• And You Can Love Me

    Date: 2019.04.01 | Category: Book Reviews | Response: 0

    a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD

     

    “As a mother and grandmother, this story speaks to me about the power of unconditional love we bring to any situation. This book is an excellent resource for adults who have a child or grandchild with autism. It acknowledges the different ways my loved one with autism may communicate and reminds me that we love completely. As a former special education teacher, this story gives me words to be able to keep sharing with people about the wonderful diversity that we see in the world. Everyone has gifts.”
    Deb Holtz is a former special education teacher, a current end-of-life doula, and a mother and grandmother.

    “In You Can Love Me, Sherry Lee gives us the world of Ethan, a little boy with autism. Although Ethan is mute, his daily routine of bouncing a ball and expressing his needs, as well as his interior life are revealed through simple sketches and lovely lines like Today I am another year of being me. A welcome and wonderful addition to the as-yet-tiny body of work about children with autism, You Can Love Me is a beautiful, profoundly moving book.”
    –Alison McGhee, New York Times bestselling author of many books for children and adults.

  • MIDWEST MIXED WRITING WORKSHOP

    Date: 2019.03.27 | Category: Events, The Art of Writing, Workshops | Response: 0

    Here, We Are Writing Workshop with Sherry Quan Lee:  April 13 1-4pm at Eastside Community Co-op

    “The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete.  They make one story become the only story.”

    — Chimamanda Adichie’s, “The Danger of a single story,” TED Talk, 2009.

    Storytelling.  It’s monkey mind.  It’s conversation.  It’s crafting our lives by crafting our words.  It’s claiming the past and imagining the future with no rules of craft or politics except the ones we, individually, choose, the ones that work for us.  Stories that save our lives and enter our world like angels flapping their wings, creating music, something like jazz. Our goal is to break silence and invisibility by reading, writing, contemplating, and conversing; and, to imagine a future by breaking through barriers that have shut us out and shut us up-that have tried to define us. We will look within and without–and shout out, bringing our mixed race stories of intersectional identity to the surface. We will embrace our stories in all of their complexity in order to understand and challenge social or cultural obstacles to loving who we are.  We will look in a mirror and see beauty, strength wit, and wisdom.  We will look at each other and see the same. Participants will summon the past, witness the present, and invoke the future using literature, historical records, photographs, maps, and memorabilia to remember, reveal, confront, embrace, and document their stories.  – Sherry Quan Lee

    Read Sherry’s Community Spotlight https://www.midwestmixed.com/community/midwest-mixed-community-spotlight-sherry-quan-lee )

  • Oh So Wild and Oh So Beautiful

    Date: 2018.12.27 | Category: The Art of Writing | Response: 0

    What’s it like to be seventy?  2018, for me, was a year of introspection.  Check out my thoughts on Midwest Mixed:

    https://www.midwestmixed.com/community/midwest-mixed-community-spotlight-sherry-quan-lee

     

  • HOW I DEFY A SINGLE STORY AND ADD TO THE SWELL OF STORIES THAT DEFY STEREOTYPES

    Date: 2018.09.08 | Category: How Dare We! Write a multicultural creative writing discourse, The Art of Writing | Response: 0

    HOW I DEFY A SINGLE STORY AND ADD

    TO THE SWELL OF STORIES THAT DEFY STEREOTYPES

    -IN THE MIX-

    How much simmering does it take for you to write a poem, a story, a blog post, or even a tweet or a response to a FB post?  How much anxiety?  How much shame?

    Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk, 2009, “The Danger of a single story,” states:  “The consequence of a single story is this: it robs people of dignity.  It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.”

    As a MFA student in a Creative Writing program, I often felt suffocated and angry because I felt there was only a single story being perpetuated: of what you needed to learn to be a writer, what you needed to write to be a writer, who you needed to be to be a writer, and who you needed to embrace (not contentiously disagree with).

    “The consequence of a single story is this: it robs people of dignity.”  The story when I attended graduate school was not inclusive.  It didn’t include my story.  It offered shame.  I was told “they didn’t teach me how to write.”  Perhaps not, but I wrote, and I graduated with a 4.0.  Yet, I experienced that my story was a thorn in the single story.

    As writers, we all have our particular story(ies).  In How Dare We! Write a multicultural creative writing discourse, LHP, 2017, we can read 24 particular stories.  These stories defy a single story; they embrace difference and for some of us, similarity.

    My story as a writer is that I don’t write every day, I may not write in a month or even a year.  I don’t write to be a writer.  I didn’t go to graduate school to be a writer; I went to prove to myself I was smart enough to earn a graduate degree.  What I write has more to do with finding myself, understanding myself/my mixed identity-and when I write is when I write, period.  And I didn’t go to graduate school to become a teacher.  I became a teacher because someone gave me an opportunity to be one and I accepted because I needed the paycheck.  I wasn’t a particularly good teacher, just like I’m not a particularly good writer-but I persisted: 1) because I needed the money, and 2) because, apparently, I was born to tell the truth, whether it served me well or not. But persistence doesn’t define pace, and for me, persistence, didn’t mean I was or am prolific.

    I am not one story.  My story is not a true story unless it envelops race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, etc.  My story wanders in and out of time and situations.  Currently my story is a story of aging.  It’s one of contemplation, of consideration.  I have written a few poems; poems that I didn’t write because I had to which is always the reason I have written in the past-out of urgency.  And I am writing a picture book, a gift to my grandson (and his parents) who is nonverbal and was diagnosed with autism at an early age.  I am imagining, by observing, what he might have to say to grandmas, to parents, and to caretakers.  I don’t have to write this book, I want to.

    My story is many stories; it could never be just one story.  And my many stories are just a drop in the swell of other writers’ stories.   I pray for dignity, not shame, for all of us who write whether every day, or whenever; who are published or not-who want to be or couldn’t care less; who are expert grammarians, or like me not so much; and who have not only the heart and determination, but the words and a way to articulate them to engage purposefully in social media-again, I’m not so skilled or articulate-or brave.  It’s all okay.

    Adichie says “stories matter.” I’d like to add, your story as a writer matters.  I remember being told a writer should take risks, not be a copy-cat, that to be unique is what really counts.  There might be some truth in that, depending on what your goals as a writer are/or are not, but maybe it’s not about taking risks, but just embracing who you are.

    I think I’ve written this story before.  Sometimes I have to remind myself.

     

    What is your story as a writer?  Feel free to share in comments.

     

    Sherry Quan Lee, September 8, 2018

Artist Statement

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Lee is a Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University (Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing), and has taught at Intermedia Arts, and the Loft Literary Center. She is the author of A Little Mixed Up, Guild Press, 1982 (second printing), Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, published 2002 by the Asian American Renaissance, republished 2008 by Loving Healing Press, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, Loving Healing Press, 2008.

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