Archive for the ‘Awards’ category

Celebrate Women, Books, and Flowers!

March 9, 2011

March is painted with flowers and books for me, and I wish this to be the case for you too. That is why this post is about flowers, women, and books.

Spring is definitely in the air in March! Oh, I know, snow is still on the ground in many places (not in sunny Tucson though!), but buying flowers just to enjoy them is irresistible! They can beat the winter’s blues. Some very dear Pisces (beginning of March B-day people) in my life here deserve flowers this month, and my memories of March when I lived in Poland are filled with flowers. Both of my parents had their name days in March, so our home was full of flowers given to them. In Poland men receive flowers just like women do. Flowers are sold on the corners of many streets of Warsaw and other cities. The custom of giving flowers for a variety of occasions is an important part of the culture. I miss that here, and I buy flowers for our dining table quite often. Also, in our yard here in Tucson Mexican Poppies are in full bloom at this time of the year.

Mexican Poppies Flowers in a vase

I could count on getting flowers every year on the 8th of March when living in Poland. Not because it was my birthday, not because it was my name day, but because it was International Women’s Day. And what is International Women’s Day? It is a day celebrated in many countries around the world since 1911, the date having been chosen in recognition of an 1857 demonstration and march by women textile workers in New York City. So when I first came to this country, I was surprised that most American women were not aware of International Women’s Day.

Things are different today. International Women’s Day is slowly becoming a women’s culture month in this country. It brings attention to their achievements in the arts and sciences, as well as other areas of public life. I addressed this in the “Red Carnations“ essay in my book Looking at the World Twice. This brings me to the subject of books and publishing.

It just so happens that the month of March is also celebrated by independent publishers as Small Press Month.

Here is more: this coming weekend, March 12 and 13, Tucson is the place to be to celebrate books, authors, and publishers. For the third year, the Tucson Festival of Books will bring thousands of people to the University of Arizona Mall. There will be plenty of things to do for individuals of any age, as well as for entire families.

Now you can see that being a woman, a writer, plus a small independent publisher, I have some reasons to celebrate this month. So I decided to tell you a bit about a book with a title that fits this month perfectly — She.

Book cover of "She" by Amy Rowling Amy Rowling, author of "She"

She was written and illustrated (with photographs) by Amy Rowling. The subtitle explains the purpose of the book: Creative Journey to Self-discovery for Women of All Ages.

The minute Amy presented her manuscript to me, I knew I wanted to publish it and so my Word Studio did. I love this book and I am proud of it. In 2007 it won the National Indie Excellence Award in the women’s issues category. The book deals with a wide variety of challenges, fears, and concerns faced by many women today.

The writing is a collection of poems with complementing photographs, each addressing a different issue. Near each poem a journal space is provided with questions to encourage reflection, writing and discussion.

She is like a gentle friend — always ready to listen, to talk and guide you to find your own path.

Here are two glimpses into the book:

Two women by Amy Rowling Within One Frame 

She cannot bear
The ordinary
And yet it is what
She craves

Two caught
Within one frame
She longs to go
She longs to stay

These two
Could remain
And share
One body
Without judgment
Without shame

Back up from the Mirror 

Back up
From the mirror
Don’t look so close
You’ll find the flaw
You look for
It is there
And will grow

Acceptance of loss
What was
What might not be
Only the spirit knows

Age and wisdom
Will find each other

Put the mirror down

Two Hands by Amy Rowling

Have a happy March — celebrate it with books and flowers!

SPECIAL INFORMATION: I am exhibiting She and my Looking at the World Twice at the Arizona Book Publishing Association (ABPA) booth # 259. I will have my signing time at that booth on Sunday the 13th of March from 4 – 5 pm. Please stop by and say hello if you are at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend.

* * *

Poems and black-and-white photographs – copyright © 2006 by Amy Rowling. Text and other photos copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann

Bridging the Gap of Time

May 29, 2010

Eight months have passed since I conceived this WAVES blog idea and then what? Nada, silence, silencio, cisza… no waves were made with new entries in this blog. Why?

Cover of Looking at the World Tiwce by Alicja MannWell, I became extremely busy making waves not with new writings, but making waves about my writing, namely with promoting my newly (not so new anymore!) published book Looking at the World Twice: Essays & Poems on Identity, Belonging and Otherness.

It is amazing how much time and energy such activity does consume!  And there seem to be no limits to that consumption. The ‘limits” line seems to move in front of you like the horizon as you walk towards it in an open space.

So today I am posting my super condensed photo report in an attempt to bridge that gap of time and to resume writing this blog at least every other week.

Here is the report:

I was making waves with readings and signings of my book at a variety of bookstores, book festivals, reading groups, and other book loving places.

Alicja Mann reading at Booksmith in Falmouth, MAHere I am with my captive audience

The photos above and below are from my reading and signing at Booksmith in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Alicja Mann reading and signing her book in Falmouth, MAReading my book and signing it for a friend

I was making radio waves about the book and exchanging books with other writers.

Alicja Mann giving radio interview, and exchanging books with author Mary RobinsonGiving a radio interview for KJLL 1330AM at the Tucson Festival of Books
Exchanging books with Mary Robinson,
author, civil rights activist & textile union advocate from Alabama

Another attempt at making waves was entering several competitions for the recognition of the book in the world of independent publishing. My book had to compete with the books published by a wide range of highly visible and reputable presses including those of universities, museums, and National Parks. I am happy to announce that my book has made several big waves.

Looking at the World Twice: Essays & Poems on Identity, Belonging and Otherness is:

Winner of 2009 National Indie Excellence Award in the Short Story Nonfiction category
Finalist of 2009 ForeWord Reviews magazine Book of the Year Awards in the Essays category
Finalist of 2010 Glyph Award of Arizona Book Publishing Association (ABPA) in the General Nonfiction (Adult) category
Winner of 2010 Glyph Award of Arizona Book Publishing Association (ABPA) in the Best Cover Design (Adult) category

Concerning this last award, I am very thankful to GC Myers for allowing me to use his art on the front cover. I always felt that his “Elevation of Being” would fit the spirit of my book perfectly.

Let’s face it, being announced as a winner or finalist in a particular category of books is very exciting and brings a lot of satisfaction, but receiving ABPA’s Glyph award this month will be imprinted in my memories forever.

Three photographs of Alicja Mann at ABPA Glyph awards banquetABPA Glyph awards banquet photos / top to bottom:
Accepting my Glyph Award from ABPA President Bill Fessler and Executive Director Gwen Henson — With Alan Korwin, founder and former President of ABPA — Among other happy winners

I think that the way the ABPA event was organized, its aura and the handsome look of the award itself, made a big difference. The 2010 Arizona Book Awards Banquet took place in Phoenix on Saturday evening, May 1st at the Phoenix Country Club. Dressed up participants, elegant dinner, background live music, projection on a big screen of book covers of the finalists and the presentation of the Glyph Award to each winner reminded me quite bit of the Oscar ceremony. Being honored in that fashion is indeed a special treat. ABPA and especially its members directly involved in organizing the event deserve applause and many thanks.

And I thank you today for visiting this blog and being patient with my bragging. Now I can get back to work on my next projects.

%d bloggers like this: