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Acclaimed author Stella Pope Duarte speaks to Phoenix Writers Club

Author Stella Pope Duarte discusses her latest book with former Phoenix Writers Club president Cindi Reiss at the January 18 meeting.
Author Stella Pope Duarte discusses her latest book with former Phoenix Writers Club president Cindi Reiss at the January 18 meeting.Doris Nehrbass

Saturday, Jan. 18, Stella Pope Duarte spoke to the Phoenix Writers Club at the group’s regular monthly meeting at the Bluewater Grill in Phoenix. She brought print editions of her latest work, “Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams: The memoir of a writer’s soul,” and also of some of her other books.

Duarte became a writer following a prophetic dream in 1995, 10 years after her father’s death, in which her father took her by the hand and led her to a spiral staircase. She had lost her identity, she said, and he “had to take me by the hand like I was a baby.”

Since then, in addition to the above-mentioned book, she has published “Fragile Night,” “Let Their Spirits Dance,” “If I Die in Juarez” and “Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories.”

Duarte’s observations and admonitions on Saturday included the following:

  • “The greater part of who we are is not seen.”
  • “If you do not connect the dots of who are you, who will do that for you?”
  • “Your invisible world is what makes you the writer that you are.”
  • “The interpretation of the dream belongs to the dreamer. You make sense of it. You figure out what that spiral staircase meant.”
  • “Sometimes you will have a prophetic dream.”
  • When it comes to dreams, “Write them down. Keep a journal.”
  • “Be careful who you tell your dreams to.”
  • “Be careful who you … let see your writing.” If you pick the wrong people, she said, “they will shoot you down.”
  • When asked to do something, “risk it.”

Duarte’s mother taught her about dreams, and she still carries her mother’s apron with her. She brought it to show at the meeting, complete with the safety pins her mother kept in case something tore and the rubber bands needed for the girls’ long hair.

Duarte told of a vision her mom had in a dark alley of Christ and a bright light that didn’t hurt her eyes. Later, when her mom lay dying in Duarte’s home, she saw that light again, the very bright light that “doesn’t hurt my eyes.”

Duarte’s takeaway? “After any dark time in your life, there will be light. That’s what I learned.”

A highly sought-after inspirational speaker, Duarte has received numerous honors and awards, including an American Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination and a Women in American History Award.

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