GWP encourages our writers, artists, freelance staff, readers, and interns to send us their writing so we can put it out on our blog and publish it there for all the world to see (and our legions of followers!) Here is a powerful poem by GWP author, Irene Skyriver:
Irene Skyriver and her daughter Summer Moon at the kayactivism in Seattle.
EARTH FIRST! (I named this poem after one of the few modern movements that made sense to me)
What will we do for the love of our Mother Earth?
I say it is not the time for silent retreats and meditations
Did, or do the victims of:
Vietnam Wounded Knee The Klu Klux Klan Did they have time to meditate on ensuing chaos or demise?
Did they have time to understand
Just before they were swinging from the limb of a tree?
Or just before their children were gunned-down or forced to cross barren deserts Did they have time to contemplate those âleadersâ, or soldiers, or white supremacists as perhaps being their miss-guided but lovable brothers?
Our Earth Mother is Black, she is Wounded Knee, she is a child gunned down in Viet Nam She is a rape victim
Now is not the time to tread gently or to tippy toe
Now is not the time to try to understand the Hitlerâs or the orange ones of our species We need to be as unapologetic and powerful as the Earth herself
We need to be as relentless as the grind of a glacier
We need to be an earthquake to tumble the fortresses of greed
We need hurricane force winds of change
We need to be flooded with purpose
We need to be like the blaze of an incoming comet to turn this tide of suicide
We will recharge in the serenity of the Sunâs dip and rise We will carry on with the knowing that others are dying for rhinos, elephants, butterflies, treesâŚ
And by knowing there is too little time for meditation and silent retreats Â
Irene Skyriver, Pacific NW Coast author/grandmother/farmer/activist
Because of the good life I live on my farm in the San Juan Islands, I must convince myself as much asÂ anyone, to leave the comforts of our homes, families and life as we know it, to RIZE UP and fight for theÂ Earth and Sky. Even our children know, we humans have our heads in the sand, as we blithely carry on inÂ our consumptive, unsustainable lifestyles, leaving them to the wreckage of our defeatist inaction.
Although I am not a hardcore activist, Iâve taken action at important events and Iâm readying myself forÂ deeper involvement in our local environmental issues (which are profound) as we prepare to fight hugeÂ increases of Canadian tar-sand tanker shipments through our already decimated Salish Seas. With ourÂ local Orca whale population on the brink of extinction and salmon runs failing catastrophically, I see myÂ life as a grandmother, best spent fighting, and dying if needed, for the dream that perhaps a seaÂ swelling of hearts and minds will awaken and turn the tide. We need to step out of our comfort zonesÂ and fight for the environmental health of every biome of this planet and sky. â˘
You can order Irene’s book at your favorite, local independent bookstore, or here at Indieboud!
Happy Mother’s Day from all of the women and mothers at Green Writers Press, Green Place Books, Green Sprouts, and our literary magazine, The Hopper! Here are some books, for moms of all ages, that will make perfect gifts for the mother in your life . . . Enjoy!
A perfect Mother’s Day gift . . .Â
A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life Written for the overwhelmed Mom whoâs looking for more joy, playfulness, and serenity in her life, A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life is like a GPS for your soul. This book is full of simple, easy-to-use tools to help you feel more grounded within yourself, and more patient and present with your family and everyone else you meet throughout your days. Itâs also an invitation to come back home to yourself and remember all the things you used to love before becoming so busy taking care of everyone else. Beyond a manicure, pedicure, or even a massage, A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life encourages self-care for the soul, teaching and empowering Moms to learn and know that we really do have the ability to create the life of our dreams.
GWP author Kasey Mathews and her two children . . . about 18 years ago! Watch the trailer and learn about Andi’s birth.
There were uncertain, gloomy days when I thought they might be rightâthat maybe we were cursed. Inevitably, though, Iâd step back and lookÂ with clearer eyes, allowing myself to see all the incredible gifts that hadÂ emerged as a result of what weâd been through. I came to see, know, andÂ understand that in the midst of times of ease or diffi culty, there is soÂ much opportunity to allow in the magic that is available to us all.
KASEY MATHEWS lives in Wilton, New Hampshire, with husband, two children and their rescue dog, Ed. She is a coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life: 8 Steps to Feel Happier, Inspired and More Relaxed and Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood, which won the New Hampshire Writerâs Project Readerâs Choice award and was a featured book on the Random House book site Bibliophile.
Visit the author’s website to order:Â www.kaseymathews.com
Watch the author’s beautiful book trailer here . . . (her first book was agented by Dede!):
The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times
by Sarina Prabasi
Reviewed by Rachael Peretic
âWhat a difference we can make, understanding our neighborhoods as we do, and having a real relationship with people in our communities. What could we accomplish if we could make the coffeehouse politically relevant again? Not partisan, but politically engaged and active.â – Sarina Prabasi,Â The Coffeehouse Resistance
No stranger to immigration, Sarina Prabasi was born in the Netherlands, raised in Nepal, and educated in Massachusetts before settling for years in Ethiopia, where she fell in love with the culture of coffee, the community surrounding it, and a man who would later become her husband and business partner. When political unrest brought her back to America with her husband and young daughter, the relief was short-lived. In the wake of the 2016 presidential elections, they and much of the nation were left shocked, bereft, and seemingly powerless in a situation that few had prepared for. Suddenly, the future of the nation and of her family was undefined.
Through small acts, her mindset shifted from that post-electoral fog to that of an active citizen. She started using her voice, her vote, and even her dining room table, where she and her children wrote to their local representatives, to better embody her ideals. After getting her feet wet by phone banking for Alexandria Ocasio Cortezâs campaign, she was struck by her ability to promote change both at the government level and right within her own community. It wasnât long before this passion flowed over into Buunni, the coffeehouse founded by Prabasi and her husband, Elias. With the government officials, she wrote postcards, made phone calls, and attended rallies. With her customer, she shared a love of coffee, a safe space for their voices to be heard, and connections with friends and strangers alike. Eventually, she found a balance, dismantling the isolating issues she sawâracism, gun violence, and corporate greedâfrom both ends of the spectrum.
Sarina and her two girls (a few years ago).
In an effort to bring the coffeehouse back to its original status of communal hub and a place of enlightenment, free thinking, and debate, Prabasi has written a book detailing her experiences as a New York immigrant-turned-U.S. citizen, a small business owner, a mother, and a political activist pining for representation in Trumpâs America.
The Coffeehouse Resistance is a forward-thinking memoir, told in an empathetic voice, that shines light not only on the harsh realities of recent years but, more importantly, onto the bright future which is made possible when one acts in accordance with their ethics toward a true democracy. Despite such divisive times as these, the bookâs power to resonate is palpable; its ability to motivate as pervasive as the morningâs first cup of coffee. This book is for everyone, but especially for those who have felt themselves unrepresented, unaccepted, or even unwelcome in the place that they themselves call home, this is a must read.
Visit the author’s website here: https://www.sarinaprabasi.net
Watch the book trailer here and help us spread the word! #thecoffeehouseresistance
Breakfast Memories: A Dementia Love Story (Coming Fall 2019!)
by Kate Hanley
For anyone caring for someone with dementia, this book is a bridge of hope. Kate Hanley takes us on a journey where we witness her caring for her aging parents, while trying to balance the demands of her own busy work and family life. At times, full of frustration and despair, Kate wanted to give up, but knew that was never a choice. As her story progressed, along with her motherâs dementia, Kate discovered a cache of daily love devotionals her dad had penned to her mother every morning on a paper napkin.
Kate Hanley and her mom.
The discovery of these love sonnets was the key to unlocking the window into her motherâs soul, and gave Kate glimpses back into the world of who her mother once was. A beautiful story full of love, laughter, and possibility, Kate inspires others walking this path to know and believe that even in the darkest times of despair, there is reason to hope and remember that love is never forgotten.
Kate Hanleyâs discovery of her parentâs unique love language set her on a path she never anticipatedâwriting a book. Yet these beautiful âpaper napkin sonnets,â and the story that surrounds them, were too precious and inspiring not to share, as they offer hope for anyone in the throes of caring for someone with dementia. Kate lives in Old Forge, New York, with her husband and two dogs. Her two grown sons come home as often as possible to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Adirondack Mountains.
Visit the author’s website and to preorder this special book: http://breakfastmemories.com
~~~Â Other Mother’s Day books, newly released just in time for Mother’s Day! ~~~
How to Survive a Brazilian Betrayal: A Mother-Daughter Memoir
By Ehris Urban and Velya Janez-Urban
A kooky, gregarious mother and perceptive, poised daughter introduce readers to their offbeat Connecticut family, who follow their hearts to rural Brazil. Broke and broken, theyâre forced to return to the United States, and navigate their rebirth in a foreclosed 1770 New England farmhouse. Hilariously honest and heart-wrenching.
âBeautifully written and full of love, honesty, and humor. Almost all daughters adore their mothers and make fun of them at the same time! There is no more powerful (or fraught) relationship in the world than this one. I love this relationship. Brava, you two!â ~Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author, Womenâs Bodies,Womenâs Wisdom and Goddesses Never Age
Ehris Urban is an herbalist, holistic nutritionist, and flower essence practitioner. Velya Jancz-Urban is a zany teacher, history nut, and expert on “herstory unsanitized.” As Grounded Goodwife (groundedgoodwife.com),this funny and frank mother/daughter duo believe in taking inner responsibility for one’s wellness, and share their “recipe” for wholeness through holistic workshops and “gal power” presentations.
Coming out just in time for Mother’s Day, this page-turning novel is about a dedicated teacher who loses her job due to a student covering up getting into a fight by saying she punched him (he got his friends who where there to lie on his behalf)…. Every Year thousands of educators are accused of physical abuse. Some are guilty and are prosecuted, but hundreds who are innocent are forced to surrender their licenses. This is what happened to Billie. Deceit and betrayal threatened her survival, extinguishedÂ her lifeâs dream, andÂ erased her sense of self worth. She wondered if she could ever trust again. Rejected by family and friends, she was forced to reinvent every aspect of her entire life. When a catastrophic fire crippled her community, and individuals grappled with personal tragedy, she gained a deeper understanding of the gift of forgiveness and the power of hope. Her brave struggles saved not only her life but also the lives of others. At times brutally painful, at other times hugely positive, Today My Name Is BillieÂ reveals how a single lie can spread like fire and destroy all that it touches.
Neile Parisi taught for 18 glorious years in public schools. She experienced both joy and tragedy in her classroom, but continually loved her students. Today My Name Is Billie is based upon an incident in her life as an eighth grade teacher, where she lost her job and her career. Following this, she became a Registered Sanitarian. Having a Masters Degree in Health Education, she was able to use her teaching skills to help educate workers in the restaurant world, teaching proper food-handling skills; provide knowledge about radon, asbestos, and lead poisoning to home owners; investigate food poisoning; test beach water and pools for bacteria levels; inspect restaurants, day cares, schools, and hospitals; and at times even trap rats and other rodents. Currently she is a Realtor, who by the way won Second Place in The Womanâs Arm Wrestling competition in Las Vegas, and promises she wonât let anyone âtwist your arm.â She is also a stand-up comic on the weekends, drawing from her varied background of jobs. This is her first novel.
Paddling With Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey
by Irene Skyriver
Inspired partly by her own spirit of adventure, and partly by the stories of her native coastal ancestors, Irene Skyriver celebrated her fortieth year of life with a solo kayak voyage, paddling from Alaska to her home in Washington Stateâs San Juan Islands. Paddling with Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey interweaves the true account of her journey with generational stories handed down and vividly reimagined. Beginning with her great-grandmotherâs seduction of an Indian fighter turned trader, and following her ancestors on both sides through oil booms, orphanages, wartime romances, dance halls and cattle ranches, Paddling with Spirits dips like a paddle itself between the stories of those who inspired her, and Ireneâs own journey down a lonely coast. As she encounters harsh weather, wolves, bears, whales, and the wild beauty of the coastal waters, she reflects upon her own life and the lives of the many people she meets along the way before her final, triumphant return home. Paddling with Spirits is a wild, brave, and thrillingly original adventure.
âIn this book the long, restless boundary between ocean and land becomes a road of discovery for an intrepid paddler traversing the liminal space between present and past, between the visible world and the unseen resonance of her ancestry. With âevery stroke of the paddle away from shore,â Skyriver plunges deeper into telling the legacy of her familial links to this coast. Her account alternates between stages in her pilgrimage through the water, and fictionalized stories from her kin. In prose that sparkles with bold strokes, this story is told as the journey is taken: with every splash of Skyriverâs muscular observation, story, and thought, the reader glides forward over glittering waters.âÂ âKim Stafford, author of Having Everything Right: Essays of Place
A Washington native, Irene Skyriver was born in Port Townsend and raised in the country. She moved with her children and horses to Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands, thirty-eight years ago. On the island she lived off-the-grid and as a single parent, spending most of her early years growing a garden and letting the outdoors and beaches be her familyâs sanctuary, inspiration and teacher. Skyriver organized parades for Earth Days, International Womenâs Days, and was one of the early founders and shapers of the Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations, as well as Passage Rites ceremonies for the youth. A poet, dancer, and a singer of traditional âEarth Circle Songs,â writing came later for her, mostly because one has to sit down to do it! Irene received a full fellowship to Fishtrap Writers Conference based on a submission from Paddling With Spirits. This was followed by a grant to finish the work. In between involvement in community, her market garden, and milking goats, she plans to sit down and accomplish these new writing endeavors and is at work on a novel.
Clothesline Religion chronicles twenty years worth of adventures in the life of an artist as young single mother.
Megan Buchanan, a poet and professional dancer, gave birth to a daughter at 22, lived abroad in Ireland and France, and came back home again to Southern California and the mountains of the Southwest. This debut poetry collection spans wild open roads, backyard vegetable gardens, Irish pubs, country dance halls, Vermont screen-porches, midnight river valleys, artist studios, and the world of waking dreams. Buchanan’s poems offer fierce evidence of what she calls “ordinary magic” âand what others might call mindfulnessâdiscovering gratitude, the path of recovery, and a mother’s deep joy.
Megan Buchanan is a teaching artist, performer, and dancemaker. A graduate of Occidental College, Megan studied urban and environmental policy before earning her graduate degree in English at Northern Arizona University. Born in California in 1973, she has lived for long stretches in Ireland, the mountains of the southwest, and New England. Her work has been supported the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems have been published in The Sun Magazine, A Womanâs Thing, make/shift, Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space (Secretary Press), Eating Her Wedding Dress: An Anthology of Poems About Clothing (Ragged Sky Press), and other journals. She lives in southern Vermont with her two children.
And a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OUR OTHER AUTHOR/MOMS!!! Last, but not least, an homage to our Mother Earth . . . here is a photo of GWP poet, Megan Buchanan, in a dance performance (I call this “Blessing the Earth/Water is Life”).
Thanks for supporting our small and growing press!Â