a “book group” book?

Book siting at Phoenix Books, Essex

Book siting at Phoenix Books, Essex

When my dear friend and neighbor suggested that our next book group selection be Hear Me, See Me: Incarcerated Women Write, my response came at reflex speed.

“It’s not that kinda book,” I told her, thinking back to our recent book selections, The Round House: A Novel and Duct Tape Parenting, a self-help guide for raising resilient, resourceful kids.

But she pressed me, “no, the stories here lend themselves to great conversations about childhood, trauma, addiction, being mothers, the impacts of incarceration, social safety nets or the lack thereof, your work with jailed women, the power of writing, etc., etc.”

OK, I thought, “I’m cool with that” and grateful for my book group’s interest. (We’re an eclectic group of working women, friends of friends, from Underhill to Burlington to Shelburne.)  Continue reading

finding voice

Art by Jennifer Lommers

Art by Jennifer

“In a voiced community, we all flourish.”

I’ve been reflecting on this gem of wisdom penned by Terry Tempest Williams in her latest book, “When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice.”

“Each day I begin with the empty page,” this writer-activist concludes, keeping mystery, paradox, imagination, and a listening ear close by.

Women, in particular, can suffer maladies of heart, mind and body (and some, rather serious) because they feel/have felt mocked, maligned or silenced for their unique viewpoints and proclivities.

Some of this “baggage” is imposed upon us by those who pupport to love and care for us; at the same time, those of us victimized have (sometimes) clung feverishly to our “wounds,” well-worn and comfortable, yet long outgrown.

What does it mean to have a voice TODAY?    Continue reading