Introducing Lori Young Williams: Lori Young-Williams is 41 years old, a prose and poetry writer born in St. Paul. She comes from a working class family that believes in laughter, crying, and praying when times are good, bad or otherwise. Lori has one brother, one sister, and another sister who passed away when she was 14. She received her degree in Human Relationships with an emphasis in family relationships at the University of Minnesota, 1992. Lori works a 9-5 job in Human Resources and Finance, but her passion is her writing. Most of her poetry is about her family—family relationships and how they impact her life. She has been published in Interrace magazine, the Turtle River Press, the National Library of Poetry, Quill Books, Dust & Fire and other anthologies. Also, she has self-published two chapbooks. She has read in various bookstores, coffee shops, and spoken word events in the Twin Cities. Lori recently was accepted as a participant for the Givens Black Writers Retreat, with Sonja Sanchez and Carolyn Holbrook. She is currently working on her Master’s Thesis through the Master of Liberal Studies program at the University of Minnesota. She has studied with Rose Brewer, Carolyn Holbrook, Sherry Quan Lee [that’s me], and others.
I have been the Women of Color: writing blogger since its inception. It was started in conjunction with a class I taught at Intermedia Arts, Women of Color Writers, Writing that Saves Lives. I must be honest and say, I am not a blogger. Perhaps it goes back to growing up in an environment of silence/of being silent. Although I am now more verbal, and I can actually say, I am a writer--at 61 years old silence is still haunting; it's baggage (as is the fear of shame—I can’t write, I can’t spell, I can’t put together a grammatically correct sentence; I might say something “wrong”, I don’t want to look dumb). Thus, my“bloggings” have been sporadic and far between (okay there are other reasons, no time, not taking the time, rather spend time with my grandsons, etc., etc.).
Also, participants in the WOC writing workshop didn’t have much to write either. Possibly it has something to do with the fact that I am not blog site savvy. I didn’t imagine a site where others can only comment on what I had written. I visualized a site where others would also write “blogs”—I am quite sure I am not using the words blog, blogger, blogging correctly, but it’s okay, I’m still learning what most four year olds already know (don’t you love those commercial where the 4 ½ year old says something like I’m a pc and I’m 4 ½ years old)!
Although I don’t know much about blogging, I am now passing on the little bit I do know to Lori. Lori will be using the Women of Color: writing blog site for the workshop she will be teaching beginning March 21 (see her recent post). Together we will become tech savvy and maybe even get some photos and some links on the blog site. I will continue to sporadically post my musings, but Lori will too. Most importantly, we are shouting out to women of color to post their thoughts (not just comments) on this blog site, and we want women of color to post their creative writing (poetry or short prose)—and we will post it under creative writing, not under comments to creative writing, at least that is the plan.
(Lori and I wrote and performed, along with Ann Freeman, Sun Yung Shin, and Carolyn Holbrook, Chinese Black Women Got the Beat, 2006.)
Sherry Quan Lee
By the way, Susan Power is teaching a weeklong short story workshop at Split Rock this summer: www.cce.umn.edu/splitrockarts