Newcomer Women's Services Toronto (NEW) is proud to launch its second book, Re-imaging the Sky: an Anthology. This is a collection of works written by fourteen women who spent their time writing together in NEW's Writing Circle, which is run by writer-in-residence, author and publisher Dr. Althea Prince. In this book, readers will find seventy-four (74) pieces of creative writings, varying from poetry to essays, and even a children's fable.
"In the beginning, the women showed some doubt that what they had to say would be worthy of seeing the light of day, "said Dr. Prince, "Writing in their first languages soon enabled ‘voice'. They lost all shyness, all self-doubt, worry, and concern about whether their words were worthy of being given air. "
The process of migration leaves many newcomer women with a loss of community and sense of identity. The experience losing one's self, one's community connections, and one's identity is painful. This is made more difficult when dealing with overwhelming barriers to settling in Canada: overcoming systemic discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and violence. This book explores these settlement experiences and other life-writing themes.
Women at NEW frequently tell stories of being silenced. Women feel invisible and excluded from society, due to language barriers or the feelings of shame imposed by people not understanding their ‘accent'. The writing process gives voice to women's role as storytellers, and allows them to define and articulate their own stories and share them within the community.
The authors are: Daisy Castaneda; Mageshwari Caulee; Melissa Chasse; Hildegard Gmeiner; Maria Gomez; Mahi Kazemi; Parvin Khan; Nicole Minerve; Oluyinka Sekoni; Faye Stanbury; Angela Walcott; Lisa Wallace; Shahla Lafeer and Luz M. Some quotes from this book are now available on NEW's Facebook page.
Visit NEW's website to learn more about the organization and about this project.