On Grace Paley’s birthday, we present a conversation exploring how imagination, truthtelling, and courageous action flow out of Paley’s life and work. A prolific writer, Paley’s fiction highlights the everyday struggles of women, what she calls “a history of everyday life.” In addition to her writing, Paley was also a committed activist, passionate about numerous issues, including women’s rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear non-proliferation, and most recently, the war in Iraq. Her death in 2007 was a great loss, but her work continues to inspire. Speakers, coming from a range of generations, will include politically engaged writers, artists, and activists in such causes as immigration rights, housing, human rights, gay and lesbian issues, foreclosure actions, anti-militarism and other important struggles. The speakers have all drawn inspiration from Paley’s work and life and demonstrate various affinities to the amazing woman, artist and thinker who described herself as a “combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist.”
Speakers will include: Yvette Christiansë, poet and novelist; Ynestra King, ecofeminist activist and educator, and editor of Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment, and Development; Nancy Kricorian, New York-based writer and activist, author of Zabelle and Dreams of Bread and Fire, and coordinator of the New York City chapter of CODEPINK Women for Peace; Amy Swerdlow, founding member of Women Strike for Peace and author of Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s; and a member of the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF), an inter-generational, collectively-run organization of low-income immigrant women of color and community members in Manhattan Valley.