In 2005, along with two other Pennsylvania writers, we presented creative non-fiction essays focusing on the land of Pennsylvania at a conference. We realized our panel could be the beginning of a larger collection that would present readers with a full view of Pennsylvania’s regions through the eyes of some of the state’s best non-fiction essay writers. As two lifetime residents of Pennsylvania, we are proud to have edited two works that reflect the beauty, work ethic, and tradition we see in the Keystone State: Philadelphia Reflections: Stories from the Delaware to the Schuylkill and Western Pennsylvania Reflections: Stories from the Alleghenies to Lake Erie. The two books, published by The History Press, are in stores now.
In 2011, our lives changed when Rebecca moved to Washington. In an effort to cope with the loss of seeing each other every day, we decided another project would keep us connected. As Rebecca listened to the stories of the people around her in her new community, she realized there was a richness and depth to everyone’s story and with Colleen’s help decided to once again bring those stories to light in a collection. Western Washington Reflections: Stories from the Puget Sound to Vancouver will be available in bookstores spring 2013.
Colleen Lutz Clemens is Assistant Professor of Non-Western Literatures at Kutztown University. Along with her poetry publications in English Journal, her essay in the anthology Click recounts her story of being her high school’s first female tuba player. Her essay about her pappy, who worked at Bethlehem Steel, was featured on Philadelphia public radio's This I Believe series. Most recently her essay about her struggle to have a child was included in TRIVIA’s special issue on death and feminism She currently resides in Bucks County, PA, with her husband, their daughter, and their two dogs.
Rebecca Helm Beardsall works in the Extended Education department of Western Washington University. She also teaches in the English Department at DeSales University. She grew up in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, and has lived in various places since 1991, including Scotland, Canada, Montana, and New Zealand. She graduated with a BA in English from DeSales University and received her MA in English from Lehigh University. She has fifteen years' experience in freelance writing in the United States and abroad. Her poetry has been published in various literary journals. She currently resides in Bellingham, Washington, with her husband and her cat, Myrtle.