The East Side Freedom Library invites you to a discussion:
Women From the Center Supporting Each Other
Thursday, April 26, 2018, 7-9pm
The multicultural writing group, Women From the Center will discuss how they support each other. On the surface, it seems like a simple conversation. But when you consider that they are from 5 decades and seven racial/cultural groups (Dakota, Ojibwe, African American, 5th generation Irish American, Hmong, Vietnamese, & Jewish/Arab), there is considerable complexity and potential for conflict.
Nora Murphy is a fifth-generation Irish Minnesotan. She was born and lives in Imniza Ska, the white cliffs overlooking the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in St. Paul. She has worked and volunteered in the Native community since 1995 and has published five books, including children’s histories, short stories, and two memoirs. The first is about women’s textiles (Knitting the Threads of Time, New World Press, 2009). The second is about the impact of genocide and immigration in the United States (White Birch, Red Hawthorn, University of Minnesota Press, 2017). In the latter, she attempts to uncover lingering wounds of the past and the possibility that, through connection to this suffering, healing can follow. She holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an MFA from Hamline University.
Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen is a poet, community artist, activist and educator. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Some of her publications include “CAYLX Journal,” “Asian Pacific American Journal,” the Vietnamese Artists Collective anthology “AS IS: A Collection of Visual and Literary Works by Vietnamese American Artists,” Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) anthology “Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women” and “Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora.” She has performed her work at numerous venues in the Bay Area and Twin Cities. Anh-Hoa is the founder of Pomelo Press, and creates self-published and hand bound artists books. Anh-Hoa has also completed a residency at Hedgebrook, a Writers-in-Residence Program for women and is a Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) alumna. She has received a writing fellowship from the Elizabeth George Foundation and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. Anh-Hoa is a scholar for the Minnesota Humanities Center working collaboratively with their “War and Memory” Conversation Series and MN Remembers Vietnam program, and is a presenter for the PBS/MELSA library series called “The Vietnam War: 360.” She is currently the artist-in-residence for The Floating Library 2018 and is a Lecturer at St. Catherine University.
With roots stretching from North Africa and Eastern Europe, Jna Shelomith comes from a 6,000 year tradition of using poetry to tell important news. Jna’s first demonstration was at age 3, holding a picket line with her mom. She’s been a Riot Grrrl guitarist, street-based outreach worker to homeless youth, and grew up in New York City. Reading poetry around town for many years, Jna is a core member of Mizna’s writing collective and is also on the their Board. As a Mizrachi badass, Jna brings her passion for equity, healing and justice to her paid work in local government.
In 2015, Carolyn Holbrook founded More Than a Single Story, a series of panel discussions/public conversations where IPOC writers discuss issues of importance to them in their own voices and in their own words. Her personal essays have been published widely, most recently in A Good Time For The Truth: Race in Minnesota (MNHS Press) and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (MNHS Press). Her book, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys: How the St. Paul Companies Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhoods Program Changed Lives and Communities was published in 2013 and 2015. In 2016, she was named one of 50 of the most inspiring and accomplished leaders in Minnesota over the age of 50 by AARP and Pollen Midwest.
Mai Neng Moua, who came to the U.S. in 1981, spins tales of what it means to be Hmong in America. Her memoir, The Bride Price: A Hmong Wedding Story, was published in 2017. She is the founder of Paj Ntaub Voice Hmoob Literary Journal and editor of Bamboo Among the Oaks: Contemporary Writing by Hmong-Americans. Her artistic awards include the Bush Artist Fellowship, the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, the Jerome Travel and Study grant, and the Loft Literary Center Mentor Series.
Marcie Rendon, enrolled citizen of the White Earth Nation. Rendon’s debut novel, Murder on the Red River (2017 Cinco Puntos Press) is a Spur Finalist in the Western Writers of America 2018 Spur awards-Best Western contemporary Novel category. Two nonfiction children’s books are Pow Wow Summer (MN Historical Press) and Farmer’s Market: Families Working Together (CarolRhoda). With four published plays she is the creative mind behind Raving Native Theater productions. She is a recipient of the Loft’s 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship with poet Diego Vazquez. Her poem Wiigwaasabak was awarded a place in the St. Paul Almanac’s Impressions Project Summer 2017.
Diane Wilson is enrolled with the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Wilson’s memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past (Borealis Books) won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the 2012 One Minneapolis One Read program. Her 2011 nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life (Borealis Books) was awarded the 2012 Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. Her work has been featured in the anthology A Good Time for the Truth and many other publications. She has received awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Bush Foundation and the Jerome Foundation. Wilson is the Executive Director for the Dream of Wild Health farm in Hugo, MN. She is married to a famous artist, Jim Denomie.
Free and open to all
East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St.
email@example.com or 651-230-3294