“I stare at my father’s suitcase, then blink. A breeze from the open door touches my arms and I hesitate because of the words, and I think about forgiveness.” – All the Words

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I’ve begun conceptualizing writing (and not just reading) as an exercise in empathy, as a deliberate movement from examining the material present of image into excavating the more abstract shadows of history and character. This practice pulls me towards representing that juncture where character collides with plot, sometimes obliquely and through collage, sometimes directly and through scene. Always, I’m interested in the power and illusions of gender, the vulnerability that comes with sadness, the redemptive potential of kindness, and the surprising ways attention to history can catalyze the energy necessary for movement towards change.

Maria Brandt is an active member of Straw Mat Writers, Rochester Playwrights Group, Queen City Playwrights, and the Dramatists Guild. She teaches Creative Writing at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York.

mbrandt@monroecc.edu

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