Wendy Brown-Baez - Catch a Dream Launch
Wendy Brown-Baez - words to light our way
A woman’s healing journey begins in a country embroiled in relentless turmoil.

In Israel, the first Intifada has just begun. Palestinian frustration for a homeland erupts in strikes, demonstrations and suicide bombings and Israel responds with tear gas, arrests, and house demolitions. Lily Ambrosia and Rainbow Dove arrive in Haifa with their children on a pilgrimage to sow seeds of peace. Lily’s fascination with Jewish culture inspires her to dream she can plant roots in the Holy Land. She falls in love with the land itself, with its people, and with Levi, a charming enigma, dangerous but irresistible. Eventually she is fully immersed in Israeli life, earning her way as a nanny, hanging out in cafes with friends, and attending Yom Kippur in the synagogue. Her son rebels against the lifestyle she has chosen and war with Syria looms on the horizon. Will she be able to stay? What does she have to give up and what will she be able to keep? 

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                               1.

I enter her in sackcloth and ashes. Literally ashes. I disembark with my hand covered in ashes. I searched the garbage can for my boarding pass, without which they won’t let me off the ferry boat. As the boat swung into the harbor, my own hand betrayed me. I cleaned stale bread and warm cheese off the table, sweeping up the boarding pass along with apple cores and cigarette stubs, tossing everything nonchalantly into the garbage can.  My eyes misted over as the engines steered us towards land: Holy Land, the Promised Land. My inner state of jubilation was tinged with anxiety. I was not paying attention to anything else.

I am not Jewish but I caught a yearning to be in the Holy Land from books. The Diary of Anne Frank and Night by Elie Wiesel opened my mind to the horrors of the Holocaust. Later, the works of Chaim Potok, Sholom Aleichem, and I.L. Peretz gave me a window into Jewish culture. And then I discovered Golda Meir and Menachen Begin’s autobiographies. I tried to imagine the mountains of Judea, the Sea of Galilee, the gates of Jerusalem, and the self-sacrificing work of the pioneers to coax the land back to life. Something about the fight for freedom, the struggle to return to the Jewish homeland started a blaze in me. Maybe because I felt rootless. Drifting from one place to the next, without a destination or a sense of my own heritage. So I adopted the Jewish one and set sail for the Holy Land.  











                              10.

Shlomo, Orit, Zvi, and I walk into the darkened, noisy, smoky bar and instantly our eyes meet. It is worth all the anguish, the tears, the lonely nights to see that expression on your face. You immediately turn to hide it from me. But I have seen with my inner knowing of you, with my ability to feel you. I am so shook, I can not think. Zvi asks what I want to drink while they guide me to a table off the tiny dance floor.  The place is crammed with people, the dance floor jammed with people pressed against each other and yet keeping rhythm to the music which is exceptionally loud. ... I gulp back the Goldstar. Zvi is talking directly into my ear. You are right behind us and I feel your every movement. You are watching me, watching my every movement, waiting. Zvi invites me to dance. I know you are wondering who this man is that I am with, and that part of the reason you haven’t left is that your jealousy has flared into heat. You don’t want me but certainly you don’t want anyone else to have me. How do I know this? I know you, you come from within me. You are the echo of my self, my shadow self, the dark that calls to dark and allows demons to tread where the angel is not strong enough to fight them off.  I can see you from the corner of my eye. You sit at an angle so that it is not obvious that you are watching me. But I see lust on your face. You are waiting for me to come to you and you know I will....You can not bear the love you feel, your vulnerability. So you wait for me to give myself to you. You pretend that you didn’t have anything to do with it.


Book Launch
4 different events, 4 different ways to experience 
Catch a Dream

April 20: 6:30- 8:30 pm
Blue Harbor Center for the Arts
559 Humboldt St Paul
Reading accompanied by writing workshop

Catch a Dream is a love story with the land of Israel and its people. It raises the question: Is peace possible without forgiveness? Wendy will answer questions about her experience of living in Israel for three years. She'll discuss the process of converting her memoir into fiction and the learning curve of becoming an independent author. In our writing workshop, we'll explore writing with courage and inner guidance. suggested donation: $10-15


May 15: 7:00 pm
Eat My Words Bookstore
reading and Q & A
followed by writing workshop
May 22 6:30-8:00 pm
214 13th Avenue NE, Mpls 

 
May 30: 6:30 pm
Walker branch Hennepin library
2880 Hennepin Ave Mpls
reading followed by  Q & A

 
June 9: 4:00 pm
     One World Many Voices
Moon Palace Books
3032 Minnehaha Ave, MPLS

with Wendy Brown-Baez, 
IBé and Bryan Thao Worra
stories, poems, and music 
from Laos, West Africa, the Middle East and the USA to celebrate cultures around the world and 
our desire for peace

to listen to my poem Jerusalem

Ibé Kaba grew up with a multitude of relatives in West Africa but only knew a handful of people when he first arrived in the U.S.  Family is only one of the things he had to give up when he immigrated. Although he was born in Guinea, Mr. Kaba spent most of his youth with his aunt’s family in Sierra Leone. A civil war broke out in Sierra Leone, and Ibé moved back to Guinea, becoming a refugee in his home country. Ibé is the recipient of a 2010 Midwestern Voices Award, a 2009 Urban Griots’ Cultural Award, a 2005 Jerome/SASE Verve Grant, and a 2004 Minnesota Academy Award nominee for Best Spoken Word. 

His webzine is here:  https://atlanticrock.com/
    

An award-winning Laotian American writer, Bryan Thao Worra is the author of four books of poetry. He works actively to support Laotian, Hmong and Southeast Asian American artists and has received recognition from the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts. Bryan also served as a consulting contractor with the Minnesota History Center, the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and the Minnesota Humanities Commission and is an active professional member of the Horror Writer Association and president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. 

Read a sample of his poem here: https://www.pw.org/content/bryan_thao_worra

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