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By Hedgebrook Guest

First Night of Chanukah

Though this was written during the holiday season, I wanted to share it with my Hedgebrook sisters now, in the spirit of the ongoing, tenacious demonstrations for Black Lives Matter:

 

I had a flashlight in my pocket. It was pouring, and I thought the tiny light could serve as a substitute for a menorah candle on the first night of Chanukah. It could still shine despite the wind and the rain.

As the vigil began, we gathered behind a huge black and white canvas banner reading, “Black Lives Matter,” under the eaves of the Yerba Buena Center. We were only yards away from the Martin Luther King Memorial Fountain, the centerpiece of Yerba Buena Gardens, where justice rolls down like the waters.

As the sky darkened, the space began to fill – with members of many local congregations and Jewish peace organizations, families with young children, seasoned activists, and young people furious that their black and brown brothers were being gunned down by the police. Against the steady hum of the downpour, we heard a moving opening prayer, and an exhortation for inclusion of people of color in the planning of events like this by a young woman who described herself as an African-American Ashkenazi Jew whose family came from Ferguson, ground zero of the protests.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Ghosts, Daughters, and Heartbreak: Some books to read in 2015

Here are some must-reads for me in 2015. Yes, they’re all books by Pacific Northwest women I know and admire. Lucky me. Lucky you if you decide to read these books, too.

 

The Ghosts Who Travel With Me, Ooligan Press, by Allison Green

Smitten as a young adolescent with Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America, Allison Green explores her fascination with the book, the author, and the Sixties as she take us on a literary pilgrimage to the Idaho towns Brautigan visited, the streams he fished, and the woods he camped in during the summer of 1967. It’s a pilgrimage that leads her to reflect on her family history, her own identity as a lesbian and a writer, and the meaning of place.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Holding Each Other Up Hedgebrook Style

“We’ll need to hold each other up.” That’s what Anita Gail Jones Roerick (Fir 94) wrote in an email when I informed her of my plan to launch a support group for women writing our first books. I hadn’t met her; all I knew was that she was a Hedgebrook alum (94).

In the fall of 2009, shortly after my first summer residency, Hedgebrook staff spearheaded the formation of leadership councils in a number of cities. I had the good fortune of attending a meeting and becoming part of the council in the Bay Area. The Hedgebrook Mothership, as we called it, was somewhat vague about what it wanted councils to do and gave us space to coordinate activities that grew organically out of the interests of local alums.

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By Hedgebrook Staff

Capturing Hedgebrook

I have always loved photography. As a kid, I took my little point-and-shoot camera everywhere, taking pictures of friends, the backyard, the dog—anything I could find. I went on to take photography classes in high school and minored in it in college (along with women’s studies, of course). Now, I’m taking pictures for Hedgebrook.

When I started in my position of External Relations Manager just over 18 months ago, I didn’t know that photography was going to be part of my job. It’s been a gift for several reasons, but mostly because I get to use something I’m passionate about to help tell the story of Hedgebrook.

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By Hedgebrook Guest

PSST: Wanna See My Real C.V.?

Not long ago, I attended a lively academic conference for feminist scholars. Although I’d looked forward with pleasure to seeing beloved friends from graduate school, part of me also dreaded their interrogative greeting “So, do you have tenure yet?” Answering no, explaining why, noting that I was employed long-term but in a program and not a department, and explaining yet again that most women’s studies programs could not provide tenure lines—-God, what a humiliating, defensive manifesta to deliver over and over. Moreover, as the only untenured professor of my old gang, I earned far less than everyone else; I was not only non-tenure-track but technically adjunct faculty, though with halftime contracts at two excellent research universities.   Read more

By Dara Marks and Deb Norton

Before Scaling the Heights of your Rewrite…

So, after weeks, months, or even years, you have finally completed your first draft. Congratulations! Crack open the champagne, throw a party, fly to Paris! However you choose to celebrate, I’m sure you deserve it. Writing is hard work; you are literally blazing a trail into the uncharted wilds of the human imagination. This is why getting to “The End” can feel like you’ve just clawed your way to the top of Mt. Everest.

Of course, this isn’t the case, and in the back of your mind you know the terrible truth—you’ve only just made it to the first base camp. But celebrate anyway because the really arduous, death-defying work of the rewrite still lies ahead and it will most assuredly leave you too pooped to party by the time you reach the summit.

To help chart the course for your rewrite, here are a few navigational tools that will help you negotiate the rugged terrain that lies ahead:   Read more

By Stuart Grover

Hedgebrook and Men

I learned about Hedgebrook shortly after Nancy created it, an idyllic setting with an inspirational mission. Hedgebrook represented a writer’s retreat taken to the highest level, with breakfast left on the doorstep and all workaday concerns obviated. My significant other had written a book about Virginia Woolf that brought home the importance of “a room of one’s own.” Hedgebrook brought that to reality.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Joining Hands at Hedgebrook

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead.

And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”

(From the play, The History Boys)

 

When I was in middle school, I started a tradition of reading with a blank book beside me. I would hand write excerpts from the books I read that moved me, or seemed especially juicy.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Questions for our Winter Salon Teachers

Our Winter Salon teachers share what they are reading, writing and what excites them about teaching for our Winter Salon.

Anna Bálint

 What are you reading?

I always seem to have several books on the go at once. I’ve just finished “Nervous Conditions” a wonderful coming of age novel by Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dandarembga, and have started on “Bloodroot” by Amy Greene, another novel, this time an intergenerational family story set in Appalachia and told in multiple voices, (something I love…) I’ve also been dipping into “One World: a global anthology of short stories” which I was happy to come across and is introducing me to some fantastic writers I’ve never heard of before from various parts of the world. Lastly, but no means least I’m reading “Making Peace With the Earth” by environmental activist and feminist Vandana Shiva.   Read more

By Hedgebrook ED

VORTEXT 2013: The Second Gathering

In a couple of weeks, Hedgebrook’s second Vortext Salon for women writers will take place on Whidbey Island: three extraordinary days of workshops and conversation, in a beautiful setting, led by six renowned writers and teachers: Dorothy Allison, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth George, Jane Hamilton, Ruth Ozeki and Gail Tsukiyama.

 

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