I Want to Tell You About the People Who Write With Me

 From the Life in 10 Minutes reading at the first ever RVA Lit Crawl, 4/21! R to L: Rosie Messer, Jer Long, TIm McCready, Phoebe Guider, Samantha Willis, Hope Whitby & Kristina Hamlett.

From the Life in 10 Minutes reading at the first ever RVA Lit Crawl, 4/21! R to L: Rosie Messer, Jer Long, TIm McCready, Phoebe Guider, Samantha Willis, Hope Whitby & Kristina Hamlett.

I want to tell you about the people who write with me. After you give them the once over, the first glance, the up down, you might think that one’s really got her shit together but boy is he falling apart. You might think: white black brown gay straight rich poor, you might succumb to a stereotype before you have the chance to think twice. But when my students start to share the heart blood mind soul guts love, life, memory and story they’ve laid across the page, translating rage and love and loss into pen and ink, paper and pencil you will know them in a way you might only know yourself. A way that connects eye to eye, heart to heart, past all the trappings and assumptions that keep us stuck, frozen on the outside, in our differences and separation.

I fall in love with each of my students as they create sacred circles around square tables. In showing me themselves, they show me to me. They expand my world, feeding me stories more nourishing than food, more heartbreaking than breakups, more funny than stand up, more real than sometimes life in the living of it.

They are brave, they are deep, they are audacious. They are accomplished writers and storytellers and they are introverted recluses who rarely leave the house, have never read in front of a group. They are brilliant, they are raw, they are real. And they are here tonight.

I usually feel so selfish and greedy, gobbling up their talent and hoarding it all for myself. So it is a real joy and a pleasure to get to share some of them with you.

Here they are:

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful

(This is what I read by way of introduction for the reading last Friday night, written in 10 minutes, course! The night was so magnificent we will certainly do it again. Stay tuned for more!)

Valley HaggardComment