12 Patty Smith and Cheryl Pallant

Patty and Cheryl, authors and organizers of the RVA Lit Crawl, joined the full Prose & Cons crew in the WRIR studio to chat about books, poetry, and life!

Patty Smith is a full-time Literature and Writing teacher at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg and the author of The Year of Needy Girlsher debut novel set in Smith’s native Massachusetts. Many settings and themes from the book stem from Patty’s own life, such as the struggle of a working-class woman teaching at an elite school, the fear of being an openly gay teacher in a tight-knit community, and the tragedy of a local ten-year-old boy’s murder. The stage of this grisly tale is set with a immersive and ominous prologue describing the events leading up to this boy’s untimely death, and the story delivers a powerful and thoughtful examination of false accusations in a small town.

Author of twelve books, professor at the University of Richmond, dancer, spiritual healer, and cutting-edge researcher, Cheryl Pallant is truly a woman of many talents. During our conversation, we focused on her two most recent books: in Ginseng TangoCheryl tells the intimate true story of her year in Daegu, South Korea; Her Body Listening is Pallant’s newest collection of poetry, described by the author as “a poetic reflection of [her] final year in training as a Healing Touch practitioner”. Cheryl is also the author of Contact Improvisation: An Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance Form, drawing upon her decades of experience in freeform dance, and the upcoming Writing and the Body in Motion: Awakening Voice through Somatic Practicebased on her innovative and immensely popular and Writing from the Body workshops.

This is a killer episode, with anecdotes and nuggets of wisdom galord. Give it a listen!

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Patty (left) and Cheryl (right) after their joint reading at Chop Suey Books on January 23, 2018.

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