Saturday, September 18, 1999

Judith Arcana

JUDITH ARCANA is the founding director of the Union Institute Center for Women in Washington, D.C., and a professor of literature and women’s studies in the union’s Graduate School. She has also taught at Loyola University of Chicago, Columbia College, and The Prison Project at the Illinois State Reformatory for Women among many other places. She has participated in workshops at Fishtrap, Flight of the Mind, and Ragdale Retreat for Writers and Artists and has produced videotapes on feminine sexuality for the Union Institute Center for Women.

Judith is the author of Our Mothers’ Daughters, Every Mother’s Son, and Celebrating Nelly. Her most recent book is Grace Paley’s Life Stories, A Literary Biography.

Judith is a longtime teacher of writing and literature and is a prolific writer of articles, essays and speeches about women’s issues, including abortion, mother-blaming, ethnic and racial stereotypes. Her work has been published in the US, England, and Canada. She is a poet and story writer as well with work appearing recently in Nimrod, CALYX, The Temple and Sojourner, ZYZZYVA, and Fireweed: Poetry of Western Oregon, as well as Poetry Motel, 13th Moon, Rhino, Exit 13, and the 1996 contest issue of Passager. She also had recent work in the Cleis Press anthology Nice Jewish Erotica and the Ann Landers Encyclopedia.

She states,
I write for pleasure, I write to satisfy my own desire for writing, my longing for it; I write for an audience, I want to engage that audience, I want anybody who reads or hears my work to be taken into the words, the images, their rhythm and meaning. Performing my work is important to me, a source of joy and exhilaration, and of course offers one way I can actually contact my audience. When I read, I'm like any other live performer, putting out and responding to the vibe/energy.

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