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My Life As a Prayer with Elizabeth Cunningham | S4 Ep11
Episode 1113th December 2023 • KnotWork Storytelling • Marisa Goudy
00:00:00 00:42:46

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Our Story

Elizabeth Cunningham reads to us from her new memoir, My Life as a Prayer. For Elizabeth, "A prayer is one who prays." This excerpt brings us to the start of her journey as a writer because, for this author, writing and prayer are always interwoven.

Our Guest

Elizabeth Cunningham is a novelist, poet, musician, and counselor based in New York’s Hudson Valley.  She’ll be reading to us from her multifaith memoir, My Life as a Prayer. She is the author and illustrator of The Book of Madge, a graphic novel, and the source of her best known work, the four books in The Maeve Chronicles. Her earlier novels include The Wild Mother, The Return of the Goddess, and How to Spin Gold, all of which have been recently reprinted by Monkfish Book Publishing. 

Our Conversation

  • This excerpt from My Life as a Prayer is a request for help, and a prayer of gratitude
  • Elizabeth chose to write through the lens of prayer because it enabled her to write a memoir without writing about certain things at the core of her life - love affairs, children, her marriage
  • Scripture as sacred storytelling
  • The pressure from Elizabeth’s father to be a social worker, not to be a writer; this tension is alive for many writers who fear they should be more devoted to activism
  • Elizabeth’s “best imaginary friend forever” BIFF, Maeve, the unrepentant Celtic Magdalene, heroine of The Passion of Mary Magdalene and three other books
  • The need for an incarnate goddess, and a desire for a relationship with Jesus
  • The invitation to all people be in a uniquely passionate love affair with “God” (or whatever you call the great spirit) 
  • Prayer and the troublesome idea that “only god can help” when we think of suffering mothers and children in Gaza
  • Fite fuaite, the Irish phrase for interwoven; the idea that something can be woven, then torn, then mended, as the Hebrew word tikkun
  • “A way out of no way, way will open”

Our Music

Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy: billyandbeth.com

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