Motherhood & Words

celebrating women’s stories

Last weekend I was at Faith’s Lodge for my spring retreat, and I was, once again, blown away by what can happen when women get together to write and share their stories with one another. When we delve deeply into both the beautiful and hard parts of life, then share that writing with each other, our hearts expand and our perspectives shift. What amazing writers and people. We laughed and cried and laughed some more. And that place worked its usual magic.

On Saturday afternoon after my final conference, I was both energized and exhausted, so I bundled up and headed out into the crisp air to clear my head. I walked along the trail until I ended up at the labyrinth. I took a few deep breaths and began to circle inward, toward its center. And as I walked, I thought about my work as a teacher and editor. I thought about my marvelous students and their rich and complicated and stunning stories. And as I slowly wound my way around and around, to the center and out again, I was filled with gratitude.


I am back home now, happy to be with my family again, and gearing up for the 10th Annual Motherhood & Words Reading, which is this Saturday, April 16th at 7 p.m. at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. 10th annual, people!

This year, I’m thrilled to have Sherrie Fernandez-Williams and Andria Williams join me at the podium. Sherrie is the author of Soft, a moving memoir about identity, motherhood, surviving a tumultuous marriage, and finally being brave enough to follow her heart. Andria is the author of The Longest Night, which was described by Kirkus as a “scintillating marital drama set at a nuclear testing station in the late 1950s.” It’s a novel about marriage and motherhood and trying to find a place for oneself, all set against the backdrop of the early nuclear era. I will be reading something new, the beginning of an essay on navigating illness as a mother.

Each year, when the Target Performance Hall at the Loft fills with people, I am heartened. It confirms for me once again that I’m doing the work I was meant to do. Because the stories we’re writing are important ones.

I hope you’ll join me for this reading and conversation. Let’s celebrate the power of writing our truths. It’s free and open to the public, so bring your friends!

When: Saturday, 4/16 – 7 p.m.

Where: The Loft Literary Center, Open Book

The reading is sponsored by Pacifier, an urban kid and baby boutique, Park Nicollet Women’s Center, a new concept in women’s health, and of course The Loft Literary Center.

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Sue LeBreton on April 12, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Love the photo of the labyrinth. Yes, you are doing the work you were meant to do, anyone who interacts with you can feel that. Keep sharing and tending to women writers.

  2. Kate on April 12, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Oh Sue, thank you! Your name came up again and again last weekend. I hope you could feel those great vibes heading your way. xox

  3. patricia on April 12, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    I wish I could be there! I’m grateful to have been welcomed into your circle, and am so looking forward to your upcoming help with my work. I hope you feel giddy and celebrated on Saturday!

    • Kate on April 14, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      I wish you could be here, too, Patricia! But I SO look forward to working with you and spending time with you at River Teeth!

  4. Hallie Sawyer on May 2, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Supporting you from afar and applauding you for helping mothers find and share their amazing stories.

    You are a force to be reckoned with, my friend! xoxo

    • Kate on May 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you, my dear!! xxoo