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UMFK to host book reading of "Compassionate Journey, Honoring Our Mothers' Stories"

March 19, 2019

Dr. Jenny Radsma, co-author of Compassionate Journey
Dr. Jenny Radsma

book cover of Compassionate JourneyThe University of Maine at Fort Kent is honored to host a book reading by Dr. Jenny Radsma and Cheryl Grant Gillespie, two of the five women authors of anthology “Compassionate Journey, Honoring Our Mothers’ Stories,” on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7 p.m. in Nadeau Hall conference room.   The book reading is free and open to the public.

Five women met at a writing workshop with the purpose of exploring their mothers’ lives. The questions raised were so intriguing they formed a writing group to complete the work begun in that workshop. Compassionate Journey: Honoring Our Mothers’ Stories is the fruit of their efforts.

cheryl grant gillespie author of anthlolgy of compassionate journey
Cheryl Grant Gillespie

In this anthology, the contributors (Maggie Butler, Cheryl Gillespie, Jenny Radsma, Jane Sloven, and Martha Rice), unravel the stories of the their mothers and in the process reveal complex histories layered with love and laughter, trauma and courage, resilience, and determination. With consideration given to the ways in which circumstances and the social norms of the time compelled their mothers to make certain choices, the authors came to a deeper appreciation of the past and the present, arriving ultimately at a more compassionate understanding of their mothers and themselves. Written with heart and honesty, this anthology includes discussion questions, a guide, and writing prompts for others wishing to take a similar writing journey.

Among the accolades offered by Maine writers, Monica Wood (When We Were The Kennedys) described Compassionate Journey: Honoring Our Mothers’ Stories, as “huge and beautiful.” Meredith Hall called the book “an exceptional read.”

Dr. Jenny Radsma moved south from northwestern Alberta to live in northern Maine, where she is employed by UMFK. A nursing professor by day, she writes on weekends. She continues to take writing workshops, and her work has been published in Goose River Anthology, Echoes, and The Sun. When Jenny is not teaching, reading, or writing, she can be found biking, hiking, or snowshoeing, depending on the season. She still has hopes of learning to speak Dutch, Frisian, and French.

Cheryl Grant Gillespie, a retired English teacher, has published in professional journals during her forty-year tenure. She has also been published in Write to Woof, 2015, an anthology by Grey Wolfe Publishing, LLC, and has received recognitions from Ocean Park Writers for works of fiction and nonfiction. She contributes articles to the magazine Bethel Living. Cheryl is working on a fictionalized biographical sketch of her parents’ struggle in their younger lives.

Copies of the book will be available for $20.00. For more information on the event, please contact Asita Albert at 834-7524.