I had the honor and pleasure of accepting the Sarton Literary Award for Historical Fiction in Austin earlier this month at the Story Circle Network writer's conference. Below are my acceptance comments.
Thank you, Story Circle Network, for this wonderful honor, and thank you, Brooke Warner, [keynote speaker] for your pioneering work at She Writes Press, and for your personal support of Even in Darkness.
This award, this conference and this organization are all about women and circles and writing stories. I can think of no better way of expressing my appreciation for the honor of receiving the Sarton Award and the incredible synergy I’ve experienced in connecting with this community than to quote May Sarton herself.
As I’ve often said, Even in Darkness is the story of my heart, a love letter to a woman who truly inspired me. She did in her own life, and for me, what Sarton wishes for us all in her 1971 poem, “Invocation to Kali.” I'd like to read an excerpt of that poem..
Help us to bring darkness into the light, To lift out the pain, the anger, Where it can be seen for what it is— The balance-wheel for our vulnerable, aching love.
Put the wild hunger where it belongs, Within the act of creation, Crude power that forges a balance Between hate and love.
Help us to be the always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit Who know that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light