None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots. --Thurgood Marshall.
U.S. and Them: The Re-enchantment of a Cold War Childhood - New Book Trailer!
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On the role of writers and readers: The real work of a writer takes audacity tempered by humility. We must be both brave and honest with ourselves. There is no one path to the truth of a story but we are not alone in our search to find meaning and create beauty out of chaos. Our respect for the work of those writers who came before us becomes the measure of our integrity. The times when we set out to "write what we know" we find we have the most to learn.
As Readers: Regardless of genre, we should never abdicate our responsibility to asses the truth and the merit of anything we read--and as Whitman says, "dismiss whatever insults our own soul." Above all, we must never lose sight of one's humanity--especially when it's most difficult to see.
Patricia Bjorklund earned a B.A. and M.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington. Her memoir U.S. and Them: A Re-enchantment of a Cold War childhood is available on Amazon and Alamo Bay, Austin. The memoir is set in Bridgeport, Connecticut during the tumultuous late 1960’s; it is a red, white and true blue collar story about growing up under constant fear of doomsday. This is where Soul Train meets bomb shelter, one family's struggle to be happy as they measure the time until Apocalypse by their watches. The essay"Champs and Chumps" was chosen finalist for the 2013 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize. A chapter of U.S. and Them earned a spot as finalist for the 2012 Dana Award. The title chapter is published in the Missouri Review; others chapters appear in Press 53: Prime Numbers Magazine, Editors' Selections, Palooka, and Sou'Wester. Additional publications include Connecticut Review, Post Road and Wilma! Wilmington’s Magazine for Women. She's worked as managing editor of Folio Magazine, prose editor for Aries and Editorial Assistant for Ecotone. She is the director of the Downtown Writer's Workshop in historic Wilmington, North Carolina.