Illustration © Nikki McClure

contentarea top menu

Sappho (Magazine, 1972- 1981)


Sappho was a magazine established in 1972 to cater for lesbians with Jackie Forster as editor. Sappho organised meetings in a Chepstow public house with speakers including Anna Raeburn, Mikki Doyle from the Morning Star, Maureen Duffy who read her poetry, and the barrister Elizabeth Woodcraft who spoke on the rights of lesbian mothers. It was wound up in 1981 as a result of declining readership, falling subscriptions and criticism that it was not sufficiently political.

In 1972, Jackie Foster and other women involved in the Press Freedom Group founded Sappho, a politically committed feminist magazine, linked to a program of social activities, including support groups for lesbian mothers and lesbian teachers. Furthermore, Sappho coordinated and paid for the legal defense of servicewomen accused of lesbianism, and it helped to establish the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard in 1974. - Info from,12.html

Sappho Magazine- "Set up in April 1972 by a group in order to "educate society about the true facts of lesbianism, support lesbians and women's causes". Monthly publication, circulation 900-1000 copies per month, sent by subs, sold in bookshops, available to men. Fundraising helps meet costs, which are £356.00 per issue. 8 women (hardcore) + 5 volunteers produce the mag., with work and skills distributed amongst them. Sappho has 1 full-time worker, and all workers get £1 an hour and/or expenses. The readership supplies most of the content. Editorial policy: no; rights of control over material: they will not publish anything illiterate, that puts down lesbians or women, and they may shorten a contribution because of space. Contributions from men are accepted, if they are in support of lesbians/women. 50p per copy."
- Information from the "Directory of Women's Liberation Newletters, Magazines, Journals...", by Dena and Shaila (York, UK), c.1978

Georgina Turner, "CATCHING THE WAVE. Britain's lesbian publishing goes commercial", Journalism Studies , Volume 10, Issue 6 December 2009 , pages 769 - 788.

1. The Lesbian Archive and Information Centre Timeline
This short article, which was included in the December 1972 issue of 'Sappho' demonstrates the homophobic reactions that one could expect to receive even when it came to going about ones business in a professional capacity.


United Kingdom
51° 30' 0.5472" N, 0° 7' 34.4496" W
Names of Producers/organizers/editors/creators: 
Jackie Forster (founder and editor)
Timerange, Issue-nr, ...: 
Grassroots media in Europe
LGBT and queer issues
Women's Liberation Movement