cover art by Suzi Banks Baum. graphic design by Rose Tannenbaum.

Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others opened the Festival with over 115 people crowded into Dewey Hall in Sheffield. The evening also served as the launch party of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice edited by Suzi Banks Baum.

The program featured readings by book contributors Alana Chernila, Janet Reich Elsbach, Nichole Dupont, Jenny Laird, Michelle Gillett, and Suzi herself, as well as a story-in-song by Stephanie Campbell. Psychologist, author and Williams College professor Susan Engel served as a respondent, and the Q&A with the audience afterwards was lively and engaged. Among the audience were contributors to the anthology Hester Velmans and Linda Jackson of Berkshire County, Sharon Pywell of Newtown, MA and Sou McMillan of Wooster, MA. The audience enjoyed rice pudding and tea along with art by Anthology contributors Gabrielle Senza, Karen Arp-Sandel, Christine Casarsa and Jennifer Currie. More art was shared by Laurie May, Rose Tannenbaum and Sarah Nicholson.

For a complete view of the March 1 event go to Laundry Line Divine. And if you’d like your own copy of
An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice, you can order it here. Proceeds from book sales benefit Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires and the Community Health Programs offering women in Berkshire County free and low-cost health care.

We’d love to hear your response to the event. Please post your thoughts in the comment section here or on Laundry Line Divine. Here is what Festival attendee Jennifer Clark said:

Thank you from the bottom of our many hearts for your work in developing community and the gifts we have among us.