18 June

Writer’s Life: Encouragement And Courage

by Jon Katz

Maria and I believe strongly in encouragement, our relationship began with the encouragement of each other, and when we can, we encourage others to follow their zeal and put their work out where it can be seen. The creative spark is a powerful gift, and once unleashed, can transform lives.

Maria and Jackie Thorne worked together in a frame shop in Saratoga Springs years before I met either one of them. They didn’t see one another for more than a decade until Jackie came to the Round House Cafe and they ran into one another while Maria was helping out by running the cash register to handle a huge crowd.

Their friendship picked up again, and Jackie told Maria she had been writing all of her life, and wanted to be published. Maria encouraged her and Jackie listened, and this week, she published her first book “Gone To Ground: Selected Poems And Essays,” available through Amazon and (for signed copies, Battenkill Books. I took this portrait of the two of the today (with my new – used- Zeiss portrait lens.)

After Jackie met Maria again, she joined my writing class at Pompanuck Farms and worked hard to finish this book. A happy thing all around. Jackie is strong, it takes courage to put yourself out there, especially for the first time.

We are very happy for Jackie and proud of her (see story¬† below.) But I thought this photo captured the spirit of the day, in which our writing class gathered to celebrate Jackie’s new book. Encouragement matters, and it is the ethos of our class.

Jackie calls the book a collection of “poems rooted in darkness and poems reaching for the light.” That is true.
Gone To Ground is on sale for $14.95, it is a bargain at that.

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