Agua Viva Fellowship
What inspired you to create the Agua Viva Fellowship? What best defines the spirit of the fellowship? Can you share one story which illustrates this spirit?
I came to New Mexico for the 2013 retreat just three months sober. I was happy to be sober, but still learning how to live my new life. I knew two things most certainly: that I am an alcoholic and that I am a writer. I was so happy to be there, and being naturally thirsty, to drink it in.
The spirit of this fellowship is bravery. I have been absolutely devastated by addiction and it nearly ended my life. This fellowship is a gift of an inspired life. A welcome into a new life which proves that inspiration, community, and spiritual connection are the enemies of addiction.
By the terms of recovery, I can only keep what I have by giving it away.
What are some ways you have benefited from a community of supportive women writers and artists?
In a community of supportive women writers and artists, I began to see myself as worthy and legitimate, powerful and blessed. I knew that my voice mattered, that my presence mattered, that I was being carried forward. I felt for the first time in my life revered for being me and for telling my truth the way I know to tell it.
Can you name some current women writers who inspire you and your work?
Above all, my mentor, Bhanu Kapil. When I read her words, she is my family, and when I seek her counsel, she is my mother.
Women writers who have inspired me seem to have the same wound in them. I see it and I love them. Of these, a few: Maggie Nelson, Anne Carson, Kate Zambreno, Helene Cixous, Dodie Bellamy, Mary Karr, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Clarice Lispector.
What is one resource you wish all women writers had or knew about?
A 12-step program to help us move through our pain and land us on our higher path . . . AROHO is like this.
Is there anything you hope the recipient of the Agua Viva Fellowship will discover through their experience at the AROHO 2015 Retreat?
This fellowship is a gift of an inspired life. A welcome into a new life which proves that inspiration, community, and spiritual connection are the enemies of addiction.