You've got to convince people that the story doesn't matter. What matters is the truth of your deep voice, not your entertaining voice.

Jack Grapes, renowned writing teacher and award-winning poet reads a poem he wrote 50 years ago after the death of his mother. He hadn't read it in decades, and it brought up a lot of unexpected feelings.

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is Last of the Outsiders Vol:1. For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Imagine receiving a letter from your mother a few years after she died. Imagine the letter is blank. That is the story our writer tells us this week. 

Jack Grapes, renowned writing teacher and award-winning poet reads a poem he wrote 50 years ago after the death of his mother. He hadn't read it in decades, and it brought up a lot of unexpected feelings.

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is Last of the Outsiders Vol:1. For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

"To begin with, this is not a story about my mother. She and I were not to enter the picture for a number of years. It’s another mother's story- of a ghost, a shadowy presence that moved along the distant edges of my childhood, whose memory was in the custody of others reluctant to part with it or even let it see the light of day." -Jon Wise

Jon Wise lives in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, with his wife Gail and their Australian terrier Owen. He has called the Crescent City home for most of his life and is grateful that he could; though he retains an affinity for the northwest part of the state and the stories it contains. A lawyer by trade, Jon has often turned to writing as both a creative outlet and a way of coming to terms with the world and his brief place in it. He has published poetry and short stories in literary reviews in Louisiana and Arkansas.

 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

We're telling stories. 

Raw honest unapologetic episode about life after the death of this writer's son. She holds nothing back.

Alexis Rhone Fancher is an award winning poet and photographer. She has been published in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, Plume, Tinderbox, Cleaver, and elsewhere. Her books include: How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen…, State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, Enter Here, and Junkie Wife

The Dead Kid Poems, the follow up to State of Grace, is available now on Amazon. 

Alexis’s photographs are published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Heyday, and Pit-head Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. Since 2013, she has been nominated more than 20 times for the Pushcart Prize. Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.

The poems in this episode are: 

Cruel Choices -winner of the Pangolin Prize, nominated for The Pushcart Prize (pub in ASKEW, and in Amarylis, UK)

Keeping Things Cold (pub in Diode)

Snow Globe (pub in The MacGuffin)

You can find Alexis Rhone Fancher here -

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexis.fancher 

Website: www.alexisrhonefancher.com

Links to her books:

The Dead Kid Poems

Junkie Wife - Moontide

Junkie Wife 

Enter Here

State of Grace

How I lost my Virginity to Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell.Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Find out more about us at www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

 

 

 

We're telling stories.

Today’s guest is a best selling novelist and an all around wonderful writer. She wrote a beautiful piece for this podcast and then called us with a special request-- that we keep her identity anonymous.

Who doesn't speak to their mother?

What do you do when you have a toxic relationship with your mom? When the mother you want, is not the mother you have? When you are looking for courage or permission to put your well-being first, to live in your truth? What do you do when you don't want to hurt your mom, but continuing the relationship you two have set up is making you miserable? What lesson will you teach your kids if you disconnect? Or on the flip side, what will you teach them if you don't?

Self-love is not a bad word.

Life lessons are all around us. And one big lesson to be learned from today’s show is, ‘the way a mother handles her divorce can make or break her relationship with her children going forward’.

Every nugget of wisdom that can save us time along our journey of self awareness, in our effort to evolve into a higher self, is of value. And this episode is chocked full of those nuggets.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners and songwriters, to stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell.

Find out more about us at:

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

on Facebook and Instagram @ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother 

Benjamin Davis shares his poem, The Playlist At My Mother’s Funeral. We talk about how his mother would like a party when she dies which got him thinking of the playlist and how the songs that remind him of his mother and also track his memories with her throughout his childhood. Our conversation went from his rebellious teens and how he thought his parents showed great restraint for not throwing him in the basement and only feeding him scraps to the time when we all come to the realization that all the adults in our life are just winging it. 

He also talks about his book King of Fu. He describes it as a magical realism, memoir, poem. Where the adults are described as supervisors and only distinguished by their job description. Until he is in trouble and needs a protector. At this point his mom turns from Homeopathic Doctor to a magical being, Mother. Mom vanquishes bullies and helps him when he is in trouble, but when the trouble passes and he no longer needs her, she becomes Homeopathic Doctor again. This episode is filled with whimsy and coming of age realizations.

Benjamin Davis, is an American journalist and author of The King of FU, living in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  If you need anything from him, he’s likely antagonizing his girlfriend by publishing humorous anecdotes about their love life in P.S. I Love You.

Links to Benjamin Davis

Website: https://benjamindaviswriter.com

The King of FU: http://kingoffu.online 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D2YYL6S

Medium: https://medium.com/@benjamindaviswriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjamindaviswriter


Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/benjamindavis


Instagram: @davis.benjamin.s

We’re telling stories

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 If you like this episode help us out by sharing it with friends, rate and leave us a review. Thank you Lupe &Katie

Follow us on social media or on our website

 

 

Tresha  Faye Haefner shares with us a poem about her childhood in paradise California. We talk about the wants and rebellion of youth and how when you’re a kid with the security of a loving family, you don’t have the life experience to appreciate just how lucky you are.

She also shares how one should listen to a poem.

Several of our brilliant guests came to us through Tresha - Alexis Rhone Fancher (Cruel Choices ep 6) Elya Braden (How to Be a Bad Mother ep 8), and Kelly Grace Thomas (How the Body is Passed Down ep 9)

Tresha Faye Haefner is a writer, editor, workshop-facilitator, and founder of The Poetry Salon, Los Angeles where she uses her rich knowledge to guide other writers into accessing their authentic, creative voice. She spent ten years teaching English, Social Studies and Creative Writing in private schools, before receiving an M.A. Degree in Humanistic Psychology, with a specialization in creativity studies, from Saybrook University. She has been an active member and teacher at California Poets in the Schools, helped to curate the CPITS Anthology of Lesson Plans, Poetry Crossing, and has been a grant recipient through the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-In-Residence program.

Outside traditional academy instruction, Tresha has learned at the feet of established, innovative poets such as Kim Addonizio, Sally Ashton, Ellen Bass, Gabrielle Calvacoressi, Brendan Constantine, Matthew Dickman, Jack Grapes, Suzanne Lummis, Eloise Klein Healy, Naomi Shihab-Nye, and founder of the Poetry Depths Mystery School, Kim Rosen. Her own work has been published in several journals, including BloodLotus, The Cincinnati Review Fourth River, Hunger Mountain, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She is the recipient of the 2011 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize, a 2015 Pushcart nominee, and author of the chapbook Take This Longing from Finishing Line Press. She continues to read widely, attend regular readings and workshops, and learn from every poet she meets.

Currently Tresha lives in Los Angeles, where she is founder of The Poetry Salon, a thriving artistic community that all levels of expertise, who can choose between one-day writing workshops, online e-classes and in-depth advanced core classes. Participants showcase their work four times a year at cumulative class readings, and those women and men have gone on to publish award-winning, cutting-edge work and even teach creative writing classes of their very own.

All of her offerings are on her website www.thepoetrysalon.com where you can subscribe to the blog and other announcements with the button at the bottom of the home page. There's also our just-released e-course How to Think Like a Poet

 

We’re telling stories 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

What's more important-- saying I love you or showing it through our actions?

In this episode we take a look at that. 

We're telling stories and having meaningful conversations about whatever they bring up.

Our guest is Katie Manglis. After her mother died when she was just a baby, her grandmother, Yiayia, stepped in to fill the void.

Katie Manglis grew up in Cyprus in the 1970s and 80s and dreamed of becoming a paleontologist and discovering new dinosaurs. Instead, she ended up working in marketing, consulting and Wall Street and has been living in New York City for the past 26 years. She is the mother of two boys who both got to meet and swim with Yiayia.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

When a mother's reaction is disappointing, is not the support you were needing or hoping for, remember to keep  a window open in your relationship because, one day she may just surprise you.

We’re telling stories

Rich Valenza is our guest today. He is the Founder and CEO of RaiseAChild,a national nonprofit organization building loving families for foster children®.

RaiseAChild recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing the nations 437,000 foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. In its six-year history, RaiseAChild has engaged more than 8,500 prospective parents across the country.

In establishing RaiseAChild, Rich has drawn on more than 25 years’ success in marketing and development for broadcast media and nonprofit organizations. He has used his expertise in working with leading national and international corporations to form strategic partnerships with community service agencies, national and regional LGBTQ organizations, and businesses to build RaiseAChild’s strength and influence. Rich serves as a member of the Adoption Exchange Association’s Board of Directors.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Being a mother is an attitude, not Biology. That is our tagline and that's what this entire episode is about. 

SHARI WALKER is a former foster youth who entered the foster care system at age fourteen. She talks about different mothering she received from her birth mom (Bio Mom) and "the first person who wasn't being paid to be with her" (her Heart Mom) after she aged out of the foster care system.

Shari graduated from California State University Northridge, where she majored in African American Studies with an emphasis on Social Science. She is in currently obtaining her Master of Social Work at the USC and continues to write and produce theater and poetry that brings awareness surrounding the transitional experiences after leaving foster care. Shari is currently a part of an ensemble theater performance directed by Kathleen Rubin called "It's Just My Life" where she was able to write "Heart Mom, Bio Mom" during the creative writing workshops. Her one-woman show production to bring awarenesses about youth transitioning out of care entitled Sugar-Free: Foster Care Cognitive Dissonance was selected to receive one of the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival scholarships. 

Shari Walker is a renowned keynote speaker and spoken word artist within LA County and currently sits on the Leadership Corp for both The National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) Homeless Action Committee, steered by board member and U.S. Representative Karen Bass, and the Alumni Empowerment Council, steered by members The United Friends of The Children.

Shari hopes to combine her personal experience and current academia to create social change by spreading awareness through the creative arts for disconnected and transition age foster youth who are exiting care. 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

 

Operating in this world with what others may think of as challenges - being black, a little person, gay, and Christian, Clay Rivers reminds us that we all have challenges that we are walking around with. Some people’s challenges are more hidden. Clay wears his out loud.
 
I can do it myself! The way he entered into this world was a perfect match for the mother he was born to. She knew that faith, self respect, respect of others and taking personal responsibility was key to fully becoming who you were intended to be. Today’s story is about how the death of Princess Diana reinforced the gratitude he had for his own mother.
 
Clay Rivers is a writer who writes about the intersection of race, equality, faith and entertainment. His writing credits include most notably The New York Times, the popular Medium publications Crossin(G)enres and The Mission. Clay is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Our Human Family, the new Medium publication that takes a look at racism through the lenses of equality, faith, and the shared humanity of all people.
 
Clay Rivers has penned three nonfiction books: 
Walking Tall: A Memoir About the Upside of Small and Other Stuff
The Raindancer: Finding Joy in the Storm, and 
3 Things I Know: Facing and Embracing Life’s Challenges
Each takes a different look—first, second, and third person points of view—at how to effectively mine the best from life’s most trying circumstances. 
 
Clay Lives in Orlando and is almost always up for a cappuccino. Or a Manhattan.
 
 
Facebook author page: http://facebook.com

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

Jack Grapes, renowned Los Angeles writing teacher and award-winning poet read a poem in episode 25 that he wrote 50 years ago, after the death of his mother. This week in the rest of our conversation, he discusses how to write from an authentic deep place inside. And we talk about turning our pain into art. There are two beautiful excerpts from poets (and previous guests) Alexis Rhone Fancher (episode 6) and Chanel Brenner (episode 21). 

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is LAST OF THE OUTSIDERS Vol.1: Collected Poems 1968-2019        

For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

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