changes in the air

 

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(left to right) Sarah W. Bartlett and Marybeth Christie Redmond, co-founders, writing inside VT.

On July 1, writing inside VT enters its fifth year of writing toward self-change and healthy community with Vermont’s incarcerated women!

This seems like an appropriate time to announce that I, Marybeth, will be stepping down from the program, and Sarah will continue on as director, creative force, and facilitator extraordinaire! I am deeply grateful for her willingness to keep the program running and energized.

In addition to writing-inside responsibilities, I’ve been working full-time as marketing/communications director for Vermont Works for Women during the past year.

(It’s a Winooski-based nonprofit organization that supports women in their work-lives and helps them move toward economic independence. Many of our former writers pass through VWW doors, working hard on their successful reentries – so I get to see them and reconnect. Lucky me!)

My expanding work responsibilities, coupled with an active 12-year-old son, have led to the bittersweet reality that “something’s gotta give.” And the desire for more balance and space in my life seems to be the siren call.

Alongside Sarah, I will remain co-founder of the writing inside VT program and continue to promote and speak about our book, Hear Me, See Me: Incarcerated Women Write. But my regular duties facilitating groups and co-directing the program will come to end – at least for now.

Do not surprised to see me at future Read-Around events in the prison facility (I’ve requested a standing invitation) or on the book tour circuit with Sarah. We’ve got one in the works for Montpelier soon.

And to all of the women writers – both inside and outside – who have shared their stories and lives with me over five years:

THANK YOU for blessing my life story with yours. The tender fragments of your hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows, clarities and confusions – have enriched my life and helped me to become a deeper listener, a more compassionate presence, and an honest writer. You live in my heart, for always. I mean that.

 

One thought on “changes in the air

  1. Donna Maloska says:

    Good luck Mary Beth! You and Sarah are great partners. You both do a great job and I’m sure, are much appreciated. The blog is wonderful and I read every one. It’s certainly difficult to leave something you are so passionate about. Sarah and the women in prison will continue to feel your positive reinforcement. You are smart to recognize the fact that you need some space too, with a demanding full time position and your beautiful family. Best always, Donna Maloska

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