I remember the first time I heard of Carolyn Forche. I was a senior in college and my poetry mentor, Madeline DeFrees, was suggesting I read The Country Between Us. I remember feeling amazed that a woman, a fairly young woman, had written a book of poems focused on her experiences in another country. The poems were personal, political, beautiful, and like nothing I had read before.
I feel certain that without reading Forche that spring, I would not have kept writing. That spring, I had just returned from two years living outside the country. Poetry had been my constant companion since I was very young, but my male college professors did their best to squelch my creativity. Two professors went out of their way to tell me I should give up poetry. Seriously. Why would a professor ever do that?
In the past few years through taking workshops at Centrum and Hedgebrook, I've had the honor of working with Carolyn Forche. This April 9th, I will have the honor of sharing the stage with her and five other Hedgebrook alumna at Town Hall. Elizabeth Austen, Karen Finneyfrock, and Tara Hardy will also be performing. The night is a celebration of 25 years of writing residencies for women at Hedgebrook. I feel like it is also my own personal celebration of survival.
Tickets are only $10 in advance and they go to support a great cause: women writers. Please come!