Happy November to all!
We have hit that time of year, where I just hold onto the pommel of my metaphorical saddle and hang on. Life is busy! It is a wonderful thing to be out seeing people, traveling and having fun, yes, and I need a nap. More than one nap.
Here's what's happening here:
1. Where I'm From
At the end of August I had the joy of interviewing and listening to the poetry of George Ella Lyon, the writer of the original "Where I'm From" poem and poet laureate of Kentucky. In all of my interactions with George Ella, she has impressed me with her generosity and brilliance, this conversation is no different. Give it a listen HERE, if you haven't already, if only to be reminded that poetry belongs to all of us.
The "Where I'm From" series is up to #58 and there are many, many more to come. Please reach out if you are interested in joining me, the invitation is always open.
Accomplished writer, editor and journalist, Andrea A. Firth reached out to interview me about the "Where I'm From'' series for the Brevity Blog. Big thanks to Andrea for reaching out and asking such wonderful questions. I enjoyed our conversation and the opportunity to reflect on what drew me to this exercise at the beginning and why I find it so compelling today.
Read the interview HERE.
Speaking of Brevity Blog, they also published a craft piece I wrote entitled, "The Sanctity of the First Read" inspired by my passionate feelings about holding our work close, guarding our words and our voices, until we are truly ready to share them.
Read the full piece HERE
And, after chatting a bit about sex scenes in movies on the podcast, Femme on Film: Hearts & Vaginas (can you really beat that title? The answer is no. Listen HERE) I wrote about them for the premiere issue of Alice Says Go F**k Yourself (another kickass title!), you can read about some of my favorite sex scenes HERE.
3. REBURN store is open!
Issues #1 - #4 print and digital copies are available on our website. We think Reburn would an incredibly awesome holiday gift for the feminist you love or like or admire or just want to give a gift. In case you missed it, it's an all-female creative team. We're deeply proud of the book and grateful for all of your support - we couldn't have done it without you!
Speaking of, Reburn artist Elise McCall and I had the immense privilege of sitting down to chat with Mike Burton of Genuine Chit Chat to discuss our collaboration and all the many things we loved about creating and telling the story of the first arc of Reburn. Listen HERE.
4. What I'm Reading
What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo
Foo writes about her childhood trauma, which was horrific, but the vast majority of the book is about her healing process and finding hope. She writes about what she lived through so we can understand where she came from and how intimidating and overwhelming it can feel, at times, to face down trauma and work through it. And to understand the temptation to engage in palliative care versus curative care, it feels easier but in the end curative care is necessary if we really want to heal. I can't recommend this book highly enough for survivors of complex trauma. An always needed reminder that we're not alone.
Acceptance: A Memoir by Emi Nietfeld
This memoir follows Nietfeld and her journey from foster youth to a full ride at Harvard and how incredibly complex a journey like that is. It's also about the role of victimhood. And how Nietfield learns, and how each of us do too, that certain types of victimhood are more "acceptable" than others. Powerful.
Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline BoulleyThe book is an engrossing, thought provoking and fun page turner that happens to be YA. In the afterword, the author, Angeline Boulley, writes about wanting to create an indigenous Nancy Drew. I did not make that connection while reading the book and yes, the main character Daunis is an incredible detective full of knowledge, tenacity and love. She is also way more complicated and fascinating to me than Nancy Drew, but it did make me smile to imagine girls picking up this book and devouring it the way I did Nancy Drew and "The Sign of the Twisted Candles."
5. One Last Thing
As many of you know, Banned Books are some of my favorite books to read and Banned Books Week happened in September. Super supportive and coincidentally the hardest working person I know, Tonya Todd, hosted a Banned Books Podcast and asked me to join her! So grateful to take part in a wonderful conversation about one of my favorite books, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. If you read one book, read this one. See us chatting below and listen to our conversation HERE.
've had the extreme good fortune of collaborating with and being in conversation with so many joyously talented and amazing people. I cannot mention all of you here, but please know, I am filled with gratitude and wonder that this is my life and thank you for being a part of it.
I hope this coming season brings you abundant delights, connection to the ones you love and the natural world.
*For more info, follow me on Instagram @byalysonshelton
Also, please forward this to your favorite poetry loving pal. We are legion.