In conjunction with Freedom & Captivity, the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance is happy to collaborate with the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center on a series of workshops and talks putting a cross-section of Maine writers in conversation with women at the SMWRC. The workshop series is supported by the Maine Humanities Council. In October, poet, writer, and Colby professor Arisa White visited and gave writing prompts, asking folks to collect and assemble their own personal images for the colors red, white, and blue. Writer and tatooer Phuc Tran will be visiting in January to talk about his memoir Sigh, Gone, his writing process, and how he came to tell his story. Other writers on tap for this series include Jaed Coffin, author of the memoir Roughhouse Friday, Mira Ptacin, author of The Inbetweens, and Monica Wood, author of novels, a memoir, and several plays.
Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College. She is the author of four books, including the poetry collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, and coauthor of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, winner of the Maine Literary Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle- Grade Nonfiction. She serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press.
Phuc Tran was a high school Latin teacher for more than twenty years while also simultaneously establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattooer in the Northeast. His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour. His acclaimed memoir, Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and The Fight To Fit In, received the 2020 New England Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Memoir. He lives with his family in Portland.