox Allen looking nonplussed after a long meeting.

HACHR Executive Director’s Statement, Eureka City Council,

Lasara Firefox Allen looking nonplussed after a long meeting.Esteemed colleagues,

First, I want to thank you all for doing what you can to address the situation of a lack of harm reduction services in Eureka, which came into effect due to past actions on the part of the city council. We appreciate that you are trying to make the situation better. 

However, a bad amendment is not going to serve our community. This amendment was written with no consultation with HACHR, CDPH, or any other harm reduction specialists. It seems misguided to me to put into effect an amendment that will not serve the population in question, and will unduly affect operations for HACHR and any other SEP that hopes to operate within the city of Eureka. It will not effectively prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, and it is a dangerous setting of precedence. 

I also want to clear up a few points; first I wish to clarify that all HACHR employees are trained in de-escalation and safe syringe clean-up protocols. This being the case, having two extra staff ride along for outreach is redundant. Further, writing staffing requirements into the amendment is an overreach by the city. 

Just like the county SEP through NorCAP, our outreach team is expected to address any rare conflict that arises from a de-escalation frame, and they are also already charged with retrieving any syringe litter that is present at exchange sites.

The requirement of such a robust outreach team is seemingly based in the fantastical idea that syringe services are dangerous. Quite the contrary; our population is grateful for the support they receive from SEPs. Further, we attempt to create an environment of mutual respect, and basic recognition of program participants’ humanity. We offer our participants access to Medication-Assisted Treatment through Bright Heart Health, overdose prevention medication and training, HIV and Hepatitis C testing onsite at our 3rd Street location, and linkage to care and treatment. We offer wound care kits, hygiene kits, food, warm clothes and blankets, and many other basic needs. All of this in addition to the safer-use equipment that is currently banned within city limits. 

Perhaps most importantly, though, we offer our program participants a place where they are loved and accepted exactly as they are. Our staff knows our population to be worthy of love, care, and basic respect without any requirement for change. 

In the time since the ban went into effect, we have seen a precipitous drop in traffic at our 3rd Street location. Jasmine, our SSP coordinator, is speaking after me and will talk more about the numbers, and share some first-person testimonials about the impact of the lack of services. Suffice it to say, without the incentive of SEP services, our population is not finding their way to our other services. This is heartbreaking, though it was a foreseeable outcome, and one which we warned against avidly. 

Finally, I want to say that we recognize that this amendment is a preview of the ordinance to come and we cannot support the amendment NOR the ordinance if they are going to tie the hands of SEPs operating within the city. This amendment would greatly reduce effectiveness of harm reduction practices in Humboldt county, as would an ordinance requiring the same. 

It is our hope that you will reconsider taking this action, and that you will vote no on this amendment in favor of an amendment based on harm reduction best practices.  

Thank you for your time. 


The meeting at Eureka City Council last night was as usual heartening in the amazing support that showed up for HACHR, but debilitating in outcome. Regardless, we will move forward and continue serving our people as best we can.

Call for Papers
Experiments in Love and Liberation

What We’re Looking For

birds and treesWe want to read your reflections on life and love on the front lines. The editors of Experiments in Love and Liberation are seeking writing on topics such as the roots of radical/revolutionary relationships/hidden histories, gender, power, family/community, neuroqueer identity/mental health/mental wellness, dis/ability, abuse/healing, dating, monogamy/non-monogamy/polyamory. We want to hear about how love and loss and the living of and through them have shaped the worlds you are building. 

Tell us stories of historical lineages of radical sexual and romantic relating through investigation of the lives of instigators and visionaries such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Audre Lorde, Diane DiPrima, Victoria Claflin Woodhull, Emma Goldman, and other foremothers of experiments in love and liberation. Tell us stories of the innovative communes and collectives created over the years. The ways that the AIDS/HIV epidemic shaped our relationships and communities. The intersections of activism and romantic relationships.

Tell us about the ways that power, power plays and BDSM intersect with love and sex. Tell us how disability and physicality impact the shape of relationships and our inner worlds. Talk to us about race and ethnicity, culture and family lineages. About aesthetics and poverty, about socio-economic status. How access to time, material resources, work and emotional labor shape your experiences of love. About parenting, kinship, queerness, and nontraditional/alternative family structures. 

Talk to us about friendships, dating, loneliness, and friends with benefits. About living in the worlds of the down-low and don’t ask don’t tell. About pretty privilege and uglification in radical queer communities. About the spaces and relationships in which you attempted to build new ways of relating and the ways that you succeeded and failed.  

Tell us about the spaces in which abuse is infused within our scenes/movements/communities. Tell us how polyamory can be toxic and how it can be healthy. Tell us how monogamy can also be the same. Tell us about your experiments in love and liberation. 

Tell us about pleasure and heartbreak, about what you’ve learned over the years about love. Talk to us about care work, about sex — casual and profound, about the roles of spirituality and religion. Write to us like you are kicking it with your friends as you realize your own boundaries, the joys and humor and grossness of dating apps and 21st century dating culture, about your fantasies and your fears. Tell us about opening up your relationships and closing them down. Be messy, be clear, be luminous and contradictory, show us how you play with categories and how you play with each other. 

Tell us about love and relationship in all of its complex, romantic, radical, sexy, paradoxical power. 

Tell us what it means to create love and relationality in the midst of the apocalypse.

We seek diverse writing styles from a diversity of authors:

  • First person narrative
  • Creative essay format
  • Poetry
  • Memoir
  • Historical nonfiction
  • Academic and research-based writing, from analytical to relational autoethnography/collaborative and community based writing
  • Hybrids and experimental writing styles welcome

We will accept for consideration your completed pieces/drafts, or well-crafted concept pitches.

Who We Are

Mai’a Williams (she/they) is a writer, multimedia artist and dreamer. She is the author of This is How We Survive: Revolutionary Mothering, War, and Exile in the 21st Century and the co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines

Lasara Firefox Allen (they/them/theirs) is a writer, Witch, and gritty academic/MSW candidate. They are the author of Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality, Sexy Witch, and The Pussy Poems, and a contributor to many other works both academic and creative.

In Experiments in Love and Liberation, Mai’a and Lasara hope to weave a communal quilt of love and liberation.

TO SUBMIT: To engage with our call for papers for Experiments in Love and Liberation, email revolutionaryrelationshipsbook@gmail.com. Put “Experiments in Love and Liberation – Name Of Piece” in the subject line. 

DEADLINE: May 1, 2021

Person writing.

Wayward Writers Write/Share Zoom Sessions

Wayward Writers is an Ariel Gore related community which writers may join after taking a class with Ariel or in the Literary Kitchen with one of Ariel’s associates. Writers who have close relationships with a Wayward Writer and agree to abide with the spirit of our endeavor are also welcome to join in at the Wayward Writers Write/Share Zoom Sessions. 

Person writing. Wayward Writers Zoom Sessions is a fledgling, community-engaged effort. Started in November of 2020, with permission from Ariel Gore to associate the Wayward Writers name with this group, we acknowledge that we must take care to grow this group with awareness. Wayward Writers Write/Share Zoom Sessions are currently facilitated by Lasara Firefox Allen and Elisa Sinnett on Thursday nights, 5PM Pacific/8PM EST. Other co-hosts/facilitators are encouraged to volunteer. The Sunday Meetup is currently on pause, and volunteers are needed if we are also going to restart the Sunday gatherings.

This is not a writer’s workshop nor a class. We meet as a drop-in quick write supportive write-and-share community. We ask that you write to the prompt, or to what is moving to you in this moment.

  • Confidential space.
    • We meet to get our writing going and for fun and support. 
    • While this can be therapeutic, this is not therapy
    • Unless you have asked for permission first, do not share other people’s work/identities/story
  • Please be kind. 
    • Speak out of your own experience
    • No bigotry
    • No hate speech
  • Have good boundaries – respect good boundaries
    • Because these are short quick writes ranging from 5 – 10 minutes, criticism is generally discouraged unless the author asks for it specifically. 
    • Words of encouragement or saying “what works” in the piece has been our practice
    • Notice time spent giving feedback/words of encouragement, and respect time agreements
  • If something happens that violates community standards or agreements, please communicate with the facilitators

To join, please contact Elisa at elisasinnett@gmail.com and get on the mailing list. Prompts will be shared out at the Zoom Sessions and after.


christmas lights

Wayward Writers’ Zoom
December 17, 2020

christmas lightsUnconfirmed

Her death was unconfirmed, like the weather and sports winners – you never know what you’re going to get. Confirmation is the tragedy because before the confirmation you are allowed hope. 

After years of waiting hope is an albatross. A lodestone that is not good at finding true north. A swansong. Hope is a thing with wings, and blood beating in the ears. Blood pouring on the rocks. Into the water. Blood the color of rust and carnations and firetrucks and cheap fingernail polish – spilled on different mediums it takes on their appearance – here glossy, there speckled with dirt and tiny rocks. 

Confirmation gives a modicum of respite. Even bad news is better than no news at the end of the day. Confirmation leads to closure leads to what amounts to moving on. The days are long and the nights are longer and there is no lack of darkness. Hope is a thing with wings. Sooner or later, it flies away.


This season
is a fabrication
but light in the darkness
never was a bad idea
so we come together
a million little lights 
in darkest nights 

the street that links the apartments
I am splitting my time between
(yes, that’s a longer story)
is lined with christmas lights
and trees decked out with ribbons
and i am reminded of
the awe my little brother used to feel 
all the lights shining

we don’t talk anymore


New Year’s Eve Writings, 2020/2021 – Wayward Writers Zoom


Prompt Two: Things You Can’t Fit in a Basket – Seven Minutes

As the Sufi saying goes the only things that are truly yours are the things you don’t lose in a shipwreck. the things I can’t fit in a basket are sunset and dreams and plans – a million wildflowers in super bloom – the hills are washed crimson, almost like blood poured, silky poppies waving against ochre dirt and a brilliantly blue sky – like the firey orange red and the blues can’t quit coexist at that meter – they fight for dominance, almost ugly in the overwhelm 

the things I can’t fit in this basket are hope and fortitude – these things dwell in my heart and body – the sufi saying echoes – the name of god in my heart beat, clanging against my ribcage like a bird aching for release – each beat an echo of things to come – the future is written in sand – the sand of a million tibetan sand paintings – painstaking and temporary – my flesh disperses in the breeze that blows the sand – these moments of transmutation are a gift 


Prompt Three: A Wish or a Hope – Five Minutes

a wish for the coming year
can feel prosaic
but old times passing
sometimes call for 
a bit of that

the passing of time 
things moving on
I am hopeful
that I will find my way

I am hopeful that 
we will gather 
in these liminal spaces
as we are able
and we will grow 
tree like 
reaching for what light there is

we will grow
and change
and the artifice 
fall away

this is the clarion call 
hearkening to a 
new aeon 

or is it the the same old 
where the apocalypse
another layer 
of doubt?

we live
and grow
and reach for what light there is
reaching for the golden sun
reaching for tomorrow 
reaching for the wildness

uncovered in the 
dark night 
brimming with nightmares
we grow

roots deep in the soil
soul stretched
and yawning
we reach for this
reach for this
new day

I stand on hope
I dream on hope
I grow with hope


Wayward Writers is an Ariel Gore-related community.