Associated Press | WOMO | Washington Blade | Rochester News | WATERwheel | Sexual Assault Report

Risa has done readings across the US, including in Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Rochester NY, Denver Colorado, Minneapolis Minnesota, Hart Michigan, and Oakland California. She has been:

  • The featured Author for ASL V-Day Worldwide Campaign ~ Washington D.C. (2003)
  • The 5th Anniversary Banquet Speaker, April 26, 2003, ASADV (Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims)
  • A frequent speaker in Criminal Justice, Social Work, Counseling and Women’s Studies courses at colleges and universities, as well as at Take Back the Night rallies.
Radio and TV interviews:
  • Women’s Voices Radio Program 7-8pm, Syracuse, NY (April 12, 2001)
  • Fox channel 45 news at Ten (Baltimore Maryland) – interview with Karen Parks (May 11, 2001)
  • Takoma Coffee House, Takoma Park Maryland – cable station ran a 15 minute piece for the month of June on stations from Baltimore Maryland to Richmond Virginia (2001)

Press Reviews:

Associated Press / Feb 26, 2001
Jolting Anthology by Women Writing of Brother-Sister Incest;
by David Crary, AP National Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ After dozens of publishers turned down "Not Child's Play," editor Risa Shaw published it herself _ a jolting anthology of prose and poems by women who, like herself, depict sexual abuse by their brothers.
Sibling incest is an age-old phenomenon, figuring in Greek mythology, Wagner's operas and many modern novels. But Shaw says "Not Child's Play," published in November, is unique in giving an assertive voice to survivors of what is one of the most hidden forms of sexual abuse.
"There's more attention paid to father-daughter incest," she said in a telephone interview. "Sibling incest is sometimes mentioned, but it's never at the forefront." more...

WOMO / February 2004
The Destruction and Survival of Brother-Sister Incest
by Dava Giuli
Not Child’s Play: An Anthology on Brother-Sister Incest (2000), edited by Risa Shaw, is a powerful and painful collection of stories, poems, art, and photos of action figures depicting the pain of and healing from a particular form of incest. Each piece is individual and yet there are themes, many of them creepy: “no brakes on my side no way to stop” in Driver’s Ed (Lynne Phoenix); “She’s a light sleeper” in Playing Dolls (Sarah Elizabeth Barrett); “If I were ever going to find a way out of that house, I could rely on only myself to find it” in Doors (Frances Louis); and “My brother’s actions interfere with my life everyday” in Footsteps on the Stairs (Risa Shaw). The following is an interview with Shaw.
more...


The Washington Blade –37 / March 30, 2001
Out in Print
By Greg Varner
A disturbing silence is shattered in Not Child’s Play: An Anthology on Brother-Sister Incest. Openly Lesbian editor Risa Shaw has invited a diverse group of women, strait, bisexual, or Gay, to testify about being abused by their brothers and the abuse’s effect on their lives. Contributors include Ruth Trevarrow, who’s crayon drawing simply and unforgettably presents a picture of her life before she found the courage to speak up. In her foreword, Margaret Randall writes, “In Not Child’s Play, a great chorus of women tell with their art, in a variety of creative forms. Psychologists, artists, writers, teachers, professors, mothers, a day care worker, a librarian, a software analyst, a nurse, an editor, and a belly dancer, to name but a few.” This collection of short stories, poems, essays, and works of visual art by 35 women is grouped in three sections: “Breaking Spirits” and “Wounded Hearts” give way to “Shattering Silences” in triumph.

The Washington Blade- 45/ May 25, 2001
Erasing the shame
Local woman edits an anthology about brother-sister incest
By Kim Krisberg
There are a few topics of conversation that still remain taboo. Matters such as sexuality, drugs, addiction – their slow yet inevitable rise to the forefront of discourse signaled a progressive wave that helped many pull back a curtain of shame and talk openly about their personal troubles. But there are still curtains waiting to be drawn.
Local lesbian author Risa Shaw pulls back a curtain of her own with the publication of her new book, Not Child’s Play: An Anthology on Brother-Sister Incest.
“Read us. Think about us. Look for us. Talk to us. Talk about our lives. This is what we have. Our lives. And our stories,” Shaw writes in her introduction to Not Child’s Play. more...

Deaf Rochester News /August | September 2003
ASADV 5th Anniversary Benefit Dinner with Risa Shaw
By Stacy Lawrence Hurwitz
The Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims (ASADV) Benefit Dinner, held on April 26 at Eagle Vale Country Club in Penfield, was indeed the event of the year!
First, the event’s co-chairpersons, Lisa and Mark Sommer, did an excellent job hosting the banquet! They took time to thank their committee of wonderful people who volunteered to make the event successful. Mary Mowl, President of ASADV, presented thanks with flowers from her garden to the co-chairs, Lisa and Mark, and also to Vicki Hurwitz, board of chair fundraisers. Mary presented a plaque of appreciation and thanks to Sharon Staehle who has since resigned as Executive Director. Interpreters, Susan Chapel and Jean Rodman, did a wonderful job as always. more...


WATERwheel, Summer 2001
A painful but necessary look at a difficult topic. [Moving] from shame to action is made easier with this collection.

Sexual Assault Report-March/April 2002
This is a powerful book, which, despite its painful subject, is beautifully written and highly inspirational.