Small-Vida-Logo (3)For Immediate Release

For more information, please contact:
Amy King, VIDA Executive Board


July 6, 2015 —VIDA: Women in Literary Arts announces that the original founders of the organization, Cate Marvin, Erin Belieu, and Ann Townsend, are transitioning from VIDA’s daily leadership to VIDA’s Advisory Board in order to devote more of their time to strategic planning and potential publishing projects on VIDA’s behalf. Marvin, Belieu, and Townsend will continue to actively support the country’s most influential literary feminist organization, working with the Board Of Directors to help VIDA fulfill its ongoing mission.

The current Executive Committee of VIDA’s Board of Directors – Melissa Febos, Amy King, Lynn Melnick, Camille Rankine, and Carmen Giménez Smith – are thrilled to continue the work begun by VIDA’s founders and to move forward with upcoming events, influential and important web content, and our annual VIDA Count, which includes counts for gender and race, and for the new 2015 VIDA Count, counts for gender identity, including transgender women, sexual identity, and disability. This intersectional approach is crucial to represent all women in literary arts and, together with our entire Board of Directors; we take this responsibility very seriously.

Please join us in thanking our three founders for their historic vision, passionate dedication, and fervent leadership over the last six years.

Marvin, whose 2009 email manifesto went viral on social media overnight, leading to VIDA’s inception, said, “Erin, Ann and I have accomplished what we originally sought to do: create a meaningful conversation regarding feminist issues in our contemporary literary landscape. It’s been a huge pleasure to work with the many women and men who’ve been committed to our work over these last six years.”

Belieu, who has acted as VIDA’s official spokesperson since the organization’s founding, added, “Editors and publishers throughout the country tell me that VIDA has fundamentally impacted how we as a creative community think about issues of publishing, feminism, and intersectional diversity. We’re proud that the VIDA Count was at the vanguard of this conversation, creating a much-increased awareness of the beautiful multiplicity of voices that make up our writing world.”

Townsend, who led VIDA’s fundraising and strategic planning, said, “As the original founders, we look forward to seeing VIDA grow and change under the skilled management of its leaders. Consistent with the evolution of every successful and sustainable nonprofit organization, it has long been​ our intention to eventually transition from our leadership roles. VIDA’s success now allows us to move to advisory positions in the organization.​ We are proud of VIDA’s collective achievement, and grateful for the friends and allies who have helped us as we’ve grown.”

The three founders of VIDA are all working writers and professors of English and Creative Writing. Marvin and Belieu both had critically-admired poetry collections published in the last year, while Townsend is presently finishing her third collection of poems, a much anticipated manuscript that will be at press soon.

Marvin said, “It’s been gratifying, forging the relationships VIDA allowed us to form with writers all around the world. The three of us are look forward to putting writing first again. That’s what VIDA is ultimately about; women writers taking and receiving the space and time needed for creative work. We’re going to practice what we preach.”

VIDA looks forward to announcing our #HelpVIDACount campaign as we begin the process of our 2015 VIDA Count later this summer. Please check out our website,, for exciting and important new content every week.