ALVA's Talented Visiting Writers
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and read a delightful mix of emerging and well-known authors!
Tia Silverthorne Bach and Angela Beach Silverthorne        Kristen Henderson
   Helmy Kusuma      Kathy Reinhart     Lorna Tychostup    Carl Waldman     Nancy Means Wright


 ALVA welcomes submissions of to 150 words and bios to 50 words in consideration for inclusion on the ALVA Visiting Writers' Page.

On Writing and Trauma

Products of the Tree

by Kristen Henderson

There's a pressure

at all hours of the day

only a poem can assuage.

Born at the bottom

of a margin, fringe in a brood

beat for generations

and desolate at the root

of the family oak like the rest

of my nuclear crew,

I could not lay the seeds

for my own progeny, i.e., tomes,

unless I learned to write myself out

of the paper bag self-esteem I had

been living in, too.

So, at midnight or noon

I can look into the opaque mirror

of a blank page

and make a new legacy

of my personal estate, pen

my ancestors back

with words yet too modern

for their graves

and simultaneously heal

their ghostly pain - all while tilling

my symbolic womb

should another hopeful sapling donning

my name bloom.


Kristen Henderson's poems have appeared in many literary journals throughout the US. She has an MFA from University of Arizona and an MSW from University of Albany. Her book of poems, Drum Machine, ALVA Press, Inc., took the Gold Medal in Poetry in the 2011 eLit International Awards. Kristen runs the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley, New York.