Rebecca Helm Beardsall works at Western Washington University. She received her MA in English from Lehigh University and her MFA from Western Washington University.
And when we go through our own surroundings, as we do every day, familiar features of our landscapes keep reminding us that the past is alive – Epeli Hau’ofa
Land holds a story: of time, of generations. When a nonfiction writer investigates land or place in their work as physical space (terra firma), as home, or as historical event, it becomes a presence, and in some cases an agent, in the narrative. [Read More…]
You don't have to live in PA to enjoy this collection. I spent a few years in central PA and was transported by these stories. They convey such a strong sense of place and are clearly written straight from the heart.
What can be the best thing about a book of essays is that they are different flavors of the same main ingredient. This is the case in "Philadelphia Reflections". In lovely, bite sized pieces, I was able to savor different aspects of a portion of the country that I am completely unfamiliar with...Because each essay had such a different taste to it, I found myself reading only one each sitting - individually savoring the words and images and emotions these writers bring to life.
Co-editors Colleen Lutz Clemems and Rebecca Helm Beardsall took their vision for this book, a collection of stories written by regular folks about this unique area of the United States, and created this work of art. The end result is lovely...Each writer's voice is honest and comes through; some are funny and others, deeply moving. For those interested in stories about western Pennsylvania, this is a must-read.