Ellen Bass

Teacher; pioneering author of The Courage to Heal; poet (Mules of Love)

We need The Center for New Words. As Audre Lorde said so eloquently, “For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into ideas, then into more tangible action.” New Words has been a place where women’s words could live and grow strong. We need that haven, that fertile ground, that fortress, that launching pad, now more than ever. With the demise of so many women’s bookstores (and independent bookstores in general), it’s crucial that we don’t lose more. I am so impressed at the intelligent way that New Words is embarking on this creative transformation and I’m excited to think that it could be a model for other organizations throughout the country. I love the idea that we don’t have to continue to recreate the wheel, and instead can build on the solid record of achievement and the skills already here and available at New Words.