Five Talent’s Agency/Red River Women’s Press

In 1978, poet and creative writing teacher Cynthia Linzy of Temple, Texas, published this tiny book of poems called Ink. The oldest book featured in this exhibit, Ink was edited by Five Talents Agency, a now-defunct Austin publisher and arts non-profit described as “feminist clearinghouse,” which released this chapbook in a series featuring women’s writing.[1] Ink is an excellent example of this era’s feminist creative output—Linzy’s collection covers the complexities of motherhood and being mothered, and the challenges of creating in a culture dominated by men.

Ink was physically printed by Red River Women’s Press, a print shop run by a collective of feminist activists, including Alice Embree.[2] Embree is a notable for her anti-war and feminist organizing on UT’s campus in the late 60s and early 70s. She was active in publishing in Austin and was one of the founders of The Rag, a counter-culture newspaper.[3] In the 1970s, Embree became involved with the women’s movement and continued these publishing efforts through Red River Women’s Press, which closed in 1981 after a devastating flood.[4] This interesting publication history suggests a connection between DIY publication of creative work and social activism in Austin, especially among feminists with limited access to conventional, mainstream outlets.


[1] Navaretta, Cynthia. Guide to Women’s Art Organizations and Directory for the Arts: Multi-Arts Centers, Organizations, Galleries, Groups, Activities, Networks, Publications, Archives, Slide Registries. Midmarch Associates, 1982.

[2] Embree, Alice. “Red River Women’s Press.” collective impressions, April 12, 2016.

[3] Wang, Daisy. “UT Alumna Recalls Life of Activism.” The Daily Texan. December 2, 2016. Find it at the UT Libraries.

[4] Embree, “Red River Women’s Press.”