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Blog Educators Reading Reading & Writing Teachers Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Artress Bethany White

Meet April’s Woman Warrior Writer Artress Bethany White, a poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is the recipient of the Trio Award for her poetry collection My Afmerica (Trio House Press, 2019) and author of Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity (New Rivers Press, 2020). She is associate professor of English at East Stroudsburg University and teaches poetry and nonfiction workshops for Rosemont College Summer Writer’s Retreat in Pennsylvania.

How did you come to author your life?

I came to author my life when I accepted my first university teaching position. I was already living in New York and describing myself as a writer. I was working as a coordinator for New York University’s executive MBA program and I was earning a livable wage. Then someone approached me about a teaching job at Long Island University. Intuitively, I knew that this was going to be a game-changer for me, and it was. That first job propelled me into completing a master’s degree and a Ph.D., and became the perfect career companion to my life as a writer. I love what I do!

 

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Blog Reading & Writing Teachers Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Grace Cho

January 2022’s Woman Warrior Writer is Grace Cho. Cho is the author of Tastes Like War (2021), a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame Secrecy and the Forgotten War(2008), which won the American Sociological Association’s Asia and Asian America Section book award in 2010. She lives in New York City with her partner, kids and chosen family, and she teaches sociology at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

How did you come to author your life?

My former teacher, the incomparable bell hooks, wrote in Theory as Liberatory Practice, “I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend—to grasp what was happening around and within me.” Writing for me has always been about theorizing, about theory as “a location for healing.” As a young adult, I began writing to make sense of all the injustices my mother faced, all the ways in which her history had been obscured or erased or made into an object of shame and contempt.  As her daughter, it became my business to denounce that shame and celebrate her legacy.

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Belief and Philosophy Blog Hawai'i Reading & Writing Self-help Woman. Warrior. Writer.

2022 SOCIAL MEDIA

For 2022 I’ll be posting the majority of my content on wellness, writing, reading, and giving writer discounts/tips on Substack (so please sign up for my newsletter). I’ll post on Youtube.

You will be able to see 2022 Woman Warrior Writer here, but for more content, please subscribe!

I review books and consider writing for my classes — primarily Asian American and BIWOC. I cover fiction, memoir, self-help, and poetry (poetry emphasis on literacy, access, narrative).  I do not cover YA, mystery, detective, thriller, academic work. Feel free to contact me.

For author interviews, Woman Warrior Writer suggestions, comments, questions about articles, content, manuscripts, teaching, and/or speaking, please connect or email [email protected]

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Blog Educators Hawai'i Reading & Writing Teachers Woman Warrior Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Darien Hsu Gee

November’s Woman Warrior is Darien Hsu Gee ! Darien is the author of five novels published by Penguin Random House that have been translated into eleven languages. She is also the recipient of an IPPY award for her collection of micro essays, Allegiance (2020); a Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship for Other Small Histories (2019); and a Hawai‘i Book Publishers’ Ka Palapala Poʻokela Award of Excellence for Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir (2015). She lives with her family on the Island of Hawai‘i and serves as series editor for Haliʻa Aloha, a micro memoir writing and hybrid publishing program.
How did you come to author your life?
I’ve never been good at listening to other people. I’ve had cheerleaders and naysayers, not to mention my own nagging doubt and self-sabotage, but I’ve always managed to right the ship and get back on course. It hasn’t been easy, but a writer’s life isn’t easy. I know the risks and sacrifices. I’ve worked hard, I’ve been lucky, I have some regrets. It’s in my bones. I’m willing to own it all, even when it’s hard or seemingly impossible. 

 

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Blog Break Divorce Hawai'i Reading Reading & Writing Self-help Teachers Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Hawai’i: Getting Out of Town

I went to Pūpūkea for a few days to write. I love the cooler climate and the silence. It’s always good to get out of town. When you tell people you live in Hawai’i people immediately conjure an image of an empty beach, not Honolulu.

I did some work on my manuscript (working title) BREAK: Learn Your Truth, Write Your Divorce, and Author Your Life. My book is about how to write a divorce story for your legal and personal file. It’s a self-help book. I designed a story structure outline that will enable any woman to confidently write her divorce story.

I have a specific and ambitious goal with this book: my aim is to shift perceptions on how women conceptualize divorce and selfhood, and to teach women to use writing as a means of empowerment to rethink their lives during and after divorce.

Valhalla on the North Shore is a beautiful place and I recommend it for those looking for some quiet.

 

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Belief and Philosophy Blog Break Divorce Self-help Woman. Warrior. Writer.

BREAK: Learning to say NO

I think the most important lesson I acquired from my divorce was learning to say NO.

NO, I do not want to be respected in this way. NO, I do not have to accommodate this decision. NO, I will not do this to placate. NO, I do not want to make up for your feelings. NO, I am too tired to be cheerful. NO, I do not feel like smiling now–in particular, upon demand. NO, I do not want to make small talk with people who are unpleasant. NO, I do not enjoy watching people get fall down drunk. Sorry that bores me. NO, I am not going there because everyone else is going. NO, I am not going to that place either. NO, I don’t want to watch that show. NO, I do not want to pretend, ever again, that I am enjoying myself when I do not. NO, I am not staging anything in order for another to appear better. NO, NO, NO.

One can say NO, THANK YOU, if you feel so inclined to soften the NO, which, coming from most women, is usually met with some resistance.

Saying NO allows one to say YES.

  • YES, I want to live authentically.
  • YES, I make mistakes and I am OK in life.
  • YES, I can experience joy.
  • YES, I have boundaries.
  • YES, I am here to be who I am.
  • YES. YES. YES.

What I noted was that I had to get comfortable saying NO before I could get to YES. For some, saying YES first and frequently, squeezes out the NO, so it makes NO a bit easier to say. Best to figure out what works for you. I believe that YES proved to be more confusing to me because women are taught to accommodate and say YES at their own expense, so I had to get comfortable saying NO.

Say NO to say YES. Figure out how many times you say YES when you really mean NO. If you start thinking about it and realize you never wanted to say YES to begin with, but felt pressured to do so, you need to think about why and how and with what frequency you say YES. It’s one thing to say YES if it’s a rather small ask. It’s another thing if saying YES chafes against your personal beliefs or narratives.

BREAK: Write Your Divorce Workshop will be held on November 14 SUNDAY 7-9AM (HST). Learn about how YES and NO affect the story you tell yourself about your divorce. This workshop will give you the tools that you need to write your story for your legal/personal file.

 

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