"Mothers Who Write" Read Poetry and Prose at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Good mothers are hard to find, but if you're looking for an auditorium-full (and want to impress your own, very good mother for Mother's Day weekend) you won't need to travel beyond Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Tomorrow, current and past participants of "Mothers Who Write," a workshop led by New Times' managing editor Amy Silverman and contributor Deborah Sussman, will share their own poetry and prose for a public audience. 

Included in the lineup are local writers (and mothers) Kim Porter, Sativa Peterson, and Cynthia Clark Harvey, to name a few.

Peterson, who also contributes to New Times, says she'll be reading from a piece she wrote about her own mother. She shares an excerpt below:  

I would come home from college and find my mother wearing a jumper dress, if it was the holidays she would be wearing a holiday jumper dress, usually with a bib and some decorative festive appliqué thing featured prominently on the bib-by part in front. She may even have a coordinating turtleneck underneath. And maybe even themed shoes. For instance, the jumper would have a big smiling snowman on it and the turtleneck would be covered in tiny little Christmas trees and her slide-on flat shoes would have candy canes on them. I, on the other hand, would be wearing ill-fitting thrift store clothes that I hemmed myself with non-matching thread. The fabrics I leaned toward were the types you didn't have to iron; stain-resistant nylons and polyesters. I might put together an outfit featuring a purple gingham patterned dress paired with a fuzzy leopard print purse and red clogs. Or, a t-shirt that said "Born Again Pagan" with an orange polyester A-line skirt. My outfits had to look every bit as ridiculous as hers.

Upon seeing my mom's outfit I would usually roll my eyes, or say something mildly mean depending on my mood. She would look perturbed but would restrain herself from clobbering me.

All these years later, as I stand here ironing while watching Storage Wars, it occurs to me that I was on some level totally missing the point back then. The point being that I was not my mom's target audience. She was not dressing for the approval of a smart-ass like me. She was an elementary school teacher; a long-standing veteran of the second grade and to them, her students;her core audience, she must have been magnificent. She was marvelous and fun and she loved the holidays with the same unbridled passion they did, feeling no shame in declaring, "Ho, HO, Ho" on the front of her clothing. This is what I failed to understand in my fill-a-bag for a dollar wardrobe.

Mothers Who Write is a 10-week writing workshop that hosts an annual reading by current and past members. 

This Saturday's reading is free and open to the public, and kicks off at 2 p.m. on Stage 2 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7374 E. Second St.. For more info and upcoming classes, check out the Mothers Who Write Facebook page

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