Writing future history
MEMOIR (AND) about place and defining moments
This publication, web site, and it's mission is worth following. There is a growing concern about the preservation of "future history" and the impact that today's technology has on the photos, writings and publications of tomorrow. This is a fine organization who is sincerely interested in getting voices heard. More importantly, they're interested in the communication and preservation of future history.
MEMOIR (AND) has worked with City Youth Now and Woodside Learning Center since February to conduct a weekly memoir writing workshop with a group of young men detained at the Woodside Learning Center, San Francisco juvenile justice facility.
Led by MEMOIR (AND) Associate Editor Kathy Guis and San Francisco State University MFA student Rose Tully, the seven-week program focused on introducing students to creative writing and storytelling techniques. Workshops explored topics including writing about place and defining moments, with the goal of introducing at-risk youth to writing as a means for self-expression and personal enrichment.
"Seeing the youth transition from protesting to participating is always inspiring when working with these young people," commented Brittany Heinrich, Executive Director of City Youth Now. "They each have such a unique and powerful story to share; to get it out of them is always a challenge, but the product never ceases to inspire."
Guis and Tully also assembled a collection of writing produced by the students. MEMOIR, A NOUN, VOLUME 1: KEEP MY SHINE, a 44-page book titled after a line from a poem composed during workshop, features alternately irreverent and sober explorations of topics such as family life, personal responsibility and incarceration itself. It will be distributed to program participants and made available for purchase for $3 on www.memoirjournal.com. All proceeds from its sale will go toward designing and executing new programs to introduce memoir writing to traditionally under-published groups. MEMOIR (AND) aims to continue the series by releasing collections of juvenile detainees' work from future collaborations with City Youth Now and Woodside Learning Center.
MEMOIR (AND) will teach another six-week memoir writing workshop in collaboration with Woodside Learning Center and City Youth Now. "We're so pleased that Woodside and City Youth Now want to continue working with us," Guis enthused. "This program has been extremely rewarding for us, and has helped us fulfill an important part of our mission: to spread the practice of memoir writing and help marginalized people get their stories published."
MEMOIR (AND) is a nonprofit biannual literary journal dedicated to memoir in many forms, from the traditional to the experimental. Each issue includes a mix of emerging and established writers, as well as a diverse selection of prose, poetry, narrative photography and graphic memoirs. Based in Sausalito, CA and published by the Memoir Journal nonprofit corporation, MEMOIR (AND) has released four issues to date. Its Spring+Summer 2009 issue (Vol. 2, No. 1) hit newsstands in February, while its upcoming Fall+Winter 2009 issue (Vol. 2, No. 2) will debut in late August. For more information, please visit www.memoirjournal.com.
About the "(and)" in "Memoir (and)"?
Joan E. Chapman, Managing Editor, writes:
When prospecting for a name, we noticed the word "memoir" can bring to mind a sepia-toned, how-grandpa-got-his-war-injury kind of publication. And though we find value in family stories, we had some concern people might get the wrong idea. Just so you know, we are not at all fond of sentimental. But we are looking for personal accounts, many of which are memoir, and we wanted a name that shouted that out. So what to do?
So we added the "(and)." Everything else seemed limiting; only the "(and)" seemed to open up the possibilities. And here we are
City Youth Now, originally founded in 1950, is the first non-profit organization of its kind in the history of the United States' juvenile court system. For over 58 years, City Youth Now has been working behind the scenes to address the unique needs of children under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Juvenile Court System. Probation officers, social workers, attorneys, and others come to City Youth Now daily with requests for youth under their supervision. City Youth Now works diligently to ensure that youth in the juvenile court and foster care system have the same positive development opportunities as other children, to grow into mature and successful adults. For more information, please visit www.cityyouthnow.org.
The Last Bookstores by Eric Davies
Could comic stores, in fact, be the "last bookstores"? That is the concept behind a would-be documentary Eric Davies and I have fantasized about making (and one we will never get around to making because it would be so much work). Like it or not, traditional print is all-but-dead. Mine is already a two-kindle family; our newspapers are consumed on our laptops; and the print books we do buy (because for some things books do remain the most efficient storage and retrieval device) we buy online. And we are a family of nerds and English professors. But the one book that will never become extinct in paper form is the comic book in all its forms
From The Gutter Geek
This web site, and it's mission is worth following.
Graphic Memoir: They Won't Learn, by Dan Archer
Graphic Memoir: Silence by Kelly Clancy
Graphic Memoir: Persepolis 2.1: The Story of a Signing by Gordon Mcalpin
Narrative Photography; Inside volume 2 no. 1
Be sure to read this month's 60-Second Window column: Future History at Risk, and your reflections on the matter -- and what you might be doing to preserve your memoirs and future memories.
Thanks for reading...