Issue 1: Beginnings


Each of the works we selected for the inaugural issue of Minerva Rising depicts the varied nature of beginnings. "To the Left is the Beach" illustrates how sometimes a beginning comes after a devastating loss. "The Womb Room" tells the story of a woman whose glimmer of a new beginning gives her hope. And "Master and Commander" portrays what happens when our hopeful beginning becomes tragic. Though the stories, poems and pictures here may not reflect our personal experience, they each give us a cross section of our experiences as women and a framework for understanding one another.

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Kate Hutchinson

Kate HutchinsonKate teaches English and is Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator at a large high school in suburban Chicago. A chapbook of her poetry, The Gray Limbo of Perhaps, will be published in summer, 2012, by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have also appeared in nearly twenty literary magazines, including Shenandoah, The Dos Passos Review,The Sow's Ear, and The I-70 Review. Kate’s personal essays have been published in several books and literary magazines, including two of the Cup of Comfort collections and, most recently, a stream-of-consciousness memory piece at Whistling Fire online. She blogs about life and poetry at "Less Laundry, Fewer Dishes" is a poem about women's empowerment -- in this case, the power to own one's home and live a life of solitude, taking orders from or compromising with no man. It's so fabulous to be able to add this lifestyle to our list of choices! She has long admired Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver moves so seamlessly between fiction and non-fiction, creating compelling characters and scenes and situations with her unique voice. Her writing inspires Kate’s work; her commitment to an honest and thoughtful way of life inspires Kate’s inner being.

T. Langdon Squire

T. Langdon SquireThere is nothing more breathtaking than the dawn of a new day. I’m a firm believer that life is not a spectator’s sport. I’ve been writing for over 25 years experiencing many extraordinary situations and circumstances. I’m an educator for a sometimes narrow minded world telling stories with a universal appeal with the intent to enlighten or encourage a new way of thinking. My favorite woman author is Anne Sexton and like her, my writing is brutally honest and to the point, passionate, raw and often confessional. I’m a warrior on a quest to change people’s misconceptions about provocative topics rarely written like my excerpt, “Scenes from a Not-So-Ordinary Life.” I have and will always be in support of literary publications like Minerva Rising who celebrate all women who live loud, proud, and on their own terms, with strong voices seldom heard.

Kimberly Mayer

Kimberly MayerKimberly received a B.A. from Emerson College, Boston, and an M.F.A from Goddard College. Her memoir, The Making of a Master Gardener was awarded first place in the Pacific Northwest Writing Association Literary Contest, 2009. Having completed her first novel, Black Angels, she is currently at work on a sequel. Living, writing, and running a writing workshop for seniors in Seattle, Washington, what she knows and loves about new beginnings is that they are all opportunities to reinvent one’s self.

Stephanie Rayner

Stephanie RaynerA professional artist and lecturer from Toronto, Canada, Stephanie Rayner’s work deals with one of the great themes of our age: the transformation of our spirituality by the revelations of science and technology - a theme that addresses the deepest needs of our time and elicits powerful responses from viewers and listeners.

Stephanie has presented her work nationally and internationally including The Vatican Symposium on Religion and Science (Malta), The Institute for Religion in an Age of Science (New Hampshire), the First International Symposium of Religion and Science (University of Toronto), Man and Millenium, an international conference on cosmology and deep space morphology (Johannesburg) and a symposium of international scholars, Art and the Evolution of Human Consciousness at Stanford University's Center for Advanced Studies.

Stephanie brings her poem, “Midsummer”, to Minerva Rising as a tender offering in which beginnings are magical moments that she has taken a picture of. Take a look…

Carol Roan

Carol RoanI began to plan the last phase of my life four years ago. I was 77. I had an incurable, if manageable, terminal disease. Time to let go of my hard-won independence; time to move near one of my children and be cared for. Good plan, except that after I moved to North Carolina, my son’s career took him back to Manhattan. On my own again, I became an advocate for the creativity and wisdom of those over 50, co-edited an anthology of their writings, found a publisher for another book, was elected president of Winston-Salem Writers, led my first marketing, writing, and acting workshops, and am still searching for a recipe for tripe that’s edible. The two women in “The Womb Room” are planners, too, but find the seeds of their new beginnings in the room itself, not in the saviors they had thought they needed.

Lizz Schumer

Lizz SchumerLizz Schumer is a rust belt language artist who loves words and the scintillating synergy their combinations create. “Master and Commander” illustrates the irrevocable transformation of a woman who connects to a man. It explores the empowerment of embracing her inherent value after investigating the constraints of coupling and the freedom of individuality. The first impactful book she read was “Little Women,” assigned to her in fourth grade when the other girls read “Forever Angels.” She accepted the challenge to be an independent woman and has never looked back.

Emily Shearer

Emily ShearerWomen find poetry in the porous borders between moments. We turn our ears to rare poetic frequencies that only we can hear, but we have to make a move to capture the sounds found therein. We are the action verbs. We mend, we dance, we create, and nothing should hold us back from living our poems. All we have to do is Begin. My poem, “Do not dare not to dare” speaks to making that move and seeing where the move takes you. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables in 1979 and feeling words truly come alive, taking flight off their pages and into my mind. I wanted to transport myself straight into their world. When I am reading good literature and writing my very best, I still feel that transfiguring power of language.

Adrienne Wallner

Adrienne WallnerI am a poet, photographer, hula-hooper, and traveler. I like to spend my time camping, dancing like nobody’s watching, playing banjo, and festivating at a variety of music gatherings. I love Edna S. Vincent Millay and am inspired by her life and attitude as well as her work. “Never Fell” is the beauty and birth of Eve as strong and independent, not weak and fallen. It is Eve proud and new - it is her beginning.

Lynn Wiley Grant

Lynn Wiley GrantRising is a euphonious word. The protagonist in my story is rising up from ignorance to worldliness, assignment to self-realization. I’m honored to be part of the inaugural issue of Minerva Rising where women are given space to speak from the heart—no hedging, apologizing, or catering. I live in Seattle, but whenever possible I retreat to nearby tiny Decatur Island to my writing hut. I’m intrigued by the novella and short story forms, and also enjoy writing essays and book reviews. I have an MFA in writing from Goddard College and an MA in English literature from the University of Washington. I blog at www. My favorite woman author is Penelope Fitzgerald because her writing is distinctive, comic, and incisive. She started her writing career at sixty, by the way.


[…] five gorgeous, hefty themed issues. Here, I’ve handpicked some pieces that speak to our themes: Issue 1: Beginnings (“To the Left is the Beach” illustrates how sometimes a beginning comes after a devastating […]