President of the Solstice Institute and Co-Editor-in-Chief: Lee Hope
Lee Hope, is the author of the novel Horsefever, a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards. She is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, and a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship for Fiction. She has published stories in numerous literary journals such as Witness and The North American Review. She founded and directed a low-residency MFA program and has taught at various universities. She also teaches for Changing Lives Through Literature, which serves people on probation and parole.
Officer on the board and Co-Editor-in-Chief: Brenda Sparks Prescott
Brenda Sparks Prescott lives and writes in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works in higher education administration and fundraising and practices Tai Chi. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Louisville Review, Crab Orchard Review, Portland Magazine, and the anthology Soap Opera Confidential. She has an MFA from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine and an AB from Harvard University. She is an advisory board member for the Pine Manor College MFA in creative writing and a founding member of Simply Not Done, a women’s writing collaborative. Her first novel Home Front Lines is forthcoming from Bedazzled Ink Publishing.
Secretary of Solstice Institute & Photography Editor: William Betcher
William Betcher is a psychiatrist in private practice in the Boston area, and a fine art photographer. His photographic work has been displayed at the University of New England, The Heart of Biddeford Gallery, and the Danforth Museum, and two of his photographs were selected as “Photos of the Day” by Smithsonian.com. He is also the author of 4 nonfiction books, including “Intimate Play”(Viking),”The Seven Basic Quarrels of Marriage” (Villard), and “In a Time of Fallen Heroes” (Atheneum). He received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, his MD from Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Boston University.
Treasurer of Solstice Institute: Peter Katz
Peter Katz is a dentist by day and aspiring writer / photographer by nights / weekends or whenever he is not toiling in an oral cavity. His dental practice is in Peterborough, NH and has a home in nearby Harrisville, NH, as well as in Needham, MA. For him creative writing is the highest art form – the ability to create one’s world from the imagination, and to convey it to the reader is truly a thing of wonder. This is why he is pleased to be the treasurer on the board of the Solstice Institute
Nonfiction Editor: Richard Hoffman
Richard Hoffman is author, most recently, of the memoir Love & Fury, which was a finalist for the New England Book Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association. He is also author of the celebrated Half the House: a Memoir, just reissued in a new 20th Anniversary Edition in 2015, with an introduction by Louise DeSalvo. His poetry collections are Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the 2006 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the 2008 Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club; and Emblem. A fiction writer as well, his Interference & Other Stories was published in 2009. A past Chair of PEN New England, he is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College.
Fiction Co-Editor: Anjali Mitter Duva
Anjali Mitter Duva is an Indian American writer raised in France. She is the author of the bestselling historical novel FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN which was shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and a Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. She was a 2018 Finalist for a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship. Anjali co-founded and runs the Arlington Author Salon, a quarterly literary series with a twist, and has run a 9-year book club for kids (who have inevitably grown into teens). She is also a co-founder of Chhandika, a non-profit organization that teaches and presents India’s classical storytelling kathak dance. Anjali was educated at Brown University and MIT. She lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and two daughters.
Poetry Editor: Iain Haley Pollock
Iain Haley Pollock’s second collection of poems, Ghost, Like a Place, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in September 2018. His debut collection, Spit Back a Boy, won the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He teaches English at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY, and is a member of the poetry faculty at the Solstice MFA program of Pine Manor College.
Associate Poetry Editor: Robbie Gamble
Robbie Gamble holds an MFA in poetry from Lesley University. His poems and essays have appeared in Scoundrel Time, Writers Resist, Stonecoast Review, Solstice, and Poet Lore. He was the winner of the 2017 Carve Poetry prize. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, and works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston.
Editor of Poetry in Translation: Barbara Siegel Carlson
Barbara Siegel Carlson is the author of poetry collections Once in Every Language and Fire Road, co-translator of Look Back, Look Ahead, Selected Poems of Srečko Kosovel, and co-editor of A Bridge of Voices: Contemporary Slovene Poetry and Perspectives. Recent poetry and translations appear in The Cortland Review, Salamander, Mid-American Review and Poetry Porch. She teaches and tutors in the Boston area.
Associate Editor for Poetry in Translation: Ewa Chrusciel
Ewa Chrusciel is a poet, teacher and translator. She has three books of poems in English: Of Annunciations (Omnidawn 2017), Contraband of Hoopoe (Omnidawn 2014), Strata (Emergency Press 2009, reprinted by Omnidawn in April 2018), as well as three books in Polish: Tobołek, Sopiłki, Furkot. Her book Contraband of Hoopoe translated into Italian by Anna Aresi is forthcoming in Italy with Edizioni Ensemble in May 2019. She also translated selected books by Jack London, Joseph Conrad, I.B. Singer as well as the book of selected poems by Jorie Graham, and selected poems of Kazim Ali, Lyn Hejinian, Cole Swensen and other American poets into Polish. She is an Associate Prof. of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College.
Poetry Editor (in memoriam): Kurt Brown
Kurt Brown founded the Aspen Writers’ Conference, and Writers’ Conferences & Centers. He is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length collections of poetry, including his newest, Time-Bound, from Tiger Bark Press. He is currently an editor for the online journal MEAD: The Magazine of Literature and Libations and has edited ten anthologies of poetry, including his most recent (with Harold Schechter) Killer Verse: Poems about Murder and Mayhem. His memoir, Lost Sheep: A Portrait of Aspen in the 70s, was published by Conundrum Press in 2012. He taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and now lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Video Performance Poetry Editor: Regie O’Hare Gibson
Author, songwriter, educator and literary performer, Regie Gibson, received his MFA in Poetry from New England College. He has read, taught, lectured and performed at universities, theaters and various other venues in 8 countries, most recently Monfalcone, Italy where, representing the U. S. A., he competed against poets from 9 countries and received the Monfalcone Absolute Poetry Prize. He has worked or performed with artists as diverse as David Amram, John Legend, Mos Def, Richie Havens, and Kurt Vonnegut. Regie has performed with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra “X”: a multi-ethnic multi-cultural ensemble. He and his work are featured in the New Line Cinema film “love jones” (a film based on events in his life). His work has appeared in The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Iowa Review and Poetry Magazine among others. He is a National Poetry Slam Individual Champion, has been featured on NPR, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and has been nominated for a Boston Emmy Award. He has received the Walker Scholarship for Poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and is a Chernin Center for the Arts Writer’s Fellow. His volume of poems “Storms Beneath the Skin” received the Golden Pen Award. He has received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for poetry; The Lexington Education Foundation Grant; and, a Walker Fellowship to the Providence Fine Arts Work Center.
Digital Media and Graphic Lit Editor: Andrai Whitted
Andrai Whitted is the Digital Media Editor at Solstice Literary Magazine where he painstakingly formats each issue among other contributions. He is also a designer and artist and in our Spring 2019 issue he has kickstarted a new genre for the mag with Graphic Lit featuring comic storytelling and other forms of sequential art including comic poetry and experimental works.
Contributing Fiction Editor: Helen Elaine Lee
Helen Elaine Lee was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Her first novel, The Serpent’s Gift, was published by Atheneum in 1994 and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner in 1999. She recently finished A Life Without, a novel about the lives of ten people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons, and The Hard Loss, a novel about a DNA exoneree’s first week of freedom after 22 years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. Stories from A Life Without have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and solsticelitmag.com. She is Professor of Fiction Writing in MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and a Writer in Residence with the Solstice Low-Residency MFA program at Pine Manor. A member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program.
Contributing Fiction editor: Marjan Kamali
Marjan Kamali’s debut novel Together Tea (EccoBooks/HarperCollins) was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. It has been translated into several languages and was recently adapted for the stage. Marjan graduated from U.C. Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from NYU. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her stories appear in the anthologies Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been and Tremors. Her essays appear in The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Marjan grew up in Turkey, Iran, Germany, Kenya and NYC and has spent her adult life in Switzerland, Australia and the U.S. She taught writing at Boston University and currently teaches at GrubStreet. Her second novel, The Stationery Shop, will be published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in 2019.
Contributing Fiction Editor: Eric Charles May
Eric Charles May is an associate professor in the Fiction Writing program at Columbia College Chicago and the author of the novel Bedrock Faith, which was a named a Notable African American Title by Publisher’s Weekly. A Chicago native, May is a past recipient of the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, president of the Guild Literary Complex, and a former reporter for The Washington Post. His fiction has also appeared in the magazines Fish Stories, F, Hypertext, Solstice (of course), and We Speak Chicagoese. In addition to his Post reporting, his nonfiction has appeared in Sport Literate, the Chicago Tribune, and the personal essay anthology Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low
Contributing Fiction Editor: Patricia McNair
Patricia Ann McNair’s short story collection, The Temple of Air, won the Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, and Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award. Her short story, “My Mother’s Daughter” won first prize in SolLit’s fiction awards in 2014. McNair’s work has appeared in American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Prime Number, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and other publications. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing, Columbia College Chicago.
Contributing Poetry Editor and Founding Director of Night Riffs: A Solstice Literary Magazine Reading & Music Series: Dzvinia Orlowsky
Dzvinia Orlowsky is a Pushcart Prize poet, translator, and a founding editor of Four Way Books. She is also the author of six poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press including her most recent, Bad Harvest, published in October 2018, and named 2019 A Massachusetts Book Awards “Must Read” in poetry; Silvertone (2013) for which she was named Ohio Poetry Day Association’s 2014 Co-Poet of the Year; and Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones (2009) for which she received a Sheila Motton Book Award. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted in 2009 as a Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary. Her translation from the Ukrainian of Alexander Dovzhenko’s novella, The Enchanted Desna, was published by House Between Water in 2006, and in 2014, Dialogos published Jeff Friedman’s and her co-translation of Memorials: A Selection by Polish poet Mieczysław Jastrun for which she and Friedman were awarded a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship. She is a founding faculty member of the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College and teaches creative writing at Providence College. Her poem sequence “The (Dis)enchanted Desna” was selected by Robert Pinsky as the 2019 co-winner of the New England Poetry Club Samuel Washington Allen Prize.
Contributing Poetry Editor: Ben Berman
Ben Berman is the author of Strange Borderlands (Able Muse Press), which won the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Poetry Book and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. He has received awards from the New England Poetry Club and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council. He teaches in the Boston area, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. You can visit him at www.ben-berman. com
Contributing Poetry Editor: January Gill O’Neil
January Gill O’Neil is the author of Misery Islands (fall 2014) and Underlife (2009), both published by CavanKerry Press. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. Recently, she was elected to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ (AWP) board of directors. January’s poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Harvard Review, Green Mountains Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among others. A Cave Canem fellow, she runs a popular blog called Poet Mom . January lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Contributing Poetry Editor: Betsy Sholl
Betsy Sholl served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011. She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Rough Cradle (Alice James Books), Late Psalm, Don’t Explain,and The Red Line. Her awards include the AWP Prize for Poetry, the Felix Pollak Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and two Maine Individual Artists Grants. Recent poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Image, Field, Brilliant Corners, Best American Poetry, 2009, Best Spiritual Writing, 2012. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and in the MFA Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Contributing Editor for lit from the Northwest: Jennifer Boyden
Jennifer Boyden is a poet and novelist who lives on an island in Washington state. Her novel, The Chief of Rally Tree (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) won the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. She is also author of two books of poetry, The Declarable Future and The Mouths of Grazing Things (University of Wisconsin Press) which were awarded the Four Lakes and The Brittingham Prizes in poetry. Jennifer Boyden’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she is a former PEN Northwest Wilderness Writing Residency recipient. She teaches literature and creative writing for Spring Street International School and for Eastern Oregon University’s low-residency MFA program.
Contributing NonFiction Editor: DeWitt Henry
Dewitt Henry is a Professor at Emerson College and the founding editor of Ploughshares (for which he won a Commonwealth Award in 1992). He has authored The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts (winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel) and two memoirs, Safe Suicide: Narratives, Essays, and Meditations and Sweet Dreams: A Family History; he has also edited five anthologies, including Sorrow’s Company: Writers on Loss and Grief.
For details see www.dewitthenry.com
Contributing Nonfiction Editor (In Memoriam): Michael Steinberg
Michael Steinberg is the founding editor of the literary journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. He’s written and co-authored five books and a stage play. In 2004, Still Pitching won the ForeWord Magazine /Independent Press Memoir of the Year. An anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (with Robert Root) is in a sixth edition. Steinberg has presented workshops, craft talks and seminars at many colleges and universities as well as at international and national writers’ conferences, And he’s a Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence in the Solstice/Pine Manor College low residency MFA program.
Contributing Photography Editor: Lou Jones
Lou Jones’s eclectic career has evolved from commercial to the personal. It has spanned every format, film type, artistic movement and technological change. He maintains a studio in Boston, Massachusetts and has photographed for Fortune 500 corporations including Federal Express, Nike and the Barr Foundation; completed assignments for magazines and publishers all over the world such as Time/Life, National Geographic and Paris Match; initiated long term projects on the civil wars in Central America, death row, Olympics Games and pregnancy; and published multiple books including Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, Travel & Photography:Off the Charts and the recently released second edition of Speedlights & Speedlites: Creative Flash Photography at Lightspeed. www.fotojones.com
Contributing Photography Editor: Karin Rosenthal
Karin Rosenthal’s photographs of the human figure in the landscape reside in numerous museum collections including the Boston MFA, Brooklyn Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Fogg Museum, the ICP, and the Yale University Art Gallery. In 1978, Rosenthal received an alumna traveling fellowship from Wellesley College to photograph in Greece. Since then, her prize-winning nudes have been exhibited and published internationally. A book, Karin Rosenthal: Twenty Years of Photographs, was produced for a retrospective of her work at the Danforth Museum of Art in 2000. In 2011, Boston’s Photographic Resource Center co-sponsored a year-long exhibition of Rosenthal’s work at MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics. Her nude, Belly Landscape, in the exhibition First Doubt: Optical Confusion in Modern Photography at the Yale University Art Gallery was selected to represent the show of 100 images by 20thCentury photographers and was featured in the New York Times review. Rosenthal’s nudes are currently exhibited at the Weston Gallery in Carmel, CA alongside photographic masters such as Ruth Bernhard, Edward Weston, and Harry Callahan in a show titled Models & Muses. Karin is a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center where she recently initiated and co-curated an exhibition of work by street photographer Vivian Maier.
Managing Editor: Amanda Todisco
Amanda Todisco is an actress and writer, pursuing an MFA in Fiction from Lesley University. Her films can be found on various video on demand platforms, such as Amazon or iTunes. When she is not desperately trying to hone her craft, she can be spotted running the streets of Boston with her two oversized dogs.
Interviews Editor: Amy Yelin
Amy Yelin is a communications professional and writer whose essays and author interviews have appeared in publications including The Boston Globe, Globe Magazine, Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Her piece “Torn” (The Baltimore Review), received a notable essay mention in The Best American Essays 2007, and “The Memoirist” (Lunch Ticket) received a Pushcart nomination. She is also the recipient of awards from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, The Norman Mailer’s Colony and The Prague Summer program. She has an MFA with a focus in creative nonfiction from Lesley University and she teaches at Grub Street in Boston.
Assistant Nonfiction Co-Editor: Jill Frances Johnson
Jill Frances Johnson grew up overseas, schooled in Jordan, Nepal, and Nigeria. She earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2017 after graduating from Smith College in the Ada Comstock Scholars Program for nontraditional (older!) students. Her work appears in Under the Gum Tree and Clockhouse. Her current project is a memoir Water Skiing in Kashmir about expat life during the ’60’s. She divides her time between the green hills of Vermont and the creative city of St Petersburg, FL
Nonfiction Reader: Cassandra Goldwater
Cassandra Goldwater is a writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in Precipitate (an on-line journal), Storytelling Asia and the Women’s Review of Books. She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Lesley University and an MBA from Simmons College. She currently teaches writing courses at Lesley University (undergrad) and is a mentor to students in the MFA program in word/image projects. She lives in greater Boston with her husband and constantly shedding pets.
Nonfiction reader: Rosann Tung
Rosann Tung began writing creative nonfiction after a career conducting research and advocacy for racial justice in public education. She has published essays in the Boston Globe and in Sampan.
Assistant Manager Development: Michelle Arnwine Frias
Michelle Arnwine Frias, a lover of huskies, and a self-proclaimed connoisseur of sweet wine, holds a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing at Central Michigan University and is currently a third semester student in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Lesley University. It is no secret that she values her ever-growing collection of books over almost everything in her life, but what she values the most is her family and her Hispanic culture. Currently employed as an infant room Assistant Teacher, Michelle resides in Michigan where she is closest to the people she loves the most: her family.
Fiction Reader: Mary Elizabeth Pope
Mary Elizabeth Pope is Professor of English at Emmanuel College in Boston. She is the author of Divining Venus: Stories (The Waywiser Press, 2013) and short stories and essays that have appeared in Florida Review, Bellingham Review, Fugue, Passages North, PMS, Ascent and many others.
Fiction Reader: Meg Senuta
Meg holds an MFA from Antioch and a degree in textiles from Saterglantan, Insjon, Sweden. She lives in Belmont, MA with her husband and one of her sons. She is a longstanding member of two writing groups that meet monthly. She likes to walk and hike. She votes.
Fiction Reader: Jennifer Gentile
Jennifer Gentile, a Melrose, MA native, received a liberal arts degree from Suffolk University and will graduate from Pine Manor College’s MFA program in the winter of 2017 with a degree in fiction. She is an editor of a weekly newspaper outside of Boston, a softball coach, and mother of three.
Poetry reader: Jenifer DeBellis
Metro Detroit Freelance Writer Jenifer DeBellis’s debut micro-memoir in verse, Blood Sisters, is now available from Main Street Rag (2018). She’s Pink Panther Magazine’s executive editor and directs the Detroit Writers’ Guild. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Solstice of Pine Manor College. A former writer-in-residence for the Meadow Brook Writing Project, she facilitates workshops for Oakland University’s MBWP Writing Camps. JDB teaches writing and literature for Saginaw Valley State University and Macomb Community College. When she’s not editing or writing for others, she sneaks in time for her own craft, which was nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize and appears in AWP’s Festival Writer, the Good Men Project, Literary Orphans, Sliver of Stone,Solstice Literary Magazine, and other fine journals.
Poetry Reader: Eileen Cleary
Eileen Cleary earned an MFA at Lesley University and is a candidate for a second MFA at Solstice. She co-founded the Lilly Salon of Needham and is a recent Pushcart nominee. Her work is published or forthcoming at Apeiron, Naugatuck River Review, The Main Street Rag and The American Journal of Poetry.
Poetry Reader & reviewer: Richard Cambridge
Richard Cambridge‘s poetry, writings, and theatre productions address controversial themes on the American political landscape. His theatre troupe Singing with the Enemy portrayed the fifty-year blockade of Cuba, and the plight of political prisoners in the U.S. As a graffiti artist, he reclaims and alters private signage to inspire public debate. He is a fellow emeritus at the Black Earth Institute (blackearthinstitute.org), a progressive think tank dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society. He has a poetry collection, PULSA—A Book of Books, and two spoken word CDs: The Cigarette Papers—A Journey from Addiction and One Shot News—Poetry of Conscience. His awards include the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize and the Master’s Slam at the National Poetry Slam. He has received the City of Cambridge Peace and Justice Award for the contribution of his art and activism. He curates the Poets’ Theatre, a monthly venue, in Somerville’s Arts at the Armory.
Poetry Reader: Michelle S. Ramadan
Michelle S. Ramadanholds an MFA from Lesley University. Her poetry has recently been published in Literary Mama and Mizna. She lives in Massachusetts, and teaches at an independent high school in the North Shore.
Events: Kaylin Wu
Kaylin Wu is a writer and artist from West Hartford, Connecticut. She earned her dual BA in English and Studio Art from Simmons University. Having worked with several writing institutions in Boston, including Mass Poetry and GrubStreet, she aims to help advance access to the creative arts in the Boston community. Her writing has appeared in Sidelines. She enjoys Thai food, feminist prose, and angry girl music of the indie rock persuasion.
Intern: Valley Caroline Shaia
Valley Caroline Shaia grew up in an overly-large family, and attributes that to her own dramatics. She graduated from James Madison University with a BA in English and Creative Writing, and from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Richmond Teacher Residency Program with an MT in Postsecondary Education. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Writing For Young People through Lesley University. Shaia loves wrapping up in a cardigan by the sea, with a cup of hot tea and one of her many unread books.
Intern: Deidra Dallas
Deidra Dallas is a freelance editor and writer, and is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at Lesley University. She has previously earned an MA in English and in Curriculum & Instruction from Angelo State University and a BA in Creative Writing from Texas Tech University. Deidra lives in Ballinger, Texas, just down the road from her parents as well as her two younger brothers and their families. When not in the middle of a global pandemic, she enjoys traveling both alone and with her older brother in pursuit of inspiration for her writing.