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book of women prisoners’ writings from Vermont
released September 2013

cover of upcoming bookFall 2014 BOOK READING

Burlington Book Festival
Saturday, September 20, 10:30 am

Fletcher Free Library, Main Reading Room
Burlington, VT

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If you’ve missed our several readings, you can still
order the book from Orbis Books or Amazon

AND – if you like what you read – please consider leaving a customer review on our Amazon page!

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These straight-from-the-gut writings by incarcerated women will break your heart and put it back together again.   - Sr. Helen Prejean, author, Dead Man Walking

These are radical, revolutionary voices because they dare us to do what society insists we must not:  listen to and care about those who have been cast out and locked away.
- Michelle Alexander, legal scholar & author, The New Jim Crow:
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

Recent Posts

a foundation to build on

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.- Oprah Winfrey

Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.Phylicia Rashad

Honestly, I’m not going to say it much better than the writing that follows. This week’s prompt was all about names, labels, the power of language to manifest reality. Eve Ensler reminded us of how words change us on a cellular level and Marilyn Krysl reminded us of the joy of simply saying words, speaking the names we’ve made. We discussed the power of the names we carry and the one heavy ones we were burdened with, what needs reinforcing and what needs sloughing off.

In the piece below, one writer discusses fear, vulnerability and transcending these limits through kindness and respect. In essence, we honor the names others’ choose for themselves and that those names represent and we generate freedom rather than seek it. We build a foundation from almost nothing and we live on. A magic happens.

Here, have magic:

The Foundation Off of Which We Build

Movement–this is a common theme brought to the forefront of my mind…speaking things into existence, essentially creating nothing from something. Words have power. And that power is gripping me like a vice. I have a constant urge to do something large, make an impact. I wonder how I can make my voice the hammer that break the glass of the box that is holding us inside. If I am a queen than it it true, I should treat myself as royalty, and as such, I hear, with respect and dignity. And with that being said I should treat others as if they are royalty. That would make an impact. Other might not understand it, but they would feel it. It would stir something in them, to find answers, to gain the knowledge. Imagine how perplexed you would be to have a stranger treat you as though you were made of gold. I like to think it would drive most to kindness. If that happens. Words will have created it.

They are a foundation off of which we build. There are endless possibilities, we need only grasp them. Why is it we see anything as unobtainable? I can’t just be a hopeless optimist. There must be passion in the hearts of the masses. We need to be fearless. And being fearless doesn’t mean not being afraid. It means that you were afraid, but did it anyway.

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  1. the last women alive 1 Reply
  2. heart afire Leave a reply
  3. weaving women’s lives Leave a reply
  4. compassion for others Leave a reply