This Black History Month, the world is buoyed by the beauty and power of
Amanda S. C. Gorman, first National Youth Poet Laureate, and the legacy of
Anna Julia Cooper, whose 1892 classic feminist text, A Voice from the South by
a Black Woman of the South, argued for both racial and gender equality.
Each of us, as creative sisters, has a dream that won’t let us sleep.
“I constantly felt (as I suppose many an ambitious girl has felt) a thumping from
within unanswered by any beckoning from without.” – Anna Julia Cooper, author of
A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South (1892)
Coming from a family of doctors, the only dream that I was allowed to nurture was one of becoming a doctor or – maybe, alternatively – that of being an engineer or civil servant. But the problem with those dreams was they made me drowsy instead of waking me up from slumber. The only thing that made me lose sleep at night was the ending of a story I had left incomplete, or the line that didn’t quite fit right, or a character that didn’t come out on paper as well as it was etched in my mind.
While writing was considered to be a reputable hobby, it was “acceptable” only as a sidekick and not as the protagonist in the story of my life.
“The Dream that Doesn’t Let Me Sleep” by Nazia Kamali
goddess mother left us long ago
her waters broke and we were thrust
into a different world
parched and dry
and so we sought another god
conceived entirely by the mind of man
to rule the sky
“redemption” by Valerie Forde-Galvin
“Statuary Glory” by Janet Biehl
For years I followed the moon path –
like an eland slips behind
a cypress when lions stalk
or a sailor reefs the mainsail
at the captain’s bark.
But on Juniper Ridge
my sun-self rose gold,
never to set again.
“Off the Moon Path” by Jane Schulman, Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices
“Generativity” by Marsha Rosenzweig Pincus, Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices
In Our Room, we find engagement and expansion when we release the safety of a select, bounded circle around our creative lives.
What is your creative anthem?
I release the feeling of obligation I have to organize priorities which are not necessarily mine but that I myself make mine, to find time for inspiration to claim my commitment to my creative self.
Valerie Prot, Creative Renewal Global Camper, France
I release the duty of “should” in favor of the calling for “what sustains me.”
I release the need to quantify in order to focus on deepening what is uniquely me.
I release the need for validation and will be nourished by my writing’s own rewards.
Marianne Bohr, Creative Renewal Global Camper, United States
How can we claim our agency and proclaim who we are and what we do as creative women?
Present yourself and your creative project as investable.
At Master Camp, we ambitiously answer the “thumping from within.”
Purchase or apply here.