What is A Room of Your Own?
Sep13

What is A Room of Your Own?

“In an environment like mine, what may have seemed too lofty or ambitious in my character was absolutely needed to keep the heart from breaking and enthusiasm from extinction.” — Margaret Fuller, American journalist, editor, and advocate, The Letters of Margaret Fuller   Dear Creative Woman, In considering our ancestors and each other, Margaret’s letters and Virginia’s questions of utmost importance shape our vision and ask us for answers that respond in a much broader space than what was available to our ancestors: What are our rooms, who are we sharing them with, and upon what terms? With you, we are willing enough and ambitious enough to look “beyond what the eye sees” and swim for that “shore.” We release constructs to make room for the idea that every woman’s creative work matters and that when we collaborate together we begin to manifest a truly collective work and joyful fellowship, accessible to anyone willing to participate. And so, we listen to our ancestors and we ask each other: What does it mean to have a room of your own (and do you have one)? SUBMIT YOUR CREATIVE RESPONSE HERE.   _____________________________________________________________________   “How I Carry My Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother Within Me” by Lorna Ritz, The Q   I love to see open, breathing, moving space create entry ways … The horizon gives prelude to what is beyond landscape in the paintings … and I want to push it there, beyond what the eye sees. I am 3rd generation abstract expressionist painter of 5 decades, the daughter of a classical pianist, 4th generation American. In painting my hand knows before I do. I step outside of myself in order to find how things connect, feeling from within, an exceedingly more pleasurable way to paint. – Lorna Ritz _____________________________________________________________________   “I’ll Lift You Up as You’ve Lifted Me” by Jocelyn White, The Q Sister, I had that dream again. I was drowning, you were there. You reached for my hands and held me above the water. I saw the sun, felt the warmth and adored the rays over the waves. Oh, how it glittered for miles and miles. That breach, quaint and lifesaving, was heaven. Forgive me, sister, I was naïve. I thought you had your own raft. I didn’t know of your tribulations – that sand dollars and kelp and hermit crabs nestled in your throat. This wasn’t the same dream, not the one where I scream without a voice, where my limbs hang heavy, where sailors cheered from their ships. What is it about women hurting women that chums the water for these sharks in men’s clothing?...

Read More
Ancestor Maps & Muses
Aug30

Ancestor Maps & Muses

From an Artistic Ancestor, May Sarton “I wrote poems to and about them [the muses]; I put them into novels … I lived with their faces … I studied them as if they were maps of the world — and in a way, I suppose they were.” — May Sarton, American poet, novelist and memoirist “Portrait of May Sarton” by Polly Thayer, 1936, courtesy of Fogg Art Museum Whether they serve as muses or maps of the world, ancestors can “call forth a narrative.” Sharing your submissions, gifts, and responses in The Q elevates the narrative unique to women today – waves with the potency to impact our realities. By reading and sharing these women, we not only subscribe to women-supporting-women, we step into the current that is changing our present and our future. Click on each woman’s name to see her poem, prose, photographs or letter in full.   ________________________________________________________________________ “Releasing the Sadness” by Midge Guerrera Something told me that in order to understand my present I needed to look to my past … L saugu t chiama, Zia Giuseppina told me in the dialect of Pontelandolfo, the blood calls.   ________________________________________________________________________ “Mantle” by Andrea Mozarowski Today I turned to a pocket in my journal, which held the rye and voloshky that I had tucked in for safekeeping … I had pictured myself someday saying – look – my father handed me this single stalk, rye, all around us, scarves billowing in the wind. A dark, shattered man stands in a field and offers his daughter what she could have chosen for herself.   Photography by Andrea Mozarowski In the Ancestors Master Class, the positioning and insistence of sacred artistic memory broke open my heart. My generational lineage is one in which little that is tangible has survived. In metaphorically making fire by rubbing together bones, or fragments, to call forth a narrative, I have begun to retrieve miraculous and sacred artistic memory.  Through this “return” I came to claim the story more faithfully, to claim my voice, to claim myself as one of the storytellers. – Andrea Mozarowski, AROHO Legacy Fellow 2019 ________________________________________________________________________   “Granddaughter of Stonewall” by Ona Marae I write for herstory documented for lives recorded for stories told and retold. I write because now I am in the history books, thankyouverymuch.   Click on each woman’s name to see her poem, prose, photographs or letter in full. ________________________________________________________________________ What “maps of the world” have your ancestors given you? Explore the current Q here and share your words, art, photography and more for potential publication in digital Waves. Find the submit button to the left...

Read More
Homage to Literary Ancestor: Toni Morrison
Aug09

Homage to Literary Ancestor: Toni Morrison

“Tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” – Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, and teacher       Dear Creative Woman, Our town was a tiny landlocked one in Louisiana. Devoid of bookstores and gathering writers. As kids –  black, white, a girl whose family had fled Laos as refugees – we all went to the same school. After the afternoon bell rang, though, we scattered to our still-segregated neighborhoods. It was the late ’70s and then the 80s. I was a girl who had fallen in love with written words partly because my own were sewn so tightly within me, and I didn’t know how to let them unravel naturally. Eventually, I had a passionate literature teacher, and the town library. I read classics written mostly by (long-ago dead) white men, the local newspaper, Judy Blume, the World Book of Knowledge encyclopedias, but was woefully ignorant of the existence of black authors, did not even hear of Toni Morrison until I got to college and, lo and behold, there was one class that jumped off the catalogue at me as though I were looking through a magnifying glass: African American Literature. I enrolled – curious, breathless. Morrison’s Song of Solomon blew my brain wide open, what with its language and characters, some named after Biblical figures I’d read about for years in my family’s church. These black characters reminded me of my maternal grandparents, born in 1904 and 1908, and of many of my uncles, born in the late 1920s, 30s, 40s. They looked like my people, sounded like my people, hurt and loved like my people. They were complex human beings. And I had not seen that before in literature. Even so, looking back, I’m sure so much of that book went over my head, but no matter: I was baptized; I was hooked; I was being enlightened. The book considers the notion of flying, inspired by a story passed down by enslaved Africans who claimed to “fly back” to Africa. When I heard her explain this in an interview, I thought: My grandmother used to sing that old song, “I’ll Fly Away,” as she went about housework, or tried to avoid getting stuck in one of the many old arguments looped by my grandfather, whose father had been lynched before he was born. Who was this Milkman who wanted to fly? I wondered, we all wondered as we read Song of Solomon, and where is...

Read More
A Life Force Quickened
Jul26

A Life Force Quickened

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.”  ― Martha Graham, American modern dancer and choreographer   “If you dance, dance. If you sing, sing. If you build, build. If you cook, cook. If you carve, carve. If you weave, weave. If you write, write. If you prophesy, prophesy.” – Barbara Eikner Thompson, excerpt from “Be Free,” The Q ______________________________________________________ When women consider their ancestors, creative expression can be a summons to freedom or an inherited “why.”  Whatever vitality has been translated through us, it quickens a rising into “the fray of living.” Read these women’s works in full here. ______________________________________________________ . “I can say these things now that I carry you inside the bends of my bones. Maybe I want to break every rule. Maybe I want to break body.” – Rebecca Woolston, excerpt from “If I Am,” The Q   ______________________________________________________ “I learned that no matter how hard the fall, I must always rise, scatter the dust, hug my battered selves, water effort with tears and dance despite the pain … Like her, I feed on kernels of tough ancestral truths, despite pressure to discard them for convenient alternatives. Daily energized, I fly into the fray of living with grit and grace overlaying my wings, reducing drag, insulating spirit, sustaining flight.” – Elizabeth Best, excerpt from “Legacy,” The Q...

Read More
Makers and Carriers of Fresh Meaning
Jul12

Makers and Carriers of Fresh Meaning

“Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning— We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.”  ― Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems Our new U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, poet Barbara Buckman Strasko, singer of heartache Judy Catterton, and visionary Lachlan Brooks are women for our times. Just as we are, here, now. Read these creative women’s works in full here. Makers and carriers of fresh meaning, what do your ancestors tell you? ____________________________________________________________________   “We lived between raindrops, afraid to be cast out with no place to go. Daughters and their daughters have tried to swim farther, to move into the sea. But still my eyes learned to turn in, to cross, to be crossed out.” – Barbara Buckman Strasko, excerpt from “Have Your Eyes Ever Been Crossed or Turned In?,” The Q   “I’m from tears spilled on the sterile soil of camps with no conscience. I have no numbers on my arm, but millions stand behind me touching my sleeve urging me forward.” – Judy Catterton, excerpt from “My DNA,” The Q ____________________________________________________________________   “If indifference smothers You, it is only the excuse you use to abstain from this worldjoy And worldpain, this grain wherein the world seeds itself, And learns, in you, to be humane.” – Lachlan Brooks, excerpt from “Glass Half,” The Q  ...

Read More
What Do My Ancestors Tell Me?
Jun28

What Do My Ancestors Tell Me?

My generation is now the door to memory. That is why I am remembering. – Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate It is clear that we share common ground as women, but our many ancestors present a mosaic of exile, diaspora, conquest, survival and triumph. We are women remembering – with pride, grief, curiosity, vulnerability, and, most of all, a desire to reconcile our ancestral stories with our own. What do your ancestors tell you?  Find the place to respond to The Q and submit in the side bar. ________________________________________________________________ Read these creative women’s works in full by clicking on their titles.  “I am memories wrapped in dark skin absorbed by tissue and bone.” – Katerina Canyon, excerpt from “Penance,” The Q   “Try to follow the toll of a bell that sings your name a name rich with the stories of your family, with the stories of your homeland but even our names are not our own … our true names sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic.” – Kenna Pearl, excerpt from “indigenous to,” The Q “I’d love to listen, you know. So you tell me a story, a piece of sycamore you are made of.” – Yenigün Batu, excerpt from “In the Attic,” The Q “The maternal family tree—splintered, truncated. A withered specimen… I have also done a fair amount of grafting. Painstakingly, Unflinchingly. Lovingly. If I have to, I am willing to try resuscitation.” – Barbara Anne Kearney, excerpt from”Broken Bough,” The Q...

Read More
An Intimate Conversation with Linda Troeller
Jun14

An Intimate Conversation with Linda Troeller

To create more intimate portraits of the gifts and of the generous women who offer them freely, and to better find each other, we are delighted to begin with a video conversation: artist and AROHO board member, Karina Puente, asks questions with renowned portrait photographer and published author, Linda Troeller, who is offering our community of women the Gift of Self-Reflection. Dear Creative Woman, Linda Troeller’s self-portraits make me ask the question: What does it take to create images like this? In my personal interview with her (two video excerpts, three minutes total) Linda Troeller gives us a glimpse into her artistic process. Complete with inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe, Linda shares how she can help you create a Goddess Portrait by “taking little pieces of you and placing them into the Universe.” From me to you, Karina Puente, artist and AROHO Director How has Georgia O’Keefe influenced your photography? “Being chosen to have her open the door to the future was so moving… it’s something I never forgot.” “If I didn’t have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here … I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.” – Annie Liebovitz This is what Georgia O’Keeffe did for Linda Troeller and what Linda can share with you. What Gift of Fellowship do you offer and what can I expect if I’m selected? “Ideas about taking little pieces of yourself and placing them into the Universe.” Want to work with Linda over three months to create your own self-portrait? Click the DONATE-TO-WIN A GIFT OF FELLOWSHIP button in the sidebar now. “Each Gift of Fellowship donation is your ticket to win a chance to join arms and make art, side-by-side. It’s one way we find each other.” – Karina Puente ________________________________________________ “For the class picture the very first year, Teacher pinned up my hair with a bow. I took that picture in my hands; I smiled and danced with joy. ‘I am a girl,’ I cried, ‘and I will be a woman.’” – Marilyn Flower, excerpted “Girl,” The Q   Read Marilyn’s full poem...

Read More
Gifts for Your Creativity and Sustenance
May31

Gifts for Your Creativity and Sustenance

We invite you to refresh yourself with the possibilities of Gifts of Fellowship, designed to evoke creativity and sustenance for women who need a room, a reclamation, or a reawakening of her own. Because we share this space together as creative women, we have extended our fellowship offerings in a desire to dive deeper into our ethos of reciprocity, to create more intimate portraits of the gifts and of the generous women who offer them. This is your room; this is what we are here for.   The Rockvale “Power of Creativity” Gift of Fellowship “Our uniqueness is our power. Our Creative spirit is our power. Our words are power and light.” – Sandy Coomer, author and founder of the Rockvale Writers’ Colony The winning fellow will receive a week’s stay at Rockvale Writers’ Colony located in pastoral Middle Tennessee.   The Kipp Crutchfield Gift of Fellowship “In honor of Kipp Crutchfield, my mother, a woman who chose to claim her potential, returning to school at 38, completing a bachelor’s and master’s, while raising her children and tending to elderly family. She showed the gift of creating the extraordinary from the ordinary, inspiring me to carve my own dreams from life. In honor of taking risks, the joy of art, and exploring the creative self, the winning fellow will receive one hour of consultation of claiming self, goal identification, and reducing the chaos of journey we create in our minds while trying to navigate through obstacles both real and created.” – Kristi Crutchfield Cox, MEd, MS, LPC The winning fellow will receive intuitive consultation and a generous gift basket laden with creative tools to reclaim herself and her journey.   The “Self-Reflection” Gift of Fellowship “The self-portrait is a composition of structured forces and aspects of our developed knowledge of life. It is a guide toward ‘Who am I?'” – Linda Troeller, published photographer and author This gift offers intuitive, expert guidance through a three-months self-portrait experience to take one woman to a deeper understanding of her selfhood and its powers. A final artistic photo, edited by Linda Troeller will be published in Waves.   There’s More … We will announce the dates for each drawing soon; but keep your eyes peeled for a special announcement about stirring new additions to the Fire Heart Circle; a brand new Gift of Fellowship from a 2018 Legacy Fellow, Andrea Mozarowski; and a surprising conversation between artist and new AROHO board member, Karina Puente, and famed self-portrait artist and author, Linda Troeller, this June. Every gift of fellowship and donation expands more possibilities for all of us. Read intimate letters from these...

Read More
Her Name is Waves
May10

Her Name is Waves

Waves shapes her into us. With all we seek to manifest together, we aim for what Ellen McLaughlin describes as “a shore [we] have never visited.” We are excited to see our first Waves Anthology cresting toward a collective of advocates ready to receive her, moving her into the publication process and, eventually, our hands. Her name is Waves and she is 300 hundred women’s voices strong, both established and new, swelling out from a call that began in the desert of Abiquiu to “make room for women’s creative, unguarded responses to each other’s voices and concerns.” Since then, AROHO has evolved and expanded that call to “make room” for any woman, anywhere in the world, who wants to stand shoulder to shoulder and manifest a new paradigm for creative women. In every movement of our Waves together, we make our way to a new shore.     “[At] the sight of breathtaking magnificence created by human minds and hands … I have no fear nor anxiousness … I have an agreement to fulfill. There is much work to be done.” – Jessica Jay Dee, excerpted “Potentially Human,” The Q...

Read More
Virginia Taps on Our Shoulder …
Apr19

Virginia Taps on Our Shoulder …

  Virginia taps on our shoulder, reminding us: The room is yours, with whom are you going to share it, and upon what terms? This is the work of lifetimes, and this circle is a lifeline, especially when what we need is so much. We take heart in this season, holding new seeds in hand. We’re grateful to share this room with you.   View these women’s creative works in fuller excerpt and presentation...

Read More
What Doors Do Ancestors Open?
Apr16

What Doors Do Ancestors Open?

No woman can emanate an archetype continuously. Only the archetype itself can withstand such projections such as ever-able, all giving, eternally energetic. We may try to emulate these, but they are ideals, not achievable by humans, and not meant to be.” – Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype Carolyn Gall begins with Eve in a world anew, while Irma Vazquez finds herself in the belly of Pachamama, the Incan goddess of fertility. Camille Christian’s Maiden falls through Wonderland to become its Queen. Valerie Forde-Galvin’s Crone speaks to passages of life while Rebekah Blake retells a modern mythic tale of a Giving Tree, finding solace in her sisters. And what of the Wild Woman? Estés says, “The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious… If you have an old, old story, that is a door.” What doors of memory or creativity do your ancestors open for you? Do they play into or against your personal artistic intention and practice?     Read these women’s works in full or in fuller excerpts here. Interested in our current Gifts of Fellowship? Find out more...

Read More
Do I Identify?
Mar01

Do I Identify?

“Now I am a woman again – as I always am when I write.” – Virginia Woolf, Diary, 31 May 1929   Do you identify as a creative woman? In all the unique ways women express themselves through words and art, universal identities arise: I am a writer. I am a musician. I am an artist. I am a benefactor …. Our claimed identities connect, forming a net, a collective expression of who we are and what we call ourselves. You are invited to share your “I Am” identity when you submit your own creative response to the featured Q, so that we may gather the widest truth possible across the terrain of modern-day creative women. Submit your creative response here. __________________________________________ Patricia Anne Corriz, Jayashree Krishnan, Hélène Cardona, and Beth Surdut shared their claimed identities and submitted creative words and art in response to the featured Q. You are invited to read their full works here. __________________________________________ Born and raised in Santa Fe New Mexico, my greatest desire was to be an artist since the age of 5.  Having sold my paintings at The Santa Fe Fiesta, a workshop with the Santa Fe 400, my confidence was given through AROHO, who first displayed my artwork on their gallery. Who Am I as a Creative Woman? By Patricia Anne Corriz (Panne Winterbird) Who Am I as a creative woman? I ask myself As I look up to the skies and See a gallery of unpainted pictures And stories that are yet to be told. Although I look up and see The Greatest Story ever told Written across a Heavenly canvas. Creation. Who Am I as a creative woman? My painted skies The stories I tell And the many sighs That get me through the process. __________________________________________ I was born and raised in India in a very spiritual family. I learned and studied Sanskrit and philosophy through college. I moved to the US when I was 21 and studied/taught Mathematics. 3 years ago, I quit the job to become a full time artist. “I Am Not My Body” by Jayashree Krishnan   __________________________________________ Greek, Spanish, French and American, the daughter of immigrants and an immigrant myself, I speak six languages. With a masters from the Sorbonne and fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and Universidad international de Andalucía. I taught at LMU and Hamilton College. I’m a poet, actor and translator, author of seven books.   “A Mind Like Lightning” by Hélène Cardona Stars scribble in our eyes the frosty sagas, the glowing cantos of unvanquished space. – Hart Crane   Without gravity I fly into a thousand pieces, add sparkle to...

Read More
Who Am I?
Feb16

Who Am I?

“Love, the poet said, is woman’s whole existence.” – Virginia Woolf, Orlando   Perhaps each of us would respond differently to Woolf’s claim; but if Maya Angelou asserts “love recognizes no barriers” and Linda Hogan reminds us that we are “the result of the love of thousands,” our paradigm of love expands to our ancestors, to the woman next to us and those to come, to our creative practice, to ourselves. Submit your creative response here.   Susan Florence, Venus Prado, and Sandra Inskeep-Fox submitted creative words and art in response to the featured Q. You are invited to enjoy their full submissions below. __________________________________________ “I, Creatress” by Susan Florence I, a creatress, was born to carry the life force. All of us women, pregnant or not, were built to create, nurture, care about, and relate to others. I was not born to be a muse for the writer, a study for the painter, or an inspiration for the poet. I was born to create. Like the women I see at the markets in Mexico who embroider birds that fly in green threads, weave yarn into purple mountains, string tourquoise beads into jewelery, pound panela for cheese, and stir spices and chocolate for mole, I too, must live my urge to create as I paint, as I write, as I attend my garden. But I won’t be sewing. I have no patience for this. Where is my creative self? It is here. When is it? It is now. What is it? It is me, here, now. How is it? It opens, it receives, it allows.     “My favorite color is yellow and yes, my real name is Venus… I try to love but am imperfect. I am imperfect and trying to believe that it’s okay.” – Venus Prado, “I Am Human,” The Q     “Izle”: a floating spark, an ember by Sandra Inskeep-Fox What starts a poem? A cold night on a long road home Comfort begins and grows As izle flames. Who knows at which point spark becomes fire Or from whence the spark. First there is nothing, The stretch of the grey snaking road winding on ahead Boredome perhaps as well, or discontent, or some Meanness of soul that needs addressed. It could be Even the oxygen of happiness that fuels it all, Me sitting as some full vessel wishing as usual to overflow And you all unaware. Forty or so cows lie shadowed in soft-lighted shelter Which even in the snow seems cozy warm And one alone stands in concert, lowing his hymn To the Understanding One Proof against the calmness of the herd...

Read More
I Begin to Say Something
Feb01

I Begin to Say Something

“There’s no doubt in my mind that I have found out how to begin to say something in my own voice.” – Virginia Woolf, Diary, July 26, 1922 Have you begun to say something in your own voice? Our collaborative narrative offers a place to start, to continue, or to return to what you want to claim. In creative response to January’s featured Q, one woman finds herself interwoven with doubt and strength, another resurrects herself with music, another claims herself a multi-mirrored funhouse. To help another woman say something in her own voice, published poet and clinical therapist, Kristi Crutchfield Cox offers guided consultation and a generous gift basket for “Claiming Self.” This gift is for one woman, woman-identified, or They inclusive. We continue with a question central to the heart, to claiming “the thing itself.” I wander. And I wonder. And I worry About everyone I meet. I wonder. And I worry. And I wander Until I figure it out. The story’s old, but so am I. There goes the day catching on fire. – Melissa Ann Sweat, Lady Lazarus, “Wonder, Inc.,” The Q Watch and listen to the song, “Wonder,” here. _________________________________________________ “In the Funhouse”  by Robin Stone I am two sided, eight sided, one hundred sided, a funhouse mirror. One flat surface reflects me cleaning the cat litter, setting alarms, buying groceries, hurrying to work; thinking a thousand crazy thoughts where anxiety and torpor live. One surface, not visited often enough, is where I count blessings for this lucky lucky life. The other mirrors make me large, small, fat, thin, distorted with joy. Then, I sink and flow with kindred souls. They step through with me to a timeless place of safety for dangerous ideas and laughter. Together we create objects, words, music, scents,and hope from the jumbled pile of life detritus. We make something new and sweet. Like a baby. No one can do it alone. _________________________________________________ “Am I?” by Marta Szabo I am creative and definitely a woman, but it has taken me all of my 61 years to be able to claim those words. Creative. Was I? Enough? I mean, compared to all those whom everyone had heard of, and all those who didn’t work 9-5 so they could write or paint — did I count? Was I an artist? It was the loftiest title to claim, and every time I measured I fell far short. But yes, I am. Not one that looks like what I thought artists looked like, but my god I am one. Though sometimes, hearing about another’s life, I still wonder and have to find my way...

Read More
We Are the Words
Jan22

We Are the Words

“We are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” ― Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being We “are the words” and we are quickened by the truths women have claimed in the past year, echoing a resolute awareness of our creative selves, our collective wisdom, and our legacy. In 2019, we carry forward our shared purpose by expanding our collaborative narrative with The Q, preparing the Waves Anthology for publication, and continuing the Gifts of Fellowship. Inspired by a woman who creates “the extraordinary from the ordinary,” published poet and clinical therapist, Kristi Crutchfield Cox offers a prismatic invitation this January for her Gift of Fellowship, a deep, joyful work of “Claiming Self.” Inspired by your words in The Q, we harness its potency into a focal point, and invite you to submit a response – your words, your art, your music, your own creative riposte, however you are compelled – to a featured question we will pull each month from The Q, our “room of our own.” Women’s responses will be published in digital Waves, tindering a unique ongoing dialogue by and for women in the world of arts. We begin with a question central to the heart, to claiming “the thing itself.” You are invited to submit a creative response here....

Read More
Gifts of Fellowship
Nov16

Gifts of Fellowship

GIFTS OF FELLOWSHIP In November 2018, we began with the Legacy Fellowship from AROHO founder, Darlene Chandler Bassett. The following December, we rolled out three more Gifts of Fellowship from Esther Cohen, Breena Clarke, and Marsha Pincus. Now, together and building on our shared purpose, we resolve to continue gifts of real help and support for women into 2019. In response to the needs you’ve shared with us in The Q, the richness of these gifts of real help come in pearls of support from phenomenal creative women. All of the Gifts of Fellowship have been shared in detail in our digital Waves and releases. We are excited to share our winning fellows for the December Gifts of Fellowship below.   Congratulations to the Anna Sorocor Fellow, Karen Hildebrandt! In honor of Anna Sorocor, a Rumanian immigrant “who told her life in one long amazing story,” this fellowship gift is named and brought to you by Anna’s granddaughter and legendary author, poet, and executive director of Bread and Roses, New York’s own, Esther Cohen. From concept to book I can help. My gift is for one recipient, to figure out what she needs to make her book. – Esther Cohen   Congratulations to the Edna Payne Fellows, Elizabeth Buckner, Erin Ferdinand, and Kerri Quinn! In honor of Edna Payne Clarke, “a woman of sharp intelligence and indomitable spirit” who nurtured two writers, Cheryl Clarke and Breena Clarke, this fellowship gift is named and brought to you by Edna’s daughter; author of Oprah Book Club selection, River, Cross My Heart; and co-founder of The Hobart Festival of Women Writers, Breena Clarke. Put your best foot forward when you read your own work. Work with me and I’ll share my insights on choosing your materials and the effective use of props. I will work with you via email and in a two-hour video conference to help you choose the best material to read and will share techniques and tips for presenting yourself and your work effectively. – Breena Clarke   Congratulations to the Two Ravens Fellow, Tori Grant-Welhouse! Feeling drawn to the land of Mabel Dodge Luhan and Georgia O’Keefe, she came to Santa Fe to begin writing her one woman show, Chalkdust. As a Jewish woman and revered educator she had lived most of her life doing the work of tikkun olam – to engage in work to heal the world. For her, a casita of her own became time for tikkun hanfesh — to go inward and heal the soul. Not long after successfully completing and performing her play, she returned to Santa Fe to buy that casita, and she...

Read More
Mirrors, Trail Finders, and Citizens
Oct26

Mirrors, Trail Finders, and Citizens

“As a woman my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf   As we continue to imagine a borderless song-map together, may we mirror one another’s truths and doubts, lose our trail and find it, and claim the light of our dreams.   We invite you to read Molly Howes, Alison Hicks, and Monteque Pope-Le Beau’s pensive poetry submissions to “Where I Am From” in full below.             “Where I Am From” by Molly Howes   I’m from a vagabond trail, a band of small travelers. I’m from the taste and safety of a warm sea. I’m from academic offices and esteem.  I’m from forever opening the next door, diving deeper into what I don’t know. I’m from a circle of loving women’s arms. We hold each other’s broken bones until they knit together. We celebrate breathtaking depth and grace. We mirror one another’s truths and doubts.   “Where I Am From” By Alison Hicks   A place of seasons, mixed forest, evergreens, and hardwoods. Where sugar maples turn orange and red, whose sap, collected in spring, boiled down, is poured hot onto snow.   I grew up in a farmhouse that had once been a tavern, on the road to a town now sunk beneath a reservoir. There was no heat upstairs, only what rose.   I have traveled to warmer places, pitched a tent in the desert, watched the sun set below raised arms of saguaros, sipping from a thermos of mulled wine.   Then back to places of granite and rain, smell of leaf-litter. I live on a warming planet and struggle to know what that means: lesser snows, greater rains, drought, flood, disaster.   I have stretched my body out on the Canadian Shield. I’ve lost the trail many times, then found it, or maybe another one.     “Where I Am From” by Monteque Pope-Le Beau   I am from the spike of the universe created by a mothers love. Born from the passions, Freedoms and creativity of my home in California. I am from a rebellious spirit climbing trees , skateboarding down hills , snowboarding in high snow covered mountains. I am from libraries of wisdom and distant lands. Experiencing cultures of long ago and those of not so long ago. I am from the world and I am a citizen of the world. Living a wondrous creative life Guided by my mother until her passing. I am from the darkness of despair and the light of my dreams. I am from tragedy and of hope. I am an artist, poet, and storyteller. I am from a...

Read More
Movement and Our Song-Map
Oct13

Movement and Our Song-Map

This past Monday, I read new poetry by indigenous women, and they made my migratory bones hum. It spoke to the question: What is my deepest need? My instinctive answer is movement. At the Ghost Ranch Retreat 2015, I shared how the white feather can be a symbol for our journey, inspired by the Cherokee Beloved War Women, whose extraordinary courage and compassion merited a swan wing. Here’s what I’ve learned about our song-map: movement doesn’t just get us farther along, it brings us closer together; and we’ll need all the courage and compassion we can give each other for the journey ahead. As the editor of this bi-monthly Wave, I am one of a few who have the profound, humbling experience of reading your responses and creative submissions in The Q. They could fill an ocean. How do we even begin to harness and release such movement? Wave upon wave. Here’s an update on the Waves Anthology from our mother editor, Diane Gilliam: “I’m getting closer every day to a version that will be ready to submit. Contributors will soon get a request for clean, formatted copies of their pieces, and then the Waves Anthology will start finding its way out into the world.” All submissions for our first print publication, Waves Anthology are closed; but if you submit creative work within The Q, we receive it with open hearts and hands for potential publication in Digital Waves. I’m also happy to share we will be rolling out a new website in the new year, which will better serve the needs of our community and refine the creative spaces we offer and want to create together. Thank you for your patience and your continued presence. Here with you in the journey, To read more about the White Feather Story inspired by the Ghighau, the Cherokee Beloved War Women presentation by Sun Cooper with a response by Maxine Hong Kingston, please visit Follow the Buffalo, The White Feather Story. To read more new poetry by indigenous women curated by Natalie Diaz, read Lit Hub. To see more gorgeous feather fine art photography, visit Erica...

Read More
From Cacophony, I Show Up
Sep28

From Cacophony, I Show Up

“But you exist somewhere. Something of you remains.” – Virginia Woolf, The Waves   When Ramona Reeves asked what she could do for herself and others because she didn’t have to wait, she flung open a red tent in Austin. Making space for others often begins with making space for ourselves. How often do we, as women, bring fragments of our own lives together in order to liberate our deepest need like Lauren White, find ourselves in the cacophony like Anna Dixon, and show up like Katherine Rocheleau? In opening spaces for ourselves and each other, we find our existence and share what remains. We invite you to read Lauren White’s invoking “Boxes” in full below. .   “Boxes” by Lauren White Tucked away in my closet There are boxes, inconspicuous The first is labeled “Things” My old graphing calculator Other dusty, miscellaneous nothings Shall I call it my metaphorical attic? Safe are the items I thought I’d need again The things I thought I might want later But have forgotten I possess Next is the one with “Stuff” “Feel better, buddy,” on an old ziplock bag The scent of Snickerdoodles long gone Remember that time I was in the paper? Old laughs, randomness, and stupidity The stuff that I was gifted long ago That the givers do not remember Then, there’s the “Ideas” box It contains all the cut out recipes For things I forgot I wanted to make Oh, you thought it held my eurekas? No, nothing so special as that Only the ideas I did not acknowledge The magic I have suppressed Lastly is my box of “Secrets” Journals and notes I’ve written to myself About Versailles, lost loves, people I once knew How many poems have I not finished? Scribbles, fantasies, and incomplete stories Secrets bled from my veins into words That no one will ever read They have one commonality, those boxes Stifled by lids, reserved for silence In the empty spaces unfilled by trinkets Listen! Can you hear the whispers of the past? There are ghosts fighting to be free Intermixed with the future I fear The intangible me I cannot let anyone see Under years-bred layers of lint Born of trepidation and negligence The things and stuff I cannot let go of The ideas and secrets I cannot tell A glimmer of my hidden heart I beg you! Unearth me! Open me! Let loose my passion, my authentic soul Tucked away in my closet There are boxes, inconspicuous Tucked away in my closet is...

Read More
The Outrageous Guarantee
Sep14

The Outrageous Guarantee

  In The Q, the question was posed, “What am I free to do for myself and others because I don’t have to wait?” I thought a lot this summer about this question and what I don’t need permission to do, what I don’t need to wait for, as a creative woman. After returning from a summer writing conference, I decided to host a gathering of women in Austin, a small gathering. The idea started with this question from The Q and with another AROHO woman sharing an interest in attending the Texas Book Festival the last weekend of October. Then one or two other women mentioned interest in the same event, and I thought, “Why not make it a thing?” So, it’s a thing. I have, give or take, 14 women – some local and some from out of town – showing up in Austin the last weekend in October to read work, attend the festival, and, hopefully, build more community for each other. Kristi Crutchfield Cox will lead women through an art project, and ire’ne lara silva will be reading for us one morning. I’m excited to be hosting this gathering, and I must give a shout out to my next door neighbor. Among many things, she’s a painter and designer with an incredible yard that houses a large gazebo cloaked in red fabric, yes a red tent. I asked if she would be willing to let us meet there and if she might be willing to host a few writers. It was a big ask, but she generously said yes! It’s a small step, this gathering. The women who attend will make it what it is, as always happens when we come together, whether virtually or face-to-face. I’ll leave you with a photo from photographer Katrina Simpson that reminds me of the richness of possibility in not only where we come from but who we connect with in our creative communities. I also hope ire’ne lara silva’s words, from a keynote address on writing and community she recently gave in Dallas, will inspire and give you permission to do that thing you want to do, that thing you don’t need to wait for. Stay tuned the last weekend in October. We’ll be tweeting using #womenmakewaves! From me to...

Read More