Reading Period Now Open: November 25th, 2020 – March 1st, 2021
At some time in our lives, we are, among other things, a conglomerate of silences. The unspoken words remain within us, burdening and burning, passively but relentlessly gnawing at us, begging to be let out of their lair where they live for days, months, years, whole lives.
How do we reconcile our hopes for peace with our inner turmoil? Shouldn’t we be the first beneficiaries of our peaceful activism efforts? Should we not actively fight our inner demons, confront past and present ghosts, lighten the crushing weight of our cumulative Should’ve saids, I should’ve dones? Isn’t self-empathy an essential first step towards the experience of compassion for the living world around us?
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the word Epistle in straightforward terms: a composition in prose or poetry written in the form of a letter to a particular person or group. It is my hope that you accept this invitation, open your heart, and write your unspoken truths. Send us a letter you never thought you’d write, you know, the one you’ve been toying with for years, or sit down and get that “thing” off your chest that can only start with a cathartic ‘Dear X’. Write to a member of your family, an old flame, a politician, a group of people. It could be a humorous rant, a thank you message, a confession, a belated indictment, a love note, or a message asking for or offering forgiveness.
Whether you write this letter to someone else or yourself (how about a letter to a younger self?), write it with your gut, throat, and knuckles; with tender wrists and beating hearts; with rage and fire and love.
In sum: Write your heart out.
Adriana Páramo is a cultural anthropologist, writer and women’s rights advocate. She is the author of Looking for Esperanza, My Mother’s Funeral, and Unsent Letters to My Mother. Her essays have appeared in multiple literary magazines and been noted in The Best American Essays for consecutive years. She teaches creative nonfiction writing in the low-residency MFA program at Fairfield University. Currently, she writes from the Middle East, where oddly enough, she works as a yoga and fitness instructor.
Katie Arnold Joins Sunday LIVE
This Sunday, November 29 at 8:00 pm ET, Join Host Brad Wetzler when he welcomes journalist, memoirist, and elite ultra runner Katie Arnold to our weekly Sunday Live Reading.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82898977722
Katie Arnold is a contributing editor and former managing editor at Outside Magazine, where she worked on staff for 12 years. She created and launched the popular Raising Rippers column, about bringing up adventurous kids, which appears monthly on Outside Online and has grown to become one of the site’s most popular blogs. Her 2014 story “Don’t Let Youth Sports Hijack Your Life” was one of the most-read posts on Outside Online. Her 2018 essay in Outside Magazine, “Want a Strong Kid? Encourage Play, Not Competition,” was nominated for a National Magazine Award in service journalism.
In addition to Outside, her stories have appeared in The New York Times, Men’s Journal, ESPN the Magazine, Marie Claire, Runner’s World, Elle, and Sunset, among others. Her long-form profiles have been named runner-up in The Best American Sports Writing 2008 and nominated for a Western Publishing Association magazine award, and her essays have been anthologized in Woman’s Best Friend, Another Mother Runner, and P.S. What I Didn’t Tell you. She is co-author of the blog Writing from the Nest., and she edited the photography book, Rio Grande: An Eagle’s View, published by WildEarth Guardians.
Katie has been awarded prestigious literary fellowships at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, where she was named the Robert and Stephanie Olmsted Fellow in 2016. She has been featured on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, as well as on Ultrarunner Podcast and the Upaya Zen Center Podcast, among others. She has three times been a guest lecturer at Colorado College’s “Writing Wild: Literary Journalism of the Outdoors” course, and teaches writing workshops exploring the link between movement and creativity.
An elite ultra runner, Katie is the 2018 women’s champion of Leadville Trail 100 Run, where she finished 11th overall in field of more than 700 runners. She won the 2018 Jemez Mountains 50 Mile, 2014 TransRockies 3-Day Trail Run, Jemez Mountains 50K, the Mount Taylor 50K. She is a two-time overall champion and course record holder at the Angel Fire 100K. Katie is a sponsored athlete for GU Energy Labs and Balega Socks. As part of her ongoing effort to encourage young athletes, she founded a children’s trail running club, gives motivational talks, and coaches girls’ lacrosse in Santa Fe.
Katie lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband, Steve Barrett, their two daughters and two dogs. In her spare time, she likes to ride her bike, ski, go on river trips, hike, write fiction, and read. A restless and fledging student of Zen, she is slowly learning to sit still, but she’s happiest outside in motion. As the poet Mary Oliver once said, “I don’t like to be indoors.”