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Home > Author > Stephanie Rose Bird
 
Stephanie Rose Bird

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Member Since: Nov, 2007

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  Stephanie Rose Bird           

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My work offers new ways of thinking for the 21st century reader interested in alternative spirituality and healing.


Background Information

Being a writer came after a long road of involvement in other art forms namingly, dancing, painting and singing (though to be honest I'm lousy at that one). The main goal of my nonfictional titles is to place African healing traditions from our entire diaspora on equal footing of respect with Native American, Chinese and European traditions. To do that I started with what I learned as a girl growing up in the country in a community of farmers and doers. My parents were perfectly capable of living off the land and we did that for a couple of years...I mean like, we didn't even have running water. We stayed healthy though. My elderly aunt who lived with us and my grandpa taught me a lot about studying hard, cooking well and making the most of what's been handed to you. Dad fished, and let me tell you, he used every part of that fish from feeding the family, to the animals to the soil. Mom canned and baked and made wine. You can see, things were rich and colorful. Animism, nature veneration and ancestor celebration seemed to come natural to me, given the environment in which I grew up. I joined a small coven when I was a teenager and was heavily involved with ancient mysticism by that time. Painting sustains me because it is a way to have direct, intense contact with diverse spirits from deva to elementals, light, nature and the universe as a whole. It is a beautiful form of communication. Words have captivated me since I can remember. I love the great poets and the dark poets as well, Edgar Allan Poe, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Elliot, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, e.e. cummings. I like words that move and strong voice. I'm finding that I have become more and more conversational in my writing even though it relies heavily on research and at times is densely cited. The healing and seeing is most influenced by my grandmothers. One I never met but my mother adored, was a spiritualist minister and herbal healer who by all indications used hoodoo remedies as well. The other, I adored, she was a professional cook, who always had fresh floral arrangements when we'd come to visit on a dark cherry table. I'm telling you, that woman could work dreams, read them and tea leaves with equal proficiency. Some would see these as dark arts but for me they are framed in light and I keep my personal practice, energy work and writing focused towards the light though I am well aware of the darkside.

Accomplishments

COVR 2004 Best General Interest Book for "Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs.
Presenter at 2005 BEA, Chicago
Presenter at HerbFest 2005, Aura Cacia Farms, Norway, Iowa
Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, CIES and Australian American Foundation for studying Aboriginal Australian anthropology and art
Ford Faculty Enrichment Grant
Illinois Arts Council, Special Assistance Grant
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
Authors Guild
Presenter, Northeastern Illinois University, "Annual Heritage Conference Series"
Guest speaker on BBC, WBEZ, Urban Gardener, Health Radio Network and ABC7 news.
Guest speaker, Ostara Festival, Milwaukee WI, 2010
Presenter and Guest Speaker, Sisterhood is Powerful Women's Retreat, Knoxville, TN

Additional Information

Recently my art forms have been coming together into single works. I wrote and illustrated "Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones" and "A Healing Grove." The topics are hoodoo, conjuring and mojo and African tree medicine. My latest book, "The Big Book of Soul," was primarily inspired by the soul I found in African women's arts and crafts. Stay tuned for more!



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