National Association of Memoir Writers online conversation series
In February, I had a fascinating and revealing virtual conversation with Linda Joy Myers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers discussing the backstory behind Bless the Birds. You can watch the video here. It was a delight to talk with Linda Joy and to be part of NAMW’s ongoing series of authors discussing memoir and how we create meaning from our stories. (Vimeo may ask you to register, but you can just ignore that and watch our conversation without registering.)
If you missed my book launch, watch this wide-ranging and resonant conversation with memoirist and teacher Kati Standefer, whose stunning debut memoir, Lightning Flowers, is an Oprah and NYT Book Review Editor’s Pick. (Scroll down the page of videos until you see “Living on the Edge of Death.”) Hosted by Collected Works Bookstore and co-sponsored by Women’s International Study Center.
20 Minutes a Day, August 2021
Len Leatherwood, author and president of Story Circle Network, reviewed Bless the Birds and interviewed me. I am honored by her words:
Susan’s book is peppered with wisdom, warmth, honesty and a generous dose of reality-based humor. It also tells a real love story of two people who face losing one another far sooner than they had anticipated and how they savor the time they have left. I laughed, cried and excused myself from several family gatherings so I could sneak away and continue reading. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to have a glimpse into a world where consciously living in the present teaches us how not to be so terribly afraid of dying.
Writer Advice, Spring 2021
B. Lynn Goodwin, novelist and editor of Writer Advice (online) interviewed me about Bless the Birds, writing, and living. She opened the interview with this praise for Bless the Birds:
Susan Tweit’s Bless the Birds: Living with Love in a Time of Dying is one of the most moving and well-rounded memoirs I’ve ever read — and I have read a lot of them. Though the story could happen to anyone, it’s the characters and their reverence for life and their relationship that makes this story stand above so many. The balance of joy and anguish is as impressive as author Susan Tweit’s skilled use of language and her enduring appreciation of nature. The structure of the story is strong as she travels between a long-delayed honeymoon and the years after her husband is diagnosed with brain cancer. Her life-affirming practices are woven throughout the story, balancing his loss of life with her resilience.
Madam Mayo blog, April 2021
Writer and translator C.M. Mayo really got me thinking about why and how I write in these questions for her monthly author interview on her blog. Here’s my answer to her question about why I write memoir:
What I find compelling about memoir is that it is a way to make use of my life experiences, “composting” them, as it were, into stories that inspire, inform, or guide others, whether or not they will ever encounter similar situations. At its best, memoir proves the truth of the saying, “The personal is the political.” Meaning how we live offers wisdom to illuminate national and world events, whether the generational trauma of racism, the struggle to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, or the long-term planetary crisis of climate change.
Write On Four Corners with Traci HalesVass, KSJE-FM
A conversation about Bless the Birds and how we nurture each other and ourselves and this earth in a time harder than we could ever imagine with host Traci HalesVass. (I called in from my truck high, parked where I could get cell service high on a ridge in the Absaroka Range of western Wyoming!) Listen here.
Emerging Form with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Christine Aschwanden (Episode 53)
“Learn. Fail. Grow.” That’s part of the creative action plan for award-winning writer and Susan J. Tweit. In this episode of Emerging Form, we continue our Soul Food Series and talk with Susan about the importance of reflection–how writing not only helps us to meet difficult moments, but also helps us to find “deeper levels and better understanding” as time passes. We talk about the process of reflection and how it leads our writing toward the universal. As Susan says, “Without reflection, what’s the point?”
SAMPLES FROM THE ARCHIVES