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Writer in residence, Lillian E. Smith Center
November 11, 2019 - November 23, 2019
Looking forward to a gift of time and space this November at a very special artists’ retreat where I will continue work on my story of family, identity and survival. I will be in residence right after having spent a long weekend with my wonderful big family! I hope to honor the memory of the center’s founder, and repay those who have invited me to write here, by making fresh discoveries in the work I have before me.
from the Lillian E. Smith Center’s website:
“The Lillian E. Smith Center serves as an educational center and an artist retreat. The Center is named for the social justice activist and highly-acclaimed author of Strange Fruit and Killers of the Dream and is located on the property where she lived and worked in Clayton, Georgia. With over 150 acres in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, the Center is surrounded by beauty and is an ideal location for recreational, social, and instructional activities.”
“To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives: it is the only way we can leave the future open.” –Lillian Smith, The Journey
In my family, November is a month of remembrance, of sorrow and of joy. Each year for me it marks the anniversary of my parents’ deaths, as well as the month my brother Armando passed away in his boyhood. November is also the month I celebrate with my siblings and family members who have been gathering for the past several years for a loving and raucous pre-holiday birthday party. Me and four of my ten siblings were born in November. So we give thanks for our family, for life and creativity and love. We laugh, cook, eat together. And determine who we are becoming. All sorts of mischief like that.