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10th Annual International Women’s Day Conference to Focus on Women Writing the World

10th Annual International Women’s Day Conference to Focus on Women Writing the World
March 5, 2011, 1:00–5:30 PM
at Bard College of Simon’s Rock.

GREAT BARRINGTON—This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) Conference on Saturday, March 5, will focus on the theme “Women Write the World.” A panel of international authors and creative advocates will discuss how women use words in pursuit of social justice.

Sandra Steingraber, acclaimed ecologist, cancer survivor, author and frequent contributor to Orion magazine, is this year’s keynote speaker. Steingraber discusses her trailblazing book, Living Downstream, and her efforts to break the silence about the toxins pervasive in our air, food and bodies. A special screening of the documentary based on her book will take place on Sunday, March 6 at 11 a.m. at the Triplex in Great Barrington, hosted by the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) and Orion magazine.

IWD highlights include:

  • Co-editors and contributors from the newly published anthology African Women Writing Resistance discuss how words can exorcise the demons of civil violence and create empowered futures for writers and their readers.
  • Native American poet Deborah Miranda and Chicana novelist and journalist Demetria Martinez discuss how they creatively advocate for human rights.
  • American journalist Christina Asquith, author of Sisters in War; A story of love, family and survival in the new Iraq, talks about her experience reporting from the front lines of a country torn apart by war.
  • Local choreographer Anni Crofut presents her latest creation, “The Queen Years,” a dance inspired by the stories of creative Berkshire women.
  • Local singer-songwriter Joanne Spies will perform several of her acclaimed sound improvisations throughout the afternoon.

The IWD Conference kicks off the first ever Berkshire Festival of Women Writers (BFWW). Throughout March, local authors, artists, educators, bookstores and non-profits will host readings, workshops and social networking events all over Berkshire County to encourage local residents young and old, male and female, to “write their world.”

Tickets for the International Women’s Day Conference are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. $10 with student ID. Scholarships are available. For registration and more information, visit www.simons-rock.edu/iwd, email iwd@simons-rock.edu or call 413-528-7394.

About the Festival organizers

This year’s IWD Conference and the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers is organized by local residents Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, Erin Connor, Zoe Dalheim, Hannah Fries, Vera Kalm, Courtney Maum, Judith Nardacci and Claudette Webster. The conference and festival are co-sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Berkshire Women for Women Worldwide, with the invaluable support of Orion magazine, The Berkshire International Film Festival, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, The Women’s Times, The Women’s Interfaith Institute, Quality Printing and other local businesses and individuals.