A very special evening is in store this Saturday, September 15, 6:30 pm at Kaboom Books as local writers Eloísa Pérez-Lozano, Jody T. Morse (aka J. T. Haven), and celebrated Houston Poet Laureate Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton read from their work featured in a new anthology, I AM STRENGTH: True Stories of Everyday Superwomen.
The timely anthology includes a collection of true stories, poems, and art by more than fifty women. Tamra Lucid, a blogger for Reality Sandwich and music and a documentary producer at Lucid Nation Media, says, “What makes this compilation extraordinary is that it does not rely on celebrity or well-established writers for content. This book gives voice to women who have remained voiceless for too long. It reminds us of the heroism of women facing what most casually dismiss as common challenges of life. It illuminates the courage and resilience, the resourcefulness and commitment women deploy daily to survive in a world where discrimination and injustice, not to mention cruelty, are all too common. It reminds us that small miracles happen daily. Refresh your faith in humanity here.”
We had a chance to catch up with Eloisa, Jody, and Deborah to talk about the anthology and what audience members can expect Saturday evening.
INPRINT: What was the inspiration behind this book project?
DEBORAH: The collection is geared toward celebrating the stories of everyday women and the power they hold.
The editor of the book Alyssa Waugh wrote this in the press kit: “Women are made of strength. I wanted to hear from sisters, mothers, daughters, teachers, firefighters—your everyday heroes who aren’t ever going to have a documentary made about them, but whose stories are just as important. So these will be stories about different kinds of strength that women possess in a variety of situations, all day, every day, whether it be physical, emotional, intellectual, mental, spiritual, whatever.
INPRINT: What in particular made you want to submit a piece to this book project?
JODY: I believe in, love, and cherish strong women. It is a combination of unworldly empathy and passion-fueled strength that will change our world. I wanted to contribute to this I AM STRENGTH anthology as a way to bond with others seeking this change, writing about strong, world-changing women.
DEBORAH: I have been looking into my family history a lot lately. In doing so, I have come upon so many powerful and striking women who make me understand myself and the world around me better. I wanted to share their stories in hopes that they can do the same for others.
ELOÍSA: I’m always looking for opportunities that uplift women’s voices so when I saw the call for submissions, I immediately knew I wanted to submit my work. Not only do we find our strength in writing our truths as testimony, but we also share in the collective strength of all when our words find a home and in turn reach the people who hopefully need to hear our experiences to know they’re not alone.
INPRINT: Tell us a little bit about what audience members can expect on September 15?
JODY: Humor, estrogen, empowerment, and joy. There may be a few tears shed, but they’ll all be shared in the name of love and celebration of life. And door prizes! Can’t forget the door prizes.
DEBORAH: I think the expectations should be to leave inspired. We all have a beautiful strength in our everyday selves. I hope that readers see themselves in the pieces and leave wanting to celebrate their own voices.
ELOÍSA: All of the above!
INPRINT: What do you in particular hope readers will get out of reading this anthology and your piece in particular?
JODY: The knowledge that if I—a normal, everyday woman—can be a normal, everyday superwoman, they can too. Or, if a man, they can be a normal, everyday superman.
DEBORAH: I think readers should find their story and a place to share it. Whether verbally, written down, or acted out, women hold the power to create in our very nature. We are the narrative of history that needs to be told.
ELOÍSA: I hope every reader is able to see themselves in some way within the anthology’s pages and if so, we have done our job.
Two thirds of the proceeds from sales of this book will benefit No Means No Worldwide, whose goal is to create a rape-free world, and Girls Inc., inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. For this specific book launch, 40% of the book sales will be donated to the Houston Area Women’s Center. For more information on the reading click here.