Woman. Warrior. Writer. 12-2021
Toni Ann Johnson Volume 3. No. 1 December 1, 2021
Meet Woman Warrior Writer Toni Ann Johnson
December’s Woman Warrior Writer is Toni Ann Johnson. Johnson’s short-story collection Light Skin Gone to Waste won the Flannery O’Connor Award and is forthcoming from The University of Georgia Press in 2022. Her short fiction has appeared in The Emerson Review, Coachella Review, Hunger Mountain, Callaloo, and elsewhere. A novel, Remedy For a Broken Angel (2014) was nominated for a 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author. A novella, Homegoing (2021) won Accent Publishing’s inaugural novella contest.
How did you come to author your life?
In 2007 I wanted to plant trees in my South LA neighborhood in front of a Ralphs Grocery where there was no green space. A nonprofit was willing to cut the concrete, donate the trees, and plant them. All Ralphs would have to do was water them. They declined, disrespecting my community. I made it my mission to get those trees in the ground. I blogged, wrote letters, made a video, published an op-ed, and eventually, the trees were planted. Since then, when people won’t help me, I move them out of my way.
Wednesdays, January 12 - March 16, 2022 | 2:00 - 4:00PM (HST)
Featured Texts: PRINCE OF MOURNFUL THOUGHTS and OTHER STORIES by Caroline Kim; SOUTHBOUND: ESSAYS ON IDENTITY, INHERITANCE, AND SOCIAL CHANGE by Anjali Enjeti; OTHER SMALL HISTORIES by Darien Hsu Gee
Tuesdays, January 18 - March 22, 2022 | 1:00 - 3:00PM (HST)
This class is for a specific book project. Enrollment by instructor permission only, please contact me for more information.
Guest Writer: Toni Ann Johnson
BREAK: Write Your Divorce (One-time 2 hour workshop)
Sunday, January 9, 2022 | 7:00-9:00AM (HST)
USE code BREAK for 20% discount
Thursdays, April 7 - 28, 2022 | 2:00 - 4:00PM (HST)
Thursdays, February 3 - March 3, 2022 | 8:00 - 10:00AM (HST)
Register for a Free Class
Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 2:00 - 3:00PM HST
Master Narratives is a FREE CLASS for WOMEN who have not registered/taken a free/paid class with me prior.
This FREE class is intended to introduce you to my pedagogical and creative perspective on literature and writing. A truthful reckoning with your own Master Narratives will enable you to not only write the story you were meant to write, but to begin to author your life.
BREAK: A Monthly Discussion Meetup for Women (FREE)
LIVE MEETING, Friday, December 3, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM (HST)
Join me for this open discussion group. I'll bring in also something that helped move me through my divorce and I invite you to share whatever you like. Please feel free to forward this link to someone you know.
Sometimes women divorce quickly, but it takes years to process. Others waited to divorce and when they did, moved rapidly into their new lives. There is not a single process or way to experience life. Everyone is different. Writing is what changed the outcome of my divorce, but I recognize there are many ways people process their emotional lives. This is a space for women to share.
Please contact me for the link.
Feel free to also join BREAK: Write Your Divorce Facebook group.
Recommended Reading: Books by Fall 2021 Visiting Writers
Anne Liu Kellor: Heart Radical
Tamiko Nimura: We Hereby Refuse
Maya Shanbhag Lang: What We Carry
Marivi Soliven: The Mango Bride
GODS and PINEAPPLES
This section of my newsletter has featured various photos and historical information about the first generation of Korean immigrants to Hawai’i. This is the graduation picture of my grandmother Salome Choi Han from nursing school. She’s in the front row in the center.
Becoming a nurse was a huge act of rebellion for my grandmother. My great-grandmother Elizabeth Choi who was a cook and dorm mother for the Korean Compound, the boarding school for the plantation children, had told Salome that to become a nurse was shameful because she would be around men’s bodies, specifically, naked ones. Salome’s older brother Don agreed. But Straub, a famous local doctor had encouraged Salome to study nursing. In defiance of her family’s wishes, Salome ran down School Street crying with her luggage to the nursing school dorm. A few years later, she was capped—she became a nurse. Less than 100 years later we think that the idea of a woman being shunned by her family for such actions as absurd.
But I ask you this: What do you want to be and how can we support women in their quest to manifest their dreams?
Whatever story we tell ourselves is the one we come to believe. We Create the Story of Our Lives.
Korea Society hosts the exhibit the Feeling of Han: Portraits of Post-War Korea 1956-1957 until December 16, 2021 by photographer Marie Ann Han Yoo. Here’s a video interview! Use the case sensitive password Koreasociety to see rare color postwar Korea photographs. My mother debuted as a photographer at age 85!
Never think it is too late to begin, to create, to show who you are to the world. If you are interested in this exhibit for your organization or school please contact Katherine Yoo at firstname.lastname@example.org
For women, warriors, and writers. Proceeds for writing class scholarships.
Anne Liu Kellor author of Heart Radical
Looking forward to a good December! Take time to eat, write, and read! Head outside!
As 2021 comes to a close I’ll be wrapping up some key reflections about this past year. I’ll be blogging and try to post on Mondays. Be sure to check it out.
If you have a story to share or have any questions, please contact me.