From my anthologies of women’s writing of resistance to oppression, to my own memoir and my writers’ guides to purposeful memoir, all of my books come from a deep belief in the power of writing to make the world better. My aim is always to search for and share inspiration, wisdom and guidance for these challenging times.
A book like no other! Award-winning author Jennifer Browdy, PhD, creates a magical tapestry of inspiration and exploration, weaving her own story together with the inspiring voices and visions of more than 15 of the writer-activists she calls “worldwrights”—writers who write to right the world, including such beloved mentors as Joy Harjo, Audre Lorde, Jane Goodall, Terry Tempest Williams and many more.
Jennifer and the worldwrights invite you on a series of eight Quests, centered around positive qualities that we need more of in life: Clarity, Courage, Vitality, Guidance, Love, Community, Joy and Freedom. Each Quest opens a path for you to explore your life experience through a series of stimulating writing prompts designed to catalyze your memories and imagination, complemented by Jennifer’s stunning photos of the natural beauty of Nova Scotia.
Join Jennifer on the elemental journey of purposeful memoir, a contemplative practice that opens new portals through which to explore the past, with the goal of understanding the present more fully, and stepping with greater intention into the thriving future we all desire. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Praise for Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future
A work of radical generosity, Jennifer Browdy’s Purposeful Memoir as Quest for a Thriving Future is a balm for us all in these troubled times. This visionary guide to writing and being is food for the spirit, demonstrating how through channeling the creative mind we can be our best selves and act now to heal our ailing planet.
An impassioned, eloquent work of heart, soul and graceful erudition by a writer of genius.
— Carol Bruneau, author of Brighten the Corner Where You Are: a novel inspired by the life of Maud Lewis
Jennifer Browdy offers us an overflowing cornucopia of prompts, images and questions, designed to take you into your great storehouse of memories. Pick one and follow its thread into the deep spaces of your inner landscape. It will lead you to your very heart center, and there you will discover your life purpose, your essential values, and the abiding energy you will need to bring it all into your world. It is the path of healing, gloriously reflected in her stunning photographs—healing yourself, your community and the world.
— Penny Gill, author of What in the World is Going On? Wisdom Teachings for Our Time
REVIEWS: Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future
No matter how dispiriting life might seem, Browdy affirms that we “we have the power to change the world with our vision, our understanding, and the choices we make day by day”—and she offers this impassioned volume, and the eight “quests” at its heart, to help inspire writers, seekers, and “worldwrights” toward embracing the “alchemical potential” of their creative imaginations and ushering us all toward a brighter future.
At the heart of Browdy’s vision is the practice of “purposeful memoir,” which centers an effort to understand how humanity got to this place and to “align the personal, political, and planetary threads of our existence” with the goal of transforming lives—and our world.
Takeaway: Big-picture inspiration and practical prompts for seekers eager to better themselves and the world.
Great for fans of: adrienne maree brown’s Pleasure Activism, Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend from Far Away.
In her latest book on coaching writing, Browdy states her aim of providing “thought-provoking, open-ended starting points, provocations and stimulations, rather than instructions” for her readers as they embark on a process of self-improvement through writing.
Browdy herself is a fine writer, well experienced in the tactics of encouraging nonwriters to commit to the writing process. “Let your heart sing as you write!” she urges her readers, and her writing exercises and effervescent personality combine to help direct the process. Even the most writing-averse reader will be tempted to give it a try.
A lovely, ultimately uplifting book about improving your life through writing it down.
Review in the Bard Early College Folio, Volume 2, Issue 1 | Fall 2022
“Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future by Dr. Jennifer Browdy is a subversive text in which she asks writers to study what has power over them, whether it be their relationship to time, trauma, or other barriers to creation.
“By using language imbued with magic and heroics, such as “alchemy” and “quests,” Browdy intends to embolden, and literally en-courage—give courage to—the writer, pen, if not sword, in the air. This reframes writing from the self as a process of healing, rather than exploitation or commercialization of trauma that is often the market of memoir….
“Browdy’s literature background is in service as it hums with references to a feminist canon, but also builds a reading list of inspiring thinkers and environmental activists, contributing to the subversive questioning of systems of power including patriarchy, racism, environmental destruction, and capitalism….
“It is an ambitious project in only 98 pages to change oneself, the perspectives of one’s story, and ultimately, the world, but it is not intended for single consumption, just like no revolution is achieved in one battle.
“The book invites and values relationships and centers revision as a tool of authorship key to how we write our future with the lessons of the past. Just as with our loved ones, each return will deepen and nourish with each story we tell.
—JULIA CAREY ARENDELL, Assistant Professor of English Literature and the Director of the Writing Studio at Bard Early College New Orleans.
Read the full review here.
Warm and informal, this month-by-month guide to writing memoir is like having an experienced writing coach at your elbow. With a year’s worth of thought-provoking, carefully structured writing prompts and essays on craft, Jennifer offers guidance and companionship for the aspiring memoirist, encouraging you to dig deep into the storehouse of your memories to share the wisdom that only life experience can bring.
Praise for The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir
“Jennifer’s passion for ‘women who write’ is evident in her ongoing commitment to those of us who do. In a soft voice she fearlessly leads, directs, and most of all…deeply cares. We wrote from our hearts and she opened hers, steering us here, guiding us there and always… leading us right back to ourselves.”
—N.P., Dallas, TX
“Jennifer provided a warm and accepting safe haven for us to share the tender parts of ourselves through writing exercises presented with an expert and delicate hand. The format kept us moving, thinking, laughing, writing, and the time flew! At the end of this weekend, I felt both inspired and encouraged that, maybe, just maybe, I really can write!”
—A.S., Lenox, MA
In this lyrical, hard-hitting memoir, one American woman’s journey is set against the larger landscape of the political upheaval and global climate disruption of her time and place. In telling the story of a generation who “forgot” how important the health of our planet is to our personal and collective well-being, Jennifer Browdy calls on readers to remember our primary connection to the Earth and begin the process of transformation at the intersection of the personal, political and planetary.
Praise for What I Forgot….and Why I Remembered
“With this fine book, Browdy makes connections between the personal and the planetary. She documents the process of waking up to the world around us and she demonstrates how vibrant and rewarding an engaged life can be. This memoir is advocacy writing at its best.”
— Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, Writing to Change the World, and The Green Boat: Revising Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture
“Jennifer Browdy has chosen to write what she calls a “purposeful memoir….Her choice can inspire us all to see how our lives have been hijacked or distracted from what we most deeply desire, and how we can reclaim our lives for the sake of life on Earth.”
— Joanna Macy, author of
Coming Back to Life and Active Hope (2022 edition): How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience & Creative Power
“This beautifully written and moving memoir of a woman’s search to find her authentic self, buried beneath decades of social conditioning and academic prejudice…offers hope, inspiration and support to all those who, aware of disaster staring us in the face, are searching for courage and insight into how to respond. A timely and most valuable contribution to the greatest challenge of our times.”
— Anne Baring, author of
The Dream of the Cosmos:
A Quest for the Soul
An Anthology Celebrating the Power of Women’s Words
Jennifer Browdy, Jana Laiz & Sahra Bateson Brubeck, Editors.
WRITING FIRE features powerful writing by more than 75 women of all ages and from many walks of life. Including fiction, poetry, personal narrative, essays and humor, this wide-ranging collection offers an intimate window into the strengths, passions and perspectives of inspiring and unforgettable women writers.
What do women write about when they’re being most authentic and passionate?
A glorious feast of women’s voices that will make you laugh and cry and want to grab your own pen and join the conversation!
Eighteen women, including Rigoberta Menchu, Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat, Margaret Randall, Gloria Anzaldua and Michelle Cliff, are featured in this powerful anthology on art, feminism, and activism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Women Writing Resistance unearths an emerging tradition of Latin American and Caribbean women writers, demonstrating how women can collaborate across class, race and nationality in the ongoing struggles for human rights and social justice in the Americas.
Ruth Irupé Sanabria
Judith Ortiz Cofer
Aurora Levins Morales
Praise for Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean
“Bless these voices, these powerhouses of the Americas, my teachers, my heroes. May this book travel near and far and inspire others to resist. Thank you for restoring courage in an era of fear, purpose in a season of confusion, and, in these times of censorship, an obligation to speak.”
— Sandra Cisneros,
author of The House on Mango Street
“Timely, compelling, and nuanced, this anthology invites us to discover what resistance has meant to women and to steward that gift through meaningful action in our own lives.”
— Ashley Perez,
author of Out of Darkness
“A big, bold inspiration….These women will set your soul on fire.”
— Achy Obejas,
author of The Tower of Antilles
African Women Writing Resistance is the first transnational anthology to focus on women’s strategies of resistance to the challenges they face in Africa today. The anthology brings together personal narratives, testimony, interviews, short stories, poetry, performance scripts, folktales, and lyrics. Contributors include internationally recognized authors and activists such as Wangari Maathai and Nawal El Saadawi, as well as a host of vibrant new voices from all over the African continent and from the African diaspora.
Awards and Recognition for African Women Writing Resistance:
“Deeply personal and accessible. African Women Writing Resistance is a timely contribution, capturing a diverse range of responses to the struggles of African women today.”
— Carole Boyce Davies,