Book Launch for Stella Jeng Guillory’s An Advancing Glacier

Book Launch Celebration for
Stella Jeng Guillory’s An Advancing Glacier

6pm
September 28, 2019

In our era of retreating glaciers, Stella Jeng Guillory’s An Advancing Glacier is refreshing. The first and title poem opens “I capture your chill/ I nurture your chill/ I rapture your chill” and through the rest of the chapbook the poet does indeed capture details, nurture appreciation, and open us to rapture. We travel across many continents but these are not just tourist accounts decorated with exotic flowers. Each poem is precise and deeply personal. Grandmother chews food “small and fine./ She feeds me,/ mouthful by mouthful.” The reader will also be fed. – Penelope Scambly Schott

Born in China and raised in Taiwan, Stella Jeng Guillory, who immigrated to the United States for graduate study more than fifty years ago, is a woman stretched among cultures, languages,
and heritages. It is no surprise, therefore, that the speaker of these poems is endlessly after balance. Never truly at home anywhere (one poem’s title is “I Sit Astride the Globe”), she longs
for ho’oponopono, Hawaiian for “being right with both self and others.” In perhaps the most poignant poem in this heartfelt and touching collection, she is foraging for mushrooms when she
comes upon a species that also grows in the mountains near her native village. “I nestle my thoughts / in them,” she says, “as if [doing so were] making me whole again.” – Andrea Hollander

Stella Jeng Guillory was born in Fujian Province, China and came to the United States in 1964 to pursue her graduate studies in organic chemistry. At Cornell University in Ithaca NY she obtained her doctorate degree. Fifteen years ago she relocated from Hawaii to the Northwest and now lives in Vancouver, WA. Dr. Stella Jeng Guillory’s poetry has appeared in Bamboo Ridge: The Hawaii Writers’ Quarterly; La’ila’i; Sister Stew: Fiction and Poetry by Women; VoiceCatcher, (Winter, 2013 and Summer Issues, 2015); Just Now, 20 New Portland Poets; America the National Catholic Review (2014 & 2015); Verseweavers (2014, 2016, 2017), Poetry Moves and RE: VISION POEMS. Dr. Guillory’s poem, “Chief Joseph’s Flute,” was awarded a second place by the Hawaii Review for the Ian MacMillan Writing Award of Poetry, 2016. Her chapbook, An Advancing Glacier, was published by Moonstone Press based in Philadelphia in June 2019.

To order An Advancing Glacier, visit Moonstone Press:
https://squareup.com/store/moonstone-arts-center/item/an-advancing-glacier

Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
angstgallery.com

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Book Launch for Beyond the Third Door by Maria Heckinger

Book Launch for Maria Heckinger’s Beyond the Third Door

6pm
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
angstgallery.com

Join us on August 22 for an event to celebrate the publication of Maria Heckinger’s astounding memoir debut, Beyond the Third Door. The author will be present to read from and sign copies of her new book.

Facebook Users: Maria will give brief readings from the book at 6:10, 7:10, and 8:10. Please RSVP by responding “going” to the event connected to the time you wish to attend.

Maria Heckinger’s memoir Beyond the Third Door tells an incredible story which straddles the fine line between blind luck and unexplained miracles. On a Greek island in 1952, 15-year-old Hariklea’s life is changed in an instant. Sent by her father to a doctor on the mainland, the girl discovers she is pregnant. Given the social taboos of the time, Hariklea is exiled to the streets of Patras where she gives birth to her child in the most difficult of circumstances. 30 years later, carrying a handful of papers to translate, the orphaned child returns to Greece. Through sheer serendipity, Maria finds her birth mother, a woman with many secrets. What happens after their coincidental reunion makes this a story like no other.

Maria Heckinger was born in Patras, Greece and raised in San Diego, California. She moved to Vancouver, Washington in 1981 where she lives with her husband Matt. After a 31-year career in elementary and middle school education, she enjoys spending time with friends and her very extended family.

“In the early summer of 1956, feisty three-year-old Maria was put on a plane from Greece to New York. The long flight and frequent stops knocked out all the physical and mental energy that the little Greek girl had left, and she arrived sick and helpless at the other end. Until then and for many more years to come, all life-changing decisions were made for her. But Maria took back agency, traveled back to Greece and reconnected with her biological family in Patras. The moving and occasionally humorous story of becoming a well-rounded, mature individual with a completed identity had to be told, and it had to be told by the person who lived it and who took charge again of her life and quest. Maria’s book speaks in her own unique voice to the many issues of the adoptee identity interrupted. Her book opens up a dialogue for and with all those who have experienced something similar but may not yet have found the words—or may not yet have embarked on the adventure of the quest. As a researcher studying the Greek postwar adoptions, I welcome Maria’s rich and courageous testimony wholeheartedly and encourage others to follow her path.”

Professor Gonda Van Steen, Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature, King’s College London, author of Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece: Kid pro quo? (University of Michigan Press, 2019).

“Half a continent separates us now, but there was a time when Maria and I were mere yards apart. I have known her all my life, but I didn’t realize it until our paths crossed nearly 62 years later. Maria and I were orphans together in the Patras Municipal Orphanage that created a bond that may get lost but is never broken. Her story is my story; it is the story of some 3,500 other Greek orphans from the 1950s and 60s. Before I started my search, I thought I was alone. Maria’s courage to tell her story lets us know we are not alone and gives hope to those of us still searching. It is good to have reconnected with my friend.”

Merrill Jenkins, Patras adoptee

“Maria Heckinger is a force of nature with a heartwarming story so miraculous that it would not seem out-of-place in a work of fiction. I had the great privilege of watching as her manuscript developed over time in my memoir writing class, and the great joy of editing an earlier version of it. You will be heartbroken to learn the story of young Hariklea, a girl whose station in Greek society led to her being powerless as the most crucial decision of one’s life was made on her behalf. You will be captivated by Maria’s anguish, heroism, and perseverance as she searches for answers regarding the circumstances of her birth. You will be inspired by her journey from despair to peace and understanding. Maria Heckinger’s story will give hope to those adopted children and birth mothers who live with an ongoing sense of loss.”

Christopher Luna, Editor, Writing Coach and Co-Founder of Printed Matter Vancouver/ Memoir Writing Instructor

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