Cathy de la Cruz Talks THE WEIRD SISTER COLLECTION & Invites You to a 90's Dance Party


We talked  to Cathy de la Cruz about her contributions to THE WEIRD SISTER COLLECTION (The Feminist Press), what it’s like to immerse yourself in a writers’ community, and her youthful start as a feminist! Cathy de la Cruz is a Manager of Metadata, Sales & Merchandising, and a inspired writer and filmmaker. This week she invites you to a 90’s Throwback Dance Party and she tells us the origin story of the Weird Sister blog and how it evolved into the THE WEIRD SISTER COLLECTION, edited by Marisa Crawford.

Dive in and RSVP to a party below!

Tell us a little bit about what you like to write.

Cathy de la Cruz.

I have an MFA in creative writing with a concentration in fiction, but hilariously, I find myself drawn to writing nonfiction the most. Even when I was in the MFA program, one of my favorite professors was always teasing me. He’d say nice “fiction.” Everything was just thinly veiled creative nonfiction.

I’ve also written a lot of poetry, which is something that just kind of happened when I came to New York. All of my friends were poets and I think because I was in these communities, everyone assumed I was a poet. The next thing I know, people were asking me to read at poetry festivals. And then someone asked if they could publish some of my now defunct Tweets as a chapbook.

How do these endeavors lead to Weird Sister?

I was one of the original contributors to Weird Sister.

It was 2013. I was part of a readings series at the San Francisco Public Library, a kind of underground setting for queer writers to come and read. It was there that I met editor Marissa Crawford. When I moved to New York the following year, she let me know that she was going to be launching a website featuring the intersections between feminism, literature and pop culture and she asked if I’d like to involved.

The Weird Sister Collection: Writing at the Intersections of Feminism, Literature, and Pop Culture is now on sale and published by Feminist Press. Was this a natural next step?

None of us got paid for our writing on the blog. It was  a labor of love, so we wanted to give these pieces a home to create community between feminist writers. It was so great to be a part of that and to have people soliciting their writing to me. I had really cool literary agents reaching out to me, saying, “Hey, one of my writers has this piece and we think it’d be perfect for Weird Sister.” I was able to have that publishing experience, but I never imagined it was going to be a book.

Then Marissa Crawford, as the original founder of Weird Sister, started talking to the Feminist Press in 2017. It didn’t manifest into a physical book into until February 2024.

Photo credit Natalia Affonso

I took a very long time for it to all happen, but there are 43 writers in this book. The book itself is organized in sections. There’s one called “Our Bookshelves, Ourselves” and another called “Talking Back to the Cannon”, which examines what we’re told is the greatest work that we should be looking at in terms of literature, pop culture… you name it! There’s also one titled “Calling Our Feminist Elders.”

This is the book that I would get for anyone. It’s a great introduction to a lot of different feminist theory. And at least five of the contributors are also Penguin Random House authors! Additionally, around four contributors have books that are distributed by our PRHPS which means most a quarter of the authors in this book are in some way affiliated with PRH. This includes  Forsyth Harmon, Morgan Parker, Eileen Myles, Michelle Tea, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, and many more!

Thanks so much for connecting all those dots! Tell us more about your event at McNally Jackson.

Event at McNally Jackson in Manhattan.

We had our book launch at McNally Jackson in Manhattan seaport last week and hearing Naomi Extra read her pieces written almost a decade ago, it hit even harder now. We published work on the website, but we don’t usually get to hear the author read. It’s very cool to hear people at the reading talk about how some of their ideas have changed, and some of them have gotten stronger.

It was actually my second time reading at McNally Jackson, which for someone who doesn’t have a full length book published, it’s a really nice feeling. I used to stress and wonder if my friends were going to come to my readings, but as someone with a lot of writer-friends, I am a firm supporter of  your friends not having to come to every event. Living in New York, it isn’t humanly possible! don’t have to come to all your events. You always meet new people at readings. It’s nice be invested in talking to other writers and to engage with other people at events with people who love writing and books and feminism.

So,  how do you pursue your art and how do you say dedicated?

I’m actually taking two different filmmaking workshops soon. That’s how I use my vacation days, in case you were wondering! For me, writing and filmmaking go hand-in-hand. I have to do things like taking a three day film theory intensive and one day 16mm workshop because I love taking advantage of all that New York has to offer.

Regarding writing, I’ve been passionate about a nonfiction project I’ve been working on since last year. I’ve been submitting pieces of it to different writing contests. This is just my personality. I need deadlines. If I don’t have a deadline to work toward, that piece is never going to get written. I am exhausted!

It sounds like you’re inspired too.

I have a lot of energy right now and I’m grateful for that because life hasn’t always been like this. Once I found my work groove at PRH in my current role, it made it easier to go after the other things I love on nights and during the weekends.

What does the eagerly-anticipated publication of this book mean to you?

I have three pieces in this collection. I wrote them between 2014 in the tiniest room I’ve ever lived in during first year in New York and 2016, right before a certain person got elected. They were some very intense times for me and so it was important to have this outlet. I’ve been a feminist since junior high, when I heard a Bikini Kill song on college radio. Around then I also heard a statistic about how few women there were in the film industry in the 1990s. It’s kind of all it took for me to say, “I know what work I need to do.”

P.S. Cathy de la Cruz Invites You to a Weird Sister 90s Dance Party! Buy your ticket here.

Join the Feminist Press and the writers of THE WEIRD SISTER COLLECTION, edited by Marisa Crawford, for a throwback dance party celebrating feminist pop and literary icons of the past and present! Featuring DJ Alanna “That’s So” Raben, who will be spinning 90s and 00s throwback hits all night, plus brief readings from contributors Camille Wanliss, Caolan Madden, Cathy de la Cruz, Eleanor Whitney, Emily Brandt, Hossannah Asuncion, Mariahdessa Ekere Tallie, Marisa Crawford, Terese Svoboda, & Trace PetersonEnjoy books for sale and free themed swag, and enter a raffle to win the original artwork by Forsyth Harmon that appears in the book!

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, though no one will be turned away due to lack of funds: a small block of tickets will be reserved for pay-what-you-can pricing at the door. If you’d like to add a copy of the book at a 20% discount (list price is $26.95!) for pickup at the event, choose the “Admission + Book” option at checkout for a $30 bundle!  

About the DJ: Alanna “That’s So” Raben has been a fixture in the DJ scene for years. Inspired by the sounds of the ‘90s & early aughts, Raben taps into nostalgia to spin parties as unforgettable as your favorite Disney sitcom. That’s So Raben performs annually at major festivals including Coachella, SXSW and Sundance with opening sets for artists spanning from Diplo to Drake and Grimes. Founder of Grunch, NYC’s first ever grunge brunch, Raben’s creative touch extends beyond DJ sets to curating innovative party experiences. 


Posted: March 5, 2024