Writing Out of the Darkness

Tucson’s Owl and Panther group provides a “refuge within a refuge” for local refugees through creative writing, counseling and community service. Just a few weeks ago, these young people and adults together published a book of poetry, Writing Out of the Darkness, in memory of activist and supporter Amy Shubitz.

This is a powerful collection of poetry–I sat down with it one night, and didn’t stop until I was through. It’s also a collection with … more light shining through than darkness. Which may or may not make sense, but I’m not sure how else to explain it, quite.

Tucson writer Marge Pellegrino was one of the folks involved in making the book happen. She describes it in a little more detail below:

I’m really excited that the book we’ve been working on for the last year or two with the Owl and Panther group is finally published. Thanks to one of our fabulous volunteers, Owl and Panther’s book is now on the web!

The book was edited by poet Ann Dernier and published by The Tucson Writers’ Project, a program of the Tucson-Pima Public Library —now the Pima County Public Library– financial support for the project came from the Friends of the Tucson-Pima Public Library and the Hopi Foundation.

Ah but the words! Read powerful poems by Nancy Mairs, Richard Shelton, Demetria Martinez, Meg Files, Donna Steiner, Roberto Rodriquez and Ken Kennon along with our own amazing community of students, parents and volunteers of the Owl and Panther project. Marianna Neil, Ann Dernier, Barbara Poley, and Marge Pellegrino contributed introductions to the book project that is dedicated to our beloved Amy Shubitz. This book was a dream of Amy’s that has finally been realized.

You don’t have to take my word about the book:

“These poems sing with the voice of the indomitable human spirit. Read them and be touched.” –Judy Dyl, children’s writer and editor

“These poems are remedios, as Demetria Martinez writes in her poem ‘Why We Write.’ Read them and be a witness to the healing power of words.” –Juanita Havill, children’s writer

“An inspiration and tool for healing those who have suffered the tragedies of war.” –Mamie Spillane, educator

There’s no ISBN for the book, and you can’t order it on Amazon–but there’s more information about the it, and the Owl and Panther group, on the group’s web site.

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