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 of your screen.

Q: What does being a part of AROHO mean to you?

A: Being part of a space where I can share my experiences as a woman and writer, while learning from and empathizing with our sisters. In simpler words, it means to remain connected and rejoice in our shared experiences. – Flavia Rocha Loures, The Q


Author: A Room of Her Own

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