Freya Manfred reads from her memoir "Raising Twins," and Sherrie Fernandez-Williams discusses her memoir "Soft"
We’re talking twins--not baseball, but actual people.
In Raising Twins Freya Manfred shares the story of being the mother of fraternal twins, Rowan and Bly, from the first time they saw them on an ultrasound until they left for college.
Manfred and her husband, Tom Pope, were afraid when they got the news they were having twins; Pope actually turned green. But they navigated the boys' childhoods with love and patience. How do parents honor each twin's individuality while acknowledging the strong link between the boys? How does a mother mediate disputes without showing favoritism? Today Rowan and Bly are handsome, talented young men who agonized over whether they should go to the same college, and their thoughts about being twins are particularly interesting. Raising Twins will delight parents of twins, those whose children came sequentially and readers who have no children because it is filled with introspection and tenderness.
“Raising Twins is a riveting account of how one plus one can add up to way more than two. This is a great book for anyone who is a twin, knows a twin, parents a twin, or is curious about the fascinating relationship between twins.”--John Coy, writer and grandfather of twins
“Raising Twins delivers a beautiful and touching and riveting look at the true life adventure of parenting with its often hilarious ups and downs, captured with the creative brilliance that only Freya Manfred, a fine poet, could deliver.”--Carol Connolly, St. Paul Poet Laureate and mother of twins
Freya Manfred has eight published books of poetry, including Swimming With A Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle, which won the 2009 Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award, and Speak, Mother. A longtime Midwesterner who has also lived on both coasts, her poetry has appeared in over 100 reviews and magazines and 40 anthologies. Her first memoir, Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers, was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award and an Iowa Historical Society Award.
“Soft, Sherrie Fernandez-William’s first book, is a relentlessly textured memoir exposing the author’s life as she goes back and forth in time, examining who she is today, and why.”--Sherry Quan Lee, author of Chinese Blackbird, How to Write a Suicide Note, and Love Imagined
“An African proverb says, ‘When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.’ In Soft, Sherrie Fernandez-Williams weaves the threads of her life; from her childhood in the Farragut Housing Project in Brooklyn to her move to St. Paul, where she manages to survive a tumultuous marriage, through adopting and raising a set of twins, to her achieving an MFA degree and a fulfilling career and finding love with another woman.”--Carolyn Holbrook, author of Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys
“Soft is about coming up through poverty and silence and getting ‘grown,’ about writing as an act of faith, adoption and the shock of motherhood, terror and the hard, true path of love. A bracing, tender story that rings with joy.”--Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of Telling
Sherrie Fernandez-Williams is the recipient of an Artist Initiative Award through the Minnesota State Arts Board as well as a SASE/Jerome Grant through Intermedia Arts of Minneapolis. She was a Loft Mentor Series winner for Creative Nonfiction, has been selected for a Givens Black Writers Collaborative Retreat, and has received a Jones Commission Award for new playwrights through the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis. Fernandez-Williams discovered her need for words in Brooklyn, New York, where she was born and raised, but she “grew up” as a writer in Twin Cities. She resides and teaches in Saint Paul, Minnesota.