Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Women Writing for (a) Change by Mary Pierce Brosmer

Women Writing for (a) Change: A Guide for Creative Transformation by Mary Pierce Brosmer is a mixture of memoir and writing exercises, of feminist cant and women empowerment experienced through words. The author’s childhood lays a foundation for the creation of her organization, Women Writing for (a) Change, and she tells her truth through poetry and prose that is infused with love.

Because of the writing exercises, this book took me longer to read than it otherwise might have taken me. I wrote responses to the exercises, some with more depth and insight. It was through doing the exercises that I realized this book is a good complement to Julia Cameron’s The Artist's Way—for those who want a little more edge, a little more feminism then Brosmer’s book will fill in the void that Cameron’s book never really touches.

I also found myself yearning when I read about how her writing circles were formed, the rituals that make up the experience of the writing workshop. Throughout the book, Brosmer gives a clarion call, one that she herself does not take lightly. Towards the end of the book she has the candor to share some of her own failings, to confess shortcomings with the presumed intention that the reader will learn from her mistakes.

For me the weakest part of the book is the last section, although I have no doubt it would prove to be an invaluable resource for someone wanting to start a writing group of their own. Where this book soars is in the suggested writing exercises and in the examples of writing that Brosmer shares throughout the book. In my own experience with writing as a means of finding my own voice and way of healing, I know that this book will be a blessing to any woman who reads it. By the end, I can’t imagine any woman who lives somewhere where Brosmer’s groups are not already established not aching for a Women Writing for (a) Change home of her own. Perhaps with the publication of this book, more groups will be established in new places across the country, if not throughout the world.