Happy April! I hope that the weather where you are is settling down. Here in Southern California we appear to be on the other side of the torrential rain (now called atmospheric rivers, apparently we had 12 this year) and now I am delighting in abundant wildflowers. I never tire of pointing out wildflowers and stopping and looking at them and I appreciate everyone in my life that humors my relentless enthusiasm.
April is National Poetry Month, JOY!
And over the last 18 months, the power of poetry has roared back into my life first through George Ella Lyon's poem, "Where I'm From" and then through the associated prompts by Fred First and the ongoing IG live weekly series. Here are a few collages with childhood pictures from a sampling of the participants (I really never tire of seeing childhood photos).
Last week my 80th guest joined me! It's astonishing. And wonderful. Making time each week, sometimes twice a week, to listen to another's words has changed my writing and I think, my life. And this series and my rekindled love for poetry goes beyond "Where I'm From." I am revisiting poetry I loved in my teens and early twenties (mostly Sylvia Plath) and finding new poetry to love now
Some of my current faves are National Poet Laureate Ada Limón and Ross Gay, champion of joy and delight.
You can find a list of every single one of the 80 participants and links to the IG lives HERE. All of the videos are also on YouTube, find them HERE.
My podcast, Fine Cut and the whole Femme On family is rolling along with new content being released twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A like, a listen, a follow and/or a review are powerful things for a little podcast like ours.
You can find links to each of my Fine Cut episodes HERE.
There are awesome chats with Elise McCall, Jen Prince, Anjali Bhimani, Ria Carrogan and Ellen Birkett Morris. Along with a very special conversation with Academy Award nominated creator and writer of "My Year of Dicks" Pamela Ribon.
For the first time this year I took part in March Fadness, an online music writing contest with brackets and competition inspired by NCAA March Madness. This year's theme was 1980's One Hit Wonders and I picked "Easy Lover' by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins. A song I never tire of hearing, a true BOP and a balm to my soul during a very difficult time. You can read my essay HERE.
And here's a bonus super 80's pic of me and a friend, YAY!
What have you been reading and watching?
We've watched The Last of Us and we talked about the Women of the Last of Us for Femme on TV, listen HERE.
And we're rewatching The Office cause, as always, I love to laugh.
I read so many wonderful books, recently these two really hit me:
A Woman's Story by Annie Ernaux
Like so many people I became interested in Ernaux after she won the Nobel Prize and this book is such a powerful meditation on grief and the death of Ernaux's mother. She examines and explores the question, "What makes a life?"
Sam by Allegra Goodman
Sam is a book about life and many things that all of us go through; going to school, falling in love, finding hobbies, fighting with our families and searching for ourselves. It is also a book about growing up with an addict in your family, something many of us can relate to. And I thought it was handled so deftly and with such care. I couldn't put it down.
I'll leave you with a picture of a future Monarch butterfly and some Instagram wisdom from writer and actor Will Reynolds that lifted me up:
"My definition of an artist? An artist processes their lived experience in public so that others may process their lived experience in private. Art is ALWAYS an act of service."
So if you're feeling like your art or self-expression doesn't matter - IT DOES.
Thanks for reading and being in my life, I appreciate you! Alyson
Writer, reader, lover and fighter. Read a far more detailed bio on my About Page.