The ‘Taking Root’ Story Forest: A Collection of Multimedia Works
Perhaps you’ve seen a mangrove. These saltwater-loving trees grow thickly along the coastlines of South Florida. They edge the shores in heavy clumps; they huddle in meandering rows. The roots will catch your eye first: a rich reddish brown color, they grow out of the brackish water like creeping fingers. As a child, I thought the roots were trying to wrench themselves from the sediment—that the mangrove was a tree desperately seeking other waters.
What I didn’t know then was that the mangrove had adapted to thrive there. Between twice-a-day tides, the stilt-like roots pull oxygen from the air. The sediment that collects beneath the roots builds the shoreline, and a vibrant community of plants and animals live on or below the roots. Even the leaves are gifted. Two holes on each pump out the excess salt; it covers the waxy green leaves like crystals.
The young writers of Taking Root: The Girls Write Now 2022 Anthology remind me of those red mangroves and their hardy, branching roots. Like the tree, they flourish at the borders, but theirs straddles the prickly border between youth and adulthood. In waters friendly or inhospitable, these writers persevere: always creating, always building, expanding. Through their words they interrogate the world we take for granted, and in their wonderings, propose new Earths to inhabit.
Here’s to those brave, beautiful writers, and the works that will take them near and far. Deeply rooted in who they are, their words are the salt crystals that adorn the leaves. —Morayo Faleyimu
Explore the Story Forest
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.