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We're pleased to welcome contributors Ellen Stone and Desiree Cooper, for a reading and discussion in support of Choice Words: Writers On Abortion.
Note: meetings are now automatically password protected with wait rooms enabled. The password is entered automatically by clicking the link if you are logged into a Zoom account. We will let guests in off the waiting list shortly after 7pm EST and throughout the event. If you join late, hang in there, we'll let you in when we see you.
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About the book: A landmark literary anthology of poems, stories, and essays, Choice Words collects essential voices that renew our courage in the struggle to defend reproductive rights. Twenty years in the making, the book spans continents and centuries. This collection magnifies the voices of people reclaiming the sole authorship of their abortion experiences. These essays, poems, and prose are a testament to the profound political power of defying shame. Contributors include Ai, Amy Tan, Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Camonghne Felix, Carol Muske-Dukes, Diane di Prima, Dorothy Parker, Frank O'Hara, Gloria Naylor, Gloria Steinem, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jean Rhys, Joyce Carol Oates, Judith Arcana, Kathy Acker, Langston Hughes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Lindy West, Lucille Clifton, Mahogany L. Browne, Margaret Atwood, Molly Peacock, Ntozake Shange, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Sharon Doubiago, Sharon Olds, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Sholeh Wolpe, Ursula Le Guin, and Vi Khi Nao.
A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and community activist. She is an evocative speaker on the themes of racial and gender equality, reproductive freedom, family-positive public policy and the welfare of women and girls. As a full-time caregiver for her aging parents, she writes widely about women, self-care and reinvention. A sought-after creative writing instructor, she conducts readings from her flash fiction collection, Know the Mother, like an “instant book club.”
Cooper's fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her award-winning collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, was published by Wayne State University Press in March 2016. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in Callaloo, Hypertext Review, The Best Small Fictions 2018, This is the Place, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Best African American Fiction 2010, among other online and print publications. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.
Ellen Stone taught high school special education for over twenty years of the 30+ years she taught special education in the public schools in Kansas and Michigan. She has three daughters in their twenties who live in Michigan, Missouri and Virginia. Ellen advises Poetry Club at Community High School and co-hosts a monthly poetry series in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems have appeared most recently in The Museum of Americana, Please See Me, Halfway Down the Stairs, The Citron Review, Dunes Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, cahoodaloodaling, Switchback, Mantis, and in the anthology, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion. Ellen is the author of What Is in the Blood (Mayapple Press, 2020) and The Solid Living World (Michigan Writers’ Cooperative Press, 2013). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and Best of the Net. Ellen can be contacted at ellenstone.org.