AWP: An Opportunity to Exercise Literary Citizenship

By Hedgebrook Guest

Spring is in the air and that means the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference is just around the corner. This is the one literary event I bookmark in my calendar years in advance, and for which I schedule everything else around; it’s a must-attend event in my books.

I often speak about what opportunities writers may find during AWP. Yet in addition to the socializing, schmoozing, and general knowledge intake, there are also countless ways in which to exercise literary citizenship. But what is literary citizenship? And why, of all places, would a writer elect to spend time doing activities seemingly unrelated to her own particular writing path?   Read more

Why Receiving a No from Hedgebrook Was a Yes

By Hedgebrook Guest

December 19, 2014:

Dear Katarina,

Thank you so much for applying for a 2015 Hedgebrook residency.

We received 1,466 applications for 2015 and are able to offer 40 residencies. Though your application did not advance into the final round this year, we want you to know that your work resonated with our reviewers.

Sending your work into the world is an act of bravery, and we appreciate the opportunity for our reviewers to experience your voice.

We’d like to share our selection process with you, so you know the thoughtful time and attention your work received. Two Hedgebrook alumnae, who take their role in this process to heart, read your application and collaborated to select applications to continue further into the adjudication process. All applications are anonymous, and any reviewer who recognizes an applicant will recuse herself. Applicants who advance are reviewed by a three-member committee of readers in cities across the country, and then by a five member selection committee in the final round.   Read more

The un-Book Tour

By Hedgebrook Guest

 

I’m not new to writing, but I am brand-new to being an author. It’s a word I’ve longed to claim my whole life, and this September, I did, with She Writes Press’s publication of my memoir, Her Beautiful Brain.

I understood—and my freelance publicist gently worked with me on this—that as a non-famous, first time book author, it did not make sense to attempt to book what you’d call a tour with a capital T. So I decided to start out with one big, morale-boosting hometown event: a launch reading at Elliott Bay Book Company, the Seattle bookstore I’ve loved since I was a girl. All summer long, I spread the word, and on September 7 at 3 p.m., people showed up. And by people, I mean family, friends, clients, colleagues; so many people we were pulling out extra chairs and spilling up the stairs. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in September. 110 people! I couldn’t believe it. I had practiced, I was ready, and though standing up in front of them all was one part terrifying, it was many, many parts thrilling.   Read more

First Night of Chanukah

By Hedgebrook Guest

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

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

By Hedgebrook Guest

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

Holding Each Other Up Hedgebrook Style

By Hedgebrook Guest

“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.

  Read more

Capturing Hedgebrook

By Hedgebrook Staff

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.

  Read more

PSST: Wanna See My Real C.V.?

By Hedgebrook Guest

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

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