tell stories. I tell them in poems, theater pieces, fiction. I tell them
in essay form, in letters. I tell them in my lectures. I tell them on
the telephone. Everything comes to me in the Listen-to-what-happened form.
From when I was a kid. An ordinary day, a meeting on the bus, a trip to
the park. I turn my stories into art the best way I can, but basically,
they are human stories, stories of birth and death, of people in crisis,
of families, of love, of war, of God as I understand the Divine. I have
been formalizing my work for my own discipline first. Writing and story-telling
helps me make sense of what I see, hear, taste, smell, touch. I start
here and go as far as I can. Whenever someone wants to come along with
me, I am surprised and pleased. It is unexpected and a delight. It gives
me confidence, strength, hope. I want to do more then. I want to write
and sing and dance. As many of us do, somewhere, deep inside. That's what
my work is about - bringing the inside out. And celebrating the union
of the two.
holds a Ph.D. in literature from McGill University, a B.A. from Barnard
College, and an M.A. from Hunter College. She is a Registered Expressive
Arts Therapist, Writing Consultant and Instructor at various universities,
colleges and graduate schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has
published five books of poems and prose, essays and reviews, and has
written and performed the one-woman multi-media show VALIA, the story
of a woman freedom fighter in Danzig, in WWII. She runs a writing development
and consultation practice in Berkeley, California and teaches college
writing and womens literature in San Francisco.
is a frequent reader in the area, on stage, radio, bookstores, colleges.
BLOODLETTING: A MIND AT MIDLIFE, combining prose and poetry, was one
of the first books in the spate of books about menopause. And frequently,
she finds herself, however, unintentionally, in the avant-garde. "It
is as if I was connected to the zeitgeist," she said, "but
just did not express it through a continuous, formal, affiliation either
in a teaching institution, or in publishing. Like many women of my generation,
I had to invent a niche for myself and sustain it on my own. This was
true of VALIA too, her one-woman, multi-charactered, multimedia show,
which she not only wrote, and performed but produced, pulling together
other artists to mount the work in San Francisco and on local Public
Radio. In VALIA, the story of a woman freedom fighter at the fall of
Danzig in WWII, one of the centuries great tragedies receives an intense,
poignant, and lyric treatment, the human voice resounding beyond the
recently, Silverstein has been writing novels and extended non-fiction.
DAUGHTER is her first completed novel. OPEN SEASON is on the computer
screen, as is THE LAST ROSENBLUM, another family tale. She continues
her work on Holocaust-related material and is completing a new work
on Roumanian Jews, based on testimony, called UNSEAL THESE LIPS.
believe in writing as an art and a spiritual practice," she says.
"Nothing in my education prepared me for the depth and development
it has offered me. I work with others to give back when I have only
begun to fathom as I write and read, my daily fare. With Chaucer, I
say, Gladly will I lerne, and gladly teche.