This week we present my 2012 conversation with Meredith Hall about her pregnancy at age 16. Meredith describes being shunned by her family and school and forced to give the child up for adoption. The experience was never acknowledged, and this silence left her alone and afraid for many years. Her memoir Without a Map explores how silence can be such an impediment to healing.
In this interview from 2011, I speak with Catharine Murray about how writing poetry helped her heal from a loss that initially felt unspeakable – the death of her 6 year old son. She explains how sitting down to write allows her to create a new space to work with her sadness, and she shares three poems that illustrate the evolution of her grief and her ongoing healing. Her story offers a novel approach to healing from all kinds of losses.
This week I speak with Alice, an asylee from Burundi who now lives in Maine. She talks about her work in both countries to support and empower women who have faced cultural silencing and endured trauma. Together we explore ways that refugees might be connected with therapists who can help them tell the painful stories they need to document in order to apply for asylum.
A conversation with Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco in which he talks about the challenge of really knowing he was gay in a family that strongly discouraged it.
A conversation with Lani Peterson of the Public Voice Project about her work with formerly incarcerated men and women to help them tell their stories in a way that helps them to make peace with their past and move forward in their lives. She explains the importance of telling a story that is bigger than a narrow focus on a bad decision or mistake. She describes storytelling as a key to transforming your self-image, and how others see you. She also discusses the techniques she’s discovered to hold the listener through stories that can be difficult to hear, and the ways that listening can also be a transformative process.