Shawn(ta) Smith, is an Archivist and Librarian.
Shawn decided to create Her Saturn Returns and hersaturnreturns.com when she turned 27 and two friends from Michfest gave her a book that changed her life. The result is this collection of poetry, prose, and images on queer women of color turning 30.
Shawn finds equilibrium in collectives. She is as a producer of Rivers of Honey, a queer woman of color monthly Cabaret at WOW Cafe Theater Collective, as well as collective member and Archivette at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, the largest and oldest lesbian archive in the world. Smith is also a creative writer, currently working on commissions about Librarianship, Black Lesbian Archiving, and Lesbian Young Adult Fiction. Her most recent essay, titled: “Patricia’s Child, Patrick’s Penis, and the Sex of Reference: A Lesbian Librarian’s Log of Perverse Patronage” will feature in Out Behind the Desk : Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians (2011) published by Library Juice Press.
Before academia, Shawn was co-founder and Director of award-winning organization, Sister Outsider (2000-2005), named for Audre Lorde’s book of essays and poem, a peer-education non-profit that employed self-supporting young women to develop social justice projects while earning living wages in her home towns, East Flatbush and Brownsville, Brooklyn.