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Lori Landau takes the Powder Keg Dare!

Dearest Suzi–

this, in response to your beautiful (as always) post on doodling.
Last night I attended the Dodge Poetry Festival, and was so very privileged to hear the incredible Nikky Finney read from her work. As always, I doodled and drew my way through, using one art form to absorb another. This drawing–attached–is of Nikky, who is as fierce and compelling in the flesh as she is in words.

With love,

Favorite Frames #7 of ‘Out’ Michelle Gillett at PRESS and Hester Velmans at BFWW

My head is spinning from this week of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. When I first contemplated the events I wanted to attend back in February when I got hold of the booklet, I did not imagine the amount of inspiration I would take in every week. I have been on a diet of elevated inspiration delivered by the Festival and all the women participating for this entire month.

It is a blur.
My writing journal is full of quotes.

In an effort to share this week of wonderment with you, I will offer you a few photos with accompanying thoughts. And, a preview of the week ahead.

Sunday, March 18. Saw 2 Movies. Sarabah and Granito: How To Nail a Dictator.
I met Pamela Yates, director of Granito. She said, “When the hand of destiny touches you, you have to act.” and Ricky Bernstein of the Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series said of the Festival and these two movies, “we begin to see the immense scope of contribution women make every day”.

Tuesday March 20 I was at IWOWWOW (in words, out words, women’s own words) an evening of live spoken words at Deb Koffman’s studio in Housatonic. 20 women shared for five minutes each- poems, songs, stories and one report from a naturalist. It was an evening of high energy; the full house applauded all 20 women warmly. I read a segment of Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers. The evening was full of lush descriptions of love, loss and living, rich with phrases like Pooja Karina’s “ love is something that must be spent, a currency that is liquid in your hands” and Caroline Forsman’s “an intimate intense purpose” (describing a trip to her dentist).

I took off Wednesday and Thursday. Life at home beckoned. Then Friday, JNB and I attended “A Woman’s Work” at the Unicorn Theatre. It was an evening of women’s stories and excerpts from 3 plays. We were completely taken by Lisa and Fran Mandeville’s music. Listen to them sing ‘Little Bird’ here.

Then Saturday, I trekked up to North Adams for a day of ‘exploratory letterpress’ with Melanie Mowinski. I have worked with Melanie before and had a vision to create a piece of art to commemorate ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ to use as a give-away for this week’s drawing. (which you can register for my subscribing to this website) Here is Melanie.

I had a blast. Letterpress is an antique art being revived by printer makers and mixed media artists. PRESS is a public art installation, which offers workshops, classes and exhibitions of area letterpress artwork and visiting shows.

Plus, while I was in North Adams, I visited Gallery 51 to see The Mother Tree by Helen Heiburt. The show was curated by Melanie and features the artwork of three paper artists. Follow the link if you would like to learn more. Let it rest here with these words, there are an abundance of ways for women to describe their journeys as mothers and I am thrilled every time I witness one. Absolutely thrilled.

Which brings me to this week.

You can see my dear Michelle Gillett’s poem set in letterpress type at PRESS’ new show that opens this Thursday. Two of the pieces I created will be in the show too.
Michelle, who graced our March 2 event with her words and perspective as the mother of 2 adult daughters, is a poet who inspires readers of all ages. One of my favorite frames of ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others’ was Michelle’s thoughtful responses to audience questions. She is a great listener. Michelle and I were guests on Radio2Women earlier that week and I loved talking on the air with Michelle who beamed the whole time like a lighthouse of joy.
And, I also love working out with Michelle, but that is another story.

Michelle Gillett and Gina Hyams by Christina Rahr Lane
Michelle Gillett and Gina Hyams by Christina Rahr Lane

Also this week, Hester Velmans is appearing in a talk about self-publishing. Hester is a Berkshire author whose experience as an author, mother and daughter of an author are captured perfectly in this interview with Serene Mastriani and Susie Weekes on Radio2Women. Hester’s blog post is here as part of the ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ series.

Is your head spinning now too?
The only thing I can offer you is to snuggle up with a copy of Alana’s cookbook and dream about making your own potato chips. You can register to win a signed copy of this beautiful new book by subscribing to the Laundry Line. Other gifts to be won are two limited edition letterpress prints of my commemorative art created at PRESS. Or five of you could win the brownie recipe by Janet Reich Elsbach and a souvenir program from our March 2 event.

Okay. I am going to get a cool compress and lay down for a while. All this inspiration is making me dizzy.

Thanks for being here.
If you like please:
Read Hester.
Listen to Lisa.
Visit Melanie.
Register for the drawing, which will take place next Saturday, March 31.


PS This week you can expect guest blog posts from this outstanding line-up of mother/authors.

Kathy Drue
Susan Hajec
Leah Strimbeck
Linda Wisneiwski
Sharon Pywell
Ali Smith

Favorite Frame #3 Alana Chernila

It is my extreme good fortune to have good friends in my life.
All of them are talented, in some way, whether whacky or normal, they each bear gifts.
In fact, I believe this is true of all people.
We each bear gifts.

Last Friday evening at our premiere of ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others’, 6 women authors, one singer, two filmmakers, one photographer, one festival coordinator, five visual artists and one bookseller, Matt, who raised his children as the mother and father- all of them, stepped ‘OUT’ with me. We shared our impressions of this journey of parenthood and creativity.

And the gifts were bounteous.

Today’s Favorite Frame is Alana Chernila.

Alana has been the sunny face on the other side of the arugula at my CSA’s farm stand for a few years now. I knew she was up to something when her gorgeous blog spot got fancier and her writing began to coalesce. It has grown beyond a blog in to a beautiful new cookbook called
The Handmade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. Alana’s reading on Friday night was original and fresh and buttery…you wanted to eat up her thoughts- the distinct tang of ferocious motherhood blended sweetly with the creamy rich stand she takes a contemporary woman.

Braising Greens from Indian Line Farm

Another gift here on the Laundry Line, is a new blog post on the ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ blog series on mothering and creativity. Monica Devine, a writer from Eagle River, Alaska offers a gorgeous piece of writing about her mother and food, which you can read here.

Tomorrow, in honor of International Women’s Day, I will announce the winners of a drawing we held last Friday. Members of our audience put their names in a laundry basket to register. Stop in here to celebrate. I have 3 other books in the drawing- 2 by Gina Hyams, another ‘OUT’ author who you will learn about tomorrow. And the third by my International Women’s Writing Guild friend Sandy Mattucci. More on her, this Friday.

I will hold one more drawing towards the end of March, here on the Laundry Line. Subscribers to this site will be entered in to the drawing. You can subscribe up there in the right hand corner of this website. Existing subscribers are automatically entered to win.

Then, you too, can be making your own graham crackers like we had last Friday night.

Each bearing gifts.
I look forward to handing some out tomorrow!

Love, S

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