Estás en tu casa. Feel free to wander around, find out who I am and see what I've been up to. You can read my blogs or excerpts of my poetry, fiction and essays, watch videos of my lectures, buy my books, or book me to speak, and learn about some of the projects I'm involved in.
NOW BOOKING 2016 ENGAGEMENTS
Staring in early 2016 I will be traveling slowly across the country, and will be available for a variety of speaking engagements, readings and workshops. I have a loose itinerary which I can take side trips from, but since I will be driving, I won't be zigzagging across the continent. Exceptions are Chicago, Minneapolis and the Bay Area, where I have chemically safe housing.
Medicine Stories: Essays for Radicals
For those of you who've been writing to ask why my 1998 book Medicine Stories is selling for hundreds of dollars on Amazon and nowhere else, it's out of print and people are speculating with my work, which pisses me off. But I am hard at work on a brand new expanded and revised edition, due out from Duke University Press in 2017. It will contain nine new essays and major revisions on the existing ones, so hang onto your hard earned cash and shun the scalpers who are selling the first edition online. I'll be posting teasers, excerpts from the new work, as I write it, so stay tuned.
Kindling: Writings On the Body
"Aurora's writing is itself a kind of alchemy, balancing emotional nuance with rich historical context, simultaneously speaking in an intimate, personal voice and for a collective we. She offers us vulnerable, power-filled lyricism that moves the audience to new understandings of their own lives, as she claims her body's pleasure and pain."
Patty Berne, Co-founder and Artistic Director, Sins Invalid.
Kindling: Writings On the Body is available online and in bookstores. Read selections.
My newest book, Cosecha and other Stories, has gotten short shrift, because I've been focusing on my Vehicle, and haven't done a lot to promote it. It's the culmination of a forty year collaboration with my mother, Rosario Morales, Puerto Rican feminist thinker, anthropologist, writer, visual artist and activist. Weaving together fiction and memoir, it continues our practice of mother-daughter call and response writing, established in our first book, Getting Home Alive.
Camaradas Near and Far
Jillian Hanson is not just any life coach. Her specialty is working with creative people for whom metaphor is a way of life, helping us build our lives around the work we truly love. She uses awareness of our bodies as a guide to what we really want, and understands the inner and outer struggles of artists. I worked with her for several years a while back. Recently, I called her for a few sessions to help me structure my incredibly busy life and keep myself at its center. Jillian is smart, intuitive, spiritually attuned, and highly creative herself, and in four hours she had me back on track, with my work life rearranged to make it less stressful and more satisfying. I sing her praises.
Linda Haas took the cover photos of my mother and I for the 1986 book, Getting Home Alive, so when I found myself living in Cambridge and in need of a new author photo, I got in touch with her. In the spring of 2012 she did a shoot that produced the photograph in the banner for this site, and back cover photos for both of my most recent books. Today we did another photo shoot for updated author and promotional pictures. I love getting to see myself and my surroundings through her eyes. Stayed tuned for some new images of me. In the meantime check out Linda's web site, and here's an image from 1986 and one from 2012.
Marjorie Dove Kent
is the Executive Director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, and 25 year old New York City organization. I recently started working with JFREJ as a consultant on arts activism, and the impact of historical trauma on organizing. On April 12, 2015 I joined JFREJ members for a strategic visioning retreat, which I'll be writing about soon. Marjorie and I have spent many hours on the phone brainstorming and making plans, but this our first face to face meeting. I was already familiar with the breadth and depth of her thinking, her creativity and integrity, but it was a delight to sit together and debrief from one of the most satisfying work days I've had in a long time.
Stefanie Fox is the Co-director for Organizing at Jewish Voice for Peace, so I met her through my work with the organization, as an advisory board member. But we share an extraordinary historical link that we discovered while standing in a field in Washington State, watching swifts pouring themselves down a chimney. I was talking abut a writing project based on the history of my great-grandparents' small village in the Ukraine. If Stefanie hadn't just been reviewing family history documents given to her by an aunt, she wouldn't have reacted when I mentioned the village's name. Israelovka, also known as Yazer. It turns out that her great-grandparents and mine were all from the same tiny shtetl, all migrated to North America (Canada in her case, the US in mine) and were active parts of Jewish life where they landed. Whatever their different perspectives, they passed their values on to their descendents, and 110 years later, their great-great-granddaughters both work against the Israeli Occupation and for radical Jewish culture in the same organization!
Isabel Moya, editor of the Cuban feminist magazine Mujeres, at an event in February, honoring the late Sara Gonzalez, one of the most important figures of the Nueva Trova musical movement.
Barbara McAfee and I met because of a man we each spent some years partnered with. I sometimes call her my alimony, and she calls me her lover-in-law. She's an amazing singer/songwriter, song leader, voice teacher and friend, and each time I visit Minneapolis we walk by the river and trade tales. Check out her book Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence.
Construction starts this week!
I have found a site to build the interior of my specially designed accessible and non-toxic mobile home, the Vehicle for Change. Thanks to all who helped me look. Thanks to owner George Smichinski, U-Haul of Somerville has offered me an enclosed space at their storage and rental facility.
Elder in Residence
As I prepare for my new life on the road, I've been thinking about the work my new mobility will allow me to do. One job I've found myself doing a lot lately is resident elder/artist.
This year the two biggest projects will be revising and updating my 1998 book Medicine Stories, with a lot of new material to be added, and building my future home, the Vehicle for Change so I can move in before winter (knock on non-toxic wood.) I'll also be working as a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Artists Council and as a consultant with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
JVP Artists' Council
In September, I had the great good fortune to attend the founding leadership retreat for Jewish Voice for Peace's Artists' Council, something I've advocated for for many years. Thirty-eight artists came together to begin crafting ways of responding strategically to what is somewhat euphemistically called the Israel-Palestine conflict, and at the same time, the Zionist domination of Jewish institutional and cultural life in the US, and the silencing of dissent. I find it hard to describe the intensity of the relief I felt, to be in community with other artists who want to think big on these issues, and shift the overall narrative.
I'm putting a lot of my time into building my Vehicle for Change, the mobile home that will allow me to safely live, work and travel.
This fall I'll be finishing u pwork on the 2nd edition of Medicine Stories. It's exciting to go back to writing I did 17 years ago and see how my thinking has grown. I'm also writing a lot of totally new pieces that will greatly enrich the book.
I cancelled my September trip to the Bay Area due to health issues that need my attention. I will be making a couple of 2 day trips to NYC to continue my work with JFREJ, but will otherwise be at home, taking care of my body, building my home and writing my book.
Vermont Cottage and Land for Sale
My family is selling my parents' summer cottage in Vermont, with 20 acres of beautiful wooded land. Located near the vibrant and progressive town of Brattleboro, it's quiet and beautiful, and has literary history, too. In addition to the one bedroom cottage there's a small studio. For more information and photos, see our listing.