What would you write if you could really open up and express what’s in your heart?
The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers asked several talented women writers to share short pieces to move and inspire us on a heart-to-heart level.
Come enjoy a drink or light supper, available for purchase on the beautiful terrace of The Mount (we’ll move inside in case of inclement weather) and give yourself a taste of the magic of women’s voices and visions. The doors will open at 5 p.m.; the readings will begin at 6 p.m.
Free and open to the public; a donation to the 2014 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers warmly welcomed.
Writing from the Heart Readers’ Biographies
Suzi Banks Baum makes community wherever she goes. Passionate about stirring up jam, authentic writing voices, artist books, and mail art, she created Out of the Mouths of Babes for the March 2012 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. She published An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice, presents the Powder Keg Sessions writing workshops and just sent her son off to a year of post high school graduate work. You’d think she’d have more time to eat bon-bons, but Suzi is writing strong on her next book, Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers and developing Rampant Sisterhood, her workshops on marrying authentic voice and online presence for authors and artists. Read all about it at www.laundrylinedivine.com.
Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez earned her Ph.D. from New York University, Department of Comparative Literature, in 1994, specializing in the nexus of politics, rhetoric and aesthetics in personal narratives from Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. She has taught gender studies, media studies, human rights and world literature since 1994 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where for over a decade she has directed an annual conference in observance of International Women’s Day. Dr. Browdy de Hernandez is the founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, editor of the anthology Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean, and co-editor of African Women Writing Resistance: Contemporary Voices. Her blog, Transition Times, explores contemporary issues of social and environmental justice.
Hannah Fries is associate editor and poetry editor of Orion magazine, based in Great Barrington. She is a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers and the recipient of a Colorado Art Ranch residency. Her poetry has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Calyx, Drunken Boat, and other journals. She has also served on the organizing committee of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers.
Jan Hutchinson has lived, raised children, and worked in Berkshire County for almost 40 years. She has led writing groups for senior citizens and for homeschooling teens, and coached hundreds of student writers at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Her publications and readings have been primarily local. Her book Poems of Prayer and Heresy, with drawings by Chet Kalm, was put out by the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire in 2008. A second volume will be out this year. During the last two Aprils, Jan sent out daily prompts to hundreds of poets in nine states who’d signed up with the intention of writing a poem a day during poetry month.
Lydia Littlefield has recently been writing about her experience caring for her father, who was an extraordinary man and who had been a dementia patient before he died in July. She has written about her life as a homeschooling parent, and is currently working on a novel set in Berkshire County, and another one, for young adults, set in Maine. Writing from the Heart While Navigating Shifting Sands is the theme of her writing life now that her father is gone and her youngest child has just left for his freshman year in college. Lydia renovates houses for fun and is a color consultant with a specialty in helping clients choose colors for their houses, inside and out.
Anni Maliki spent her 20’s and 30’s living and working in Asia teaching English and designing accessories for the home. In 2006, she and her family returned to the Berkshires, drawing on their connections to top international jewelry designers in Bali and representing their collections to a US market. Anni has now launched her own jewelry designs with the Anni Maliki signature collection. Her life-long passions for dance, performance, writing and design continue to sustain and nourish her creative path.
Maria Sirois is an inspirational speaker, psychologist and author who travels in her work between the kingdoms of the well and the kingdoms of the ill. Her book, Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith and Resilience from Children Facing Illness, is a teaching tool in hospices, hospitals and wellness centers around the country. Read more about her work on her website.