Poetry and Flash Fiction

The Back Story

The Crone’s Words is the result of taking a class on publishing from poet and educator Sharon Coleman at Berkeley City College in the fall of 2021. I arrived with my poetry in hand, intending my class project to be an intimate chapbook of handpicked verse on which I had been working for several years. Yet Sharon stopped me in my tracks when at our first class meeting she posed the question, “What is missing from your world?”

I knew then it was not a chapbook (although in a trivial sense it WAS). but instead a need for validation and community above all else.

The Vision, Values, and Purpose

Mainstream culture does little to honor the elderwomen among us, especially those who struggle with mental illness. No one is of no value; each elderwoman has a story to tell that is worthy of our attention. The Crone’s Word’s purpose is to explore, compile, and give voice to the passion, dissociation, and poetry of madness and sorrow among elderwomen, providing a vehicle for their/our voices to be heard and, ultimately, understood and honored. In the process of this endeavor, I hope to:

  • inform the uninitiated
  • broadcast what has only been whispered
  • reach out to others with similar experiences
  • build and broaden community

-Janet A. Guastavino