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Rust Belt Rising!

Fractures well cured make us more strong.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

RustBeltJust released by The Head & Hand Press, the first Rust Belt Rising Almanac highlights the indomitable spunk and spirit of our region. The new anthology includes literature, photography, and art depicting loss, change, and creativity in urban communities scorched by economic recession. Detroit, Cleveland, and Philadelphia are among several Rust Belt cities represented.

Two of my mixed-media pieces (“Remember” and “Cycles of the Muse”) are featured in full color near the front of the book. This is the first time my artwork has been selected for illustration — and I have to admit it’s pretty exciting. Since my pieces are crafted mostly from recycled objects and scraps, they seem to work with the Rust Belt theme.

To celebrate the Almanac‘s release — it’s the first volume in a series — Press founder Nic Esposito and Philadelphia musician Todd Henkin (of the critically acclaimed band The Great Unknown) are touring the Rust Belt this summer.

The Rust Belt Almanac tour stops in Detroit on June 26, 7:00 to 9:00 pm. In collaboration with Literary Detroit at Trinosophes Coffee Shop (1464 Gratiot), Esposito and Henkin will showcase pieces in the Almanac through storytelling and music. A short story by Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela on adapting to Detroit through a community in collective housing will be featured in the event.

Copies of the book are available at local bookstores and on Amazon.

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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