Panel Event: 'Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis: Women Writers Respond to the Call'

"Making art is life-changing and life-affirming, and this book, this stunning collection, is filled to the brim with that affirmation."—Amy Ferris

Third Place Books welcomes local authors Donna Cameron, Sophia Kouidou-Giles, Marianne Lile, Anne Liu Kellor, Brenda Peterson, Kate Jessica Raphael, Ashley E. Sweeney, and Barbara Wolf Terao for a celebratory night of readings from the anthology Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis: Women Writers Respond to the Call. Publisher proceeds from anthology sales will be donated in support of World Central Kitchen. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.

Copies of Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis. . .

A poignant collection of essays, poetry, and art from She Writes Press authors to showcase how creativity supports us all to thrive, especially when the world is in crisis.

Art keeps good alive in the worst of times. In the face of ugliness, pain, and death, it’s art that has the power to open us all to a healing imagining of new possibility; it’s art that whispers to the collective that even in the ashes of loss, life always grows again. That’s why right now, in this tumultuous time of war and pandemic, we need poets more than we need politicians. 

In response to the multitude of global crises we’re currently experiencing, editor Stefanie Raffelock put out a much-needed call to her writing community for art to uplift and inform the world, and the authors of She Writes Press answered. Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis—a sometimes comforting, sometimes devastating, but universally relatable collection of prose, poetry, and art about living through difficult times like these—is the result. Addressing topics including grief and loss, COVID-19 and war in Ukraine, the gravity of need and being needed, the broad range of human response to crisis in all its forms, and more, these pieces explore how we can find beauty, hope, and deeper interpretation of world events through art—even when the world seems like it’s been turned inside out and upside-down.

Proceeds: Our Commitment 

The collection of essays, poetry, and art in this book are meant to feed and nourish our hearts and minds. It’s what women do—we feed people. To that end, the proceeds from this work will be donated to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, an organization conceived by chef José Andrés as a way to feed people affected by natural disasters and war. World Central Kitchen financially supports food banks and restaurants that provide free food throughout the world.

Praise for Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis. . .

"These are brave and beautiful and riveting pieces that reinforce the absolute truth that art indeed saves lives, and to make art in the midst of war or crisis or any form of turbulence is triumphant. To make things—create things—to 'write, to sing, to dance, to pay homage to grief upon an altar in the corner of our garden,' as Stephanie Raffelock writes in the introduction, is indeed how we change the world, clean up the messes of hatred and violence and indecency. Making art is life-changing and life-affirming, and this book, this stunning collection, is filled to the brim with that affirmation."
—Amy Ferris, author of Marrying George Clooney, Confessions from a Midlife Crisis

"Want a perfect example of 'show, don't tell'? It's this book. Show us that art matters in times of despair. Show us the power of a publisher on a mission to raise women's voices. Show us those women coming together create something beautiful. It's all here in these pages."
—Jennie Nash, founder and CEO of Author Accelerator

"This extraordinary anthology reminds us that, in the end, love always triumphs. It's a gift for each reader and a much-needed balm for our collective heart and soul."
—Debra Landwehr Engle, author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and Twenty

When Donna Cameron committed to a year of learning about kindness and trying to live more kindly, she considered herself a reasonably nice person (with occasional lapses into bitchiness). In that year—and the years that have followed—she learned that kindness is life-changing, that it takes practice, patience, and understanding . . . a sense of humor helps, too. Her book, A Year of Living Kindly is in its 8th printing and has been recognized with more than a dozen literary awards, and several foreign language editions are now available.

Sophia Kouidou-Giles is an award-winning author who holds a BA in psychology and a master’s in social work. She has published in Voices, Persimmon Tree, Assay, The Raven’s Perch, The Blue Nib, Door is a Jar. Transitions and Passages is her poetry chapbook. Her essays and poetry appear in several anthologies. She is author of Return to Thessaloniki, released in Greek and in English under the title Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past. Her novel, An Unexpected Ally, is forthcoming in the Fall of 2023.

Marianne Lile lives in Seattle. She is the author of the memoir, Stepmother.

Anne Liu Kellor is a mixed-race Chinese American writer, editor, and teacher based in Seattle. Her memoir, Heart Radical: A Search for Language, Love, and Belonging, was praised by Cheryl Strayed as "insightful, riveting, and beautifully written" and is a 2021 Foreword Indie Book of the Year Finalist and Independent Publisher’s Book Award Winner in multicultural nonfiction. Anne is the recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, Seventh Wave, Jack Straw Writers Program, 4Culture, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. She teaches writing workshops and facilitates a yearlong creative nonfiction program for women and nonbinary writers seeking mentorship and community.

Brenda Peterson is the author of 23 books, including Duck and Cover, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year.” Her memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind, was a “Top Ten Best Non-Fiction” (Christian Science Monitor) and an Indie Next “Great Read.” Peterson’s latest book is Wolf Nation, named a “Best Conservation Book of the Year” by Forbes magazine. Her work has appeared on NPR and in The New York Times, Tikkun, and Oprah. Her new illustrated book is Crane Maiden and her new novel, Stiletto, is out spring 2023.

Kate Jessica Raphael is a Lambda-nominated novelist, journalist, radical feminist and queer activist based in Seattle. Her Palestine mystery novels, Murder Under the Bridge and Murder Under the Fig Tree, won the Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY) and Foreword INDIEs Award. In February 2022, she published The Midwife’s In Town, which imagines a feminist underground in the South after Roe v. Wade is overturned.

A native New Yorker, Ashley E. Sweeney is the author of three novels and recipient of eleven awards, including the Nancy Pearl Book Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Her novels include Eliza Waite, Answer Creek, and Hardland, the latter due out this fall through She Writes Press. She is at work on a fourth novel based on her great-grandmother's life in Ireland and the American West. When she is not traveling for research, Sweeney splits her time between the Pacific Northwest and Tucson.

Barbara Wolf Terao was born and raised in Northfield, Minnesota and now lives on Whidbey Island in Washington. Besides way too many janitor jobs, Dr. Terao has been a teacher, psychologist, Land Ethic Leader, television host, newspaper columnist, book reviewer, and editor. She happily adds mother and now grandmother to that list. Her articles and essays have appeared in Orion, The Seattle Times, Cabin Life, AHP Perspective, Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis, Realize, and on her Of the Earth website ( Her memoir, Reconfigured, will be published in 2023.

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