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Reading & Writing Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Kavita A. Jindal

Meet June’s Woman Warrior Writer Kavita A. Jindal.Kavita A. Jindal is an award-winning poet, novelist and essayist. Her work appears in anthologies and literary journals worldwide and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Zee TV and European radio stations. Selected poems have been translated into Arabic, German, Punjabi, Spanish, Romanian and Ukrainian. Her novel Manual For A Decent Life won the Brighthorse Prize and the Eastern Eye Award for Literature. She has published two poetry collections to critical acclaim: Patina and Raincheck Renewed.

You can read more about her books or contact Kavita on her website: www.kavitajindal.com

How did you come to author your life?

I feel like I have been a warrior and a writer all my life, and the former definitely derives from being female and unconventional. My writing is based on observations I’ve made in my life across work spaces, cultures and countries. I’ve woven these observations and research into my stories and poems, at times drawing from my own experiences. I can honestly say that if I had a game plan it usually got stymied, but along the way I must’ve imbibed two simple mottos: ‘keep on keeping on’ and ‘stay true to yourself’. This has worked for me.

Read Jindal’s novel: MANUAL FOR A DECENT LIFE — I highly recommend it!

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Educators Reading & Writing Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Vanessa Hua

 

Meet May’s Woman Warrior Writer Vanessa Hua, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of A River of StarsDeceit and Other Possibilities, and Forbidden City. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, a Steinbeck Fellowship and honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists’ Association. A Bay Area native, she teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. www.vanessahua.com 

How did you come to author your life?

Years ago, on a reporting fellowship in South Korea, I told another journalist that I’d always wanted to write a book. She looked at me and said, “Well, then, write a book!” Dinnertime small talk, but her words resonated with me. I realized that if I truly wanted to achieve this goal, I needed to make it a priority. Writing in the mornings before work and at lunch and on weekends wasn’t enough; I needed to center my writing, to put the best part of myself in it even as I juggled other commitments.

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

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Debra Kang Dean

 

Meet March’s Woman Warrior Writer Debra Kang Dean! Debra Kang Dean is the author of two prize-winning chapbooks and three full-length books of poetry. Totem: America, her most recent book, was shortlisted for the 2020 Indiana Authors Award in Poetry. Long engaged with taijiquan, she is on the poetry faculty of the Sena Naslund-Karen Mann School of Writing.

 How did you come to author your life?

Although the words “woman,” “warrior,” and “writer” separately apply to different facets of my being, it might be truer to say that life keeps authoring me—not as subject but in terms of the kind of writer I am. Widowed at fifty, I find those words rearranging themselves, each taking its turn as a verb. I have never forgotten reading how some post-menopausal women became ambiguous figures in one tribal society and so were able to move in the spaces between conventional boundaries—not an especially good fit for our very gendered, youth-oriented culture, but one that has helped me to keep the self that creates intact and persist through changing inner and outer weather. The struggle is real, but remember: This work is no small thing.

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Educators Reading & Writing Self-help Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Anjali Enjeti

February 2022’s Woman Warrior Writer is Anjali Enjeti. Anjali Enjeti is a former attorney, organizer, and journalist based near Atlanta. She is the author of Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change, and The Parted Earth. Her writing has appeared in Oxford AmericanPoets & WritersHarper’s Bazaar, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Reinhardt University and can be reached through her website, anjalienjeti.com.

How did you come to author your life?

Writing is not something I pursued with any intention the first 28 years of my life. I read several books a week. I journaled. I studied narrative. But I couldn’t picture myself as an author. I didn’t feel as if it was something available to me. 

The birth of my first child changed this. I was not only flooded with words and stories about my life, I felt, for the first time, that these words carried with them some kind of value. It took a monumental moment in my life – becoming a mother for the first time – that opened the door for me to author my own life.

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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.