Jill Quist offered a session on May 23.

 Jill Quist is a writer, workshop leader, affiliate of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA), corporate communications professional, writing coach and founder of The Writer’s Refuge – Your Safe Place to Create.

A native New Yorker, her theater reviews previously appeared in The Villager, a former local newspaper in Greenwich Village. She has published several business articles in trade magazines. On the creative side, her creative nonfiction appears in Her Stry and was a semi-finalist in Tulip Tree Publishing’s contest, “Stories that Need to Be Told.”

She leads online and in-person writing workshops using the AWA model through The Writer’s Refuge, a writing studio in Jacksonville, FL. While still living in the northeast, she led AWA writing workshops for three years in her studio in New Jersey, The Mindful Muse. What she loves most about leading workshops is what she learns from the writers with whom she writes. She never ceases to be amazed by their expansive curiosities and their unique strengths. 

We thank Jill for her leadership and these writers for sharing their work with us!

Ethel Rosenberg’s Confession

by Barbra Krasner

Tendrils of roasting chicken on a Friday afternoon

Ringlets of freshly laundered towels and sheets
These are the things I miss.
Grasps of Julie’s voice each Wednesday
Clasps of my children’s sticky hands
These are the things I cherish.
Curls of futile court denials
Roils of newspaper hatred
Things are the things I cast aside
because the tendrils of my boys’ giggles
and the grasps of my husband’s tenor
give me all the hope I need for the future.

FUNERAL

by Karen Thompson

It was done. He was buried. My mother, still sat in the aluminum chair next to the gravesite, though all other visitors had gone. I sat next to her, not saying anything. Just giving her time to think about anything she wanted. I wondered what was going through her mind. Was she remembering the day they got married? When he kissed her for the last time? What she would do now that she was alone? Or was her mind simply numb. Thinking nothing. Just staring at the fake grass that was placed over the freshly dug-up dirt?

The flag, folded in a tight triangle was in her lap and her thin fingers absently fingered the crease that the fold had made. Up and down. Up and down. 

After a moment she looked at me and said “I’m ready to go home.” It was resolute. She knew he was not here. She wanted to be where she would still feel his presence. Home. 

We stood and she walked across the still-dewy grass toward the car. I expected her to look back longingly, but it never came. She focused forward the entire way to our car, now the only one in the cemetery. 

Nothing was said on the way home and we silently entered the house I grew up in. Mother walked back to her bedroom and asked to be left alone. “I’m going to rest for a bit,” she said as she gave my hand a squeeze. 

I watched her enter the dark bedroom and close the door. I sat on the sofa and soon fell asleep. It had been a long, tiring few days. 

When I woke, I realized that it was now early evening. Confused, I sat in the dark trying to figure out how I had slept that long. I crept back to mother’s room and opened the door just a crack. She still lay peacefully on the bed, still in her black dress. Still clutching the folded flag. 

“Mom,” I said, as I tiptoed over. “Mom? It’s evening. We slept all day.” She didn’t stir. I crept closer and suddenly, I knew.  


Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!

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