Whitson, Audrey J. 1957–

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Whitson, Audrey J. 1957–

PERSONAL: Born August 28, 1957, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; daughter of Douglas (Tim) Izod (a farmer) and Theresa (Schermann) Whitson; married Willaim Nichols (an organizational change consultant), July 24, 1999. Education: University of Calgary, B.S.W., 1981; Graduate Theological Union-Franciscan School of Theology, M.A., 1989. Politics: "Left of center." Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Singing, gardening, bird-watching, photography, reading, genealogy.

ADDRESSES: Home—10782 One Hundred Sixty-five St., Edmonton, Alberta T59 3T5, Canada. Office—Tortoise Press, Inc., P.O. Box 1492 Station Main, Edmonton, Alberta T59 2N7, Canada. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Editor, educator, and writer. Spirit Links, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, proprietor and workshop facilitator, 1991–; St. Joseph's College, Edmonton, lecturer in theology, 1992–94, 2003; St. Stephen's College, Edmonton, lecturer in theology, 1997–2000; Company's Coming, Edmonton, proofreader, 2001–02; self-employed writer, editor, and Web editor, 2002–03. Tortoise Press, Inc., Edmonton, editor-in-chief, 2003–. Other Voices Publishing Society, Edmonton (editorial collective), reviews coordinator, 2001–03.

MEMBER: Writer's Guild of Canada, Editors' Association of Canada (voting member, 2001–), Writers' Guild of Alberta (Edmonton branch; member of writing retreats committee, 1994–99), Edmonton Labyrinth Society (founding chair, 1998–2001).

WRITINGS:

Teaching Places, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Edmonton Journal, National Bulletin on Liturgy, Catholic New Times, Canadian Woman Studies, Vox Feminarum, Grail, Quest, Way of St. Francis, Creation Spirituality, Rags, and FreeFall.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Work in multiple genres, including short fiction, a novel, poetry, and essays. Research on several topics, including "the relationship between children's games and contemporary and ancient ritual; medieval music and instruments, especially monastic chant; Plato and other early philosophers and their views on women; the works of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz; and medieval European pilgrimage and shrine lore, especially as related to women."

SIDELIGHTS: Audrey J. Whitson told CA: "I've been writing creatively since I could print. As a child it was my way of finding my place in the world, of knowing the world—still is. I think of myself as a woman writer. And so I especially read women writers in English, though I do read several male writers in Spanish. I have also been part of a spoken poetry movement here in Edmonton and that has broken open the experience of poetry from many perspectives.

"I'm inspired at odd times—when I'm on a walk, about to go to sleep at night, in my dreams, or when I first wake up in the morning. New experiences also often jolt me into new awareness. (I had a writing instructor who said once it was better to take any course but writing—because it opened you to new experiences.) I've learned to obey the voice inside, the voice that says 'write this down.' I take a notebook and a pen with me wherever I go. I sleep with a journal close at hand. I have kept a journal since I was a teenager (about thirty years). It is one of my most important spiritual practices.

"Nature has been a part of my life since I was a very small child. I grew up on a farm and nature was my first experience of spirit. Nature is my spiritual source and the more time I can spend there, the more and clearer my writing on any subject. That's why I garden and bird-watch a lot in the city and get out to the country whenever I can."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

ONLINE

Audrey Whitson Home Page, http://www.spiritlinks.org (May 30, 2005).

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Whitson, Audrey J. 1957–

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