"Before They Were Our Mothers" Writers Share Their Stories to Open Voices: A Library Lecture Series

August 30, 2018

Fall 2018 Cover of Voices Brochure

The Fall 2018 Voices: A Library Lecture Series at Hudson Valley Community College opens on Thursday, Sept. 13 when eight of the 15 contributors to “Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting” join the editor of this recent anthology to share stories of their mothers’ lives before motherhood. The program of dramatic readings is from 11 to 11:50 a.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center on the Troy campus and is open free to the public.

Released in 2017 to immediate five-star reviews at several book outlets, “Before They Were Our Mothers” was conceived by Patricia A. Nugent, who sadly realized at her mother’s funeral that she knew very little about her mother’s life prior to her own birth; she never asked. Nugent’s regret at the missed opportunity to know her mother more fully, prompted her to invite other women to share the stories of their mothers’ early lives. The result is a collection of 15 deeply evocative, first-person accounts of immigration, discrimination, poverty and classism that also provide a glimpse of world events from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. The program is titled “Why We March – Then and Now” to reflect the fact that these issues remain relevant today. The readings will be followed by a Q&A session and the book will be available for purchase.

Nugent’s ultimate hope in presenting these unforgettable women and stories is to inspire more people “to tell your children your story [of] before you were a parent.” Those who share their mothers’ story are Joyce Hunt Bouyea, Carol R. Daggs, Constance A. Dodge, Cathy Fedoruk, Nadia Ghent, Zoe Ann Christensen Gonza, Crystal S. Hamelink, Rachael Z. Ikins, Donna Jackel, Catherine Ruggiero Lanci, Christy O’Callaghan, Josephine Pasciullo, Ginny Riedman-Dangler, Barbara J. Spaeth and Sue Sweet Van Hook.

Nugent is a reiki master living in Hadley in Saratoga County, where she’s working on her third book, “Healing with Dolly Lama: Finding God in Dog.” A teacher and administrator for 30 years, she currently teaches courses in creative nonfiction, journaling, spirituality and wellness, and is a periodic blogger for Ms. Magazine and Vox Populi. “Before They Were Our Mothers” (Journal Arts Press, 2017) was made possible with a Saratoga Arts’ individual artist grant with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).