A friend has sent me some pages from the book she is reading: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson. I liked this quote:
“A nomadic people learn to take their homes with them—and the familiar objects are spread out or re-erected from place to place. When we move house, we take with us the invisible concept of home—but it is a very powerful concept. Mental health and emotional continuity do not require us to stay in the same house or the same place, but they do require a sturdy structure on the inside—and the structure is built in part by what has happened on the outside. The inside and the outside of our lives are each the shell where we learn to live.”
I am editing the upcoming book House Keys Not Handcuffs by Paul Boden, a former homeless man and 30-year advocate for homeless and poor people in the San Francisco Bay Area. (His story is included in my book, Finding Home: How Americans Prevail in the “Outsider Insights” section.)
Paul started the Coalition on Homelessness after he witnessed the inability of local and federal governments to deal with ever-growing homelessness. He now is head of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, a group of California programs that works together toward creating housing for those without shelter and putting an end to mass poverty.
His book gives organizing tips to others who would like to begin advocacy organizations or groups. We follow the pitfalls he has skirted throughout the years and see what concerns activists should be alert to as they plan to help others in an efficient and generally successful manner.
Bob Prentice has written the introduction to House Keys. He was formerly director of the San Francisco Public Health Division and founded the Bay Area Health Inequities Initiative, a collaborative formed to transform public health practices and eliminate inequities, and to create healthy communities.
The book contains artwork that embodies homeless and poor people’s struggles and other civil rights efforts during the 30-year period Boden addresses. Artist Art Hazelwood, famous for his artwork in this genre, adds a detailed history of art that has been created to accompany justice movements and publications in San Francisco.
Boden’s book is due out in October. He will speak at the Howard Zinn Bookfest (billed “a celebration of subversive books”) in San Francisco on Nov. 15 and at landmark City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco (co-founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti) on Nov. 18.
I am a long-time member of New Mexico Press Women and the National Federation of Press Women. I am also a member of the Northern New Mexico Press Women’s group headquartered in Santa Fe. It includes journalists, editors, public relations people, publishers and authors. Author Anne Hillerman is currently the president of that group. While I was unable to attend the convention in Las Cruces in April, I have been in contact with press women in the state.
“Wow, it is mind boggling to think of what it took to write these stories. The introductory paragraphs work well. Fun to read…”
A beautiful day for a reading at the seaside town of Gualala, CA, April 12. Wonderful bookstore, the Four-Eyed Frog. If you are on your way to Mendocino, stop in and say hi to Joel, wife Rosevita, his brother Chris, or beloved dog Angish. Knowledgeable and hip people, great selection and a friendly pup.
April 11, I was interviewed on The Tide radio in Gualala, CA, by Joel Crockett who hosts a two-hour show every Friday night. He’s known as Joel the Frogman because he owns the bookstore in Gualala that bear the name The Four-Eyed Frog. Joel developed a list of songs with the word “home” in the title in honor of Finding Home: How Americans Prevail. And, he played bluesman Keb Mo’s song, “Your Own Way Home” (I quote a stanza in the beginning of the book) right before the interview began. This guy is a jewel.