Texas Matters: On this Mother’s Day weekend we honor our life givers, our moms. But that mother-offspring relationship is frequently complicated and always intense. We hear five true stories about mothers and mothering written by a San Antonio group of women writers called The Next Chapter.
As these women write and share their stories, discovering the beauty and power of their own words, we encourage you, other women and men, to find your voices and write your own story. There’s no greater heirloom to leave to the next generation.
In the program we hear stories about motherhood written and read by Janie Alonzo, Belza Elia Ramos, Virginia Valenzuela, Lupe Gonzalez, and Mary Olivia Patiño.
The Next Chapter is a group of women that evolved in 2012 from the Encuentro de Mujeres writing group established at Our Lady of the Lake University in 2002. The goal is to critique and edit each other’s stories and find venues for publication. Five members are published authors.
Most have read their stories at Our Lady of the Lake University’s annual literary festival and at hosted open mic sessions at Barnes and Noble, Viva and RutaMaya. The group has also published three anthologies through the Center for Women at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Encuentro de Mujeres Group began as Platicas, women sitting at the kitchen table, sharing life experiences at the Center for Women at Our Lady of the Lake University, They met bi-monthly to reflect on their lives as mothers, wives, daughters, and, primarily as women of faith. Soon, it became a journey that led the women to write their stories. They listened, critiqued each other’s written words, and enlightened one another with the wealth and wisdom of these stories. The Mujeres not only discovered the beauty and power of their own words, but encouraged other women to find their voices.
In 2011, the Mujeres were no longer able to meet at the Center for Women and the core group of eight women moved on to form The Next Chapter in 2012. They meet monthly in each other’s homes. All are Latinas with diverse backgrounds, who share a common goal to fulfill their dreams of writing and passing on their legacy of story-telling to future generations.