I am grateful for financial, spiritual, and daily mental support from Kris Brandenburger, and weekly understanding and enthusiasm from Betty DeShong Meador, the two best friends a book ever had; and for library assistance and comments from Karen Sjöholm, Cosi Fabian, Rose Frances, Melvin Kettner, Jack Foley, Dawn McGuire, Lisa Carruthers, Ruth Rhoten, Alicia Ostriker, and others. Thanks to Leonard and Joyce Brandenburger for their support. Special gratitude to Charlene Spretnak, who in 1980 commissioned the original article, "From Sacred Blood to the Curse and Beyond," from what was then a complex outline called Blood and Bread and Roses, publishing it in her anthology, The Politics of Women's Spirituality. I want to thank all the kind people who gave me information, articles, books, and encouragement, among whom are Emily Culpepper, Willyce Kim, Savina J. Teubal, Katharyn Aal, Mary Beth Edelson, Kate Rosenblatt, Robin Song, Susan Thompson, Janet Capone, Harriet Ziskin, Robert Glück, Anne Cameron, Coletta Reid, Casey Czarnik, Paula Gunn Allen, the late June Arnold, the late Audre Lorde, and the late Anne Shellabarger. For early support with the project in the 1970s, I want to thank the women of Diana Press and of Mama Bears Coffeehouse in Oakland. Finally, special thanks to my excellent and gentle editor, Lauren Bryant, and to Beacon Press for their patience over the past twelve years, especially Wendy Strothman, Marie Cantlon, and Joanne Wyckoff.
I also want to acknowledge other works on theories of menstruation and culture: The Wise Wound by Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove, Blood Relations by Chris Knight, Menstruation and Menopause by Paula Weideger, and Barbara Walker's entry "Menstruation," in The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. [p. xxv]