Lauren AyerAccording to my first grade teacher I have been writing poetry in perfect cursive since I was six years old, the same year I received an honorable mention for my drawing “Animal Christmas.” It won me an elephant-shaped zoo key that unlocked a world of information about tigers and leopards, and otters, and bears, and, yes, even the elephant. I still have that key.

At ten I made my first quilt, with my mother’s help. She is a quilter. Her mother was a quilter. Her grandmother was a quilter. My sister is, too. It’s in our blood. So is poetry, but on the other side of the family.

I have learned that I need both–the words and the images, the ink and the thread. The words tear me apart. The thread stitches me back together again.