Writers In Residence at Hedgebrook

I am attempting to author change around the role of women in Muslim societies both majority societies and minority societies and it is just the most beautiful place to be writing and thinking and you know grappling with the concepts that I'm struggling with in this manuscript that I'm working on child protection services in Philadelphia were the organization that investigated my parents for child abuse and I was a street homeless on and off for a fair amount of my teenage and early 20s part of why I didn't end up in a group home later on was because I decided that I wanted to become emancipated once I found out that that was an option which is essentially the reason that I wanted to write about it my idea behind writing the book is that I want it to be a guide for youth who are still in the system to sort of think about their options but also that it would be a work that we could engage with critically when we're talking about the foster care system and CPS child protection services and how to fix them I'm working on a book that is about the drug trade of the 1980s and the lasting impact of my family so since I've been here I have written a lot and feeling safe intellectually and emotionally in all those ways has helped me to take more risks with my writing and it has my defenses are down I guess I would say my defenses are down and I felt an opening here it won't be easy to leave I used to work with prisoners at Rikers Island I did poetry workshops with them and and just looking at what does that mean rehabilitation versus just kind of sticking people away in warehouses and forgetting that they're human because I saw so much humanity so much goodness my grandmother who was a scientist wrote these papers as like an immigrant as a Chinese woman and I'm her granddaughter who has been born in the States but I can't understand any of them and all these problems come from not understanding science like we have people who don't believe in global warming running the government I don't think that would necessarily be possible if science and like scientific language were more accessible I hope that some of the writing I do can move like the inaccessible towards becoming accessible I think the fiction is over the most powerful things in this world just the idea we writes in the students 3,000 to the universe and haven't asked to make a connection with somebody from a completely different culture the completely different part of the world something very very humbling and very life-affirming about that so storytelling is very important to me it can teach compassion I can teach empathy and it kind of seemed indelible that NVD we're gonna be different but we are all human the Great Leap Forward and during the house China that'sthat's the history that is really not spoken about and in particular in China it's it's you know books about this topic or balance you know so the stakes are high and I think that in the u.s. I almost feel like I have the the kind of voice and that the power to kind of lift those those those histories up one of the the greatest kind of gifts for for me would be to have a reader kind of say like hey you know this did happen to me in my own life in a different way to that there's some sort of connection there one of the I think fabulous amazing things about being at hedge broke is that we gather for dinner and it's there where we learn about what each of us is writing about and of course now I've heard a lot from Jane about what her mother and her family went through and how many people died from starvation even though there was plenty of food I mean that was shocking to hear so this this certainly makes me now think I've got a real value that whole period that me and my colleagues who were into Black Power Black Panthers you know and the other black nationalist formations all of whom idolized Mao Zedong and I must say being here has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life

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