I write selfishly. I comfort myself with my own words so that I don’t have to wait for someone else to ask me how I am feeling or what I am thinking. I don’t write so that after I am gone, people will remember me. I write so that I can remember me while I’m still here.

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“After having personally practiced shamanism, shamanic healing, and shamanic journeying for more than half a century, I can say that there is nothing I have encountered in reports of the spiritual experiences of saints, prophets, psychedelic drug experimenters, near death survivors, avatars and other mystics that is not commonly experienced when following classic journey methods using a drum.”
—Michael Harner, The Foundation for Shamnic Studies

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lauren berry

As award-winning poet Lauren Berry takes us through the after-effects of the sexual trauma experienced by her young narrator, the reader is chilled by the depth of the girl’s vulnerability. But then there is another layer which the author weaves in with equally potency: the growing sense that here is a girl who, despite everything, remains the narrator of her own self-identity. Colorful and eccentric and steeped in lush, figurative language, this story, however difficult, is unmistakably her own.

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It happened quite naturally. I liked to quote lines of poetry for them. Once when we were visiting the Atlantic coast and watching the waves crash and the sea spray spouting up, I quoted a favorite line from Hart Crane’s poem, “The Dance”: “what laughing chains the waters wove and threw.” My children never forgot that. Several years later when looking at another wild body of water, they would remind me of that same line.

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“I do think Americans take themselves too seriously. Just turn on the TV and count how many programs are contests – cooking, sports, singing and dancing, finding a house, a spouse. I suggest that once a year the major networks televise a sports game where both sides don’t keep score. Or broadcast a cooking show where the cooks make one big meal instead of competing against themselves to see who can make the better individual meal.”

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Deborah Stein profile

“Children need their mothers. I feel lucky I lived a year with my birth mother in prison. We bonded and I know this helped better prepare me for life. The down side, the trauma of our separation, after that year together, took its toll. She had a long sentence ahead of her.”
~writer, Deborah Jiang Stein

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