In this session, we will write about a specific person from a past generation in our family in order to develop a sense of our own voice and our own identity. To prepare for the session, participants will be asked to develop a “short list” of three relatives who came before — parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, or perhaps an unrelated caregiver or mentor. You may have had a close and deep relationship with this relative or only learned of them from family legend. Working through a series of guided questions and prompts, you will explore what you know about this person and what you can learn about the time period and place that person lived in order to gain a deeper understanding of your own story and your own history.
Deborah Adelman lives and writes in Oak Park, Illinois. Her poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and essays have appeared in Cream City Review, Puerto del Sol, Other Voices, Lilith, Jewish Currents, Verse Virtual, Rockvale Review, Plainswoman, and Flash Fiction Magazine, among others. Deborah is the author of two books about Moscow teens during Perestroika and writes academically in the Environmental Humanities. An avid traveler, Deborah has lived and worked in Mexico, Russia, Germany, Ireland and Brazil. A founder of the Community Education Farm at College of DuPage, where she was on the English faculty, Deborah is active in the food justice movement and believes that the arts can contribute to a vision for building a peaceful, sustainable and equitable future.