We invited The Shoe Project mentors and coaches to respond to the following question: Why have you taken on this work? This is Alissa York’s answer.
I took on this work because I was so impressed and moved by a Shoe Project performance I attended in Toronto. From the first workshop session, it was clear to me that I had lucked out. The women of The Shoe Project brought an impressive range of life experience and expertise to the table, and they had amazing stories to tell. I don’t know when I’ve been part of a group whose members listened so intently and compassionately to one another. It has been an honour and a profound pleasure to work with these women—to stand witness to their continuing evolution as writers, speakers and empowered human beings.
Alissa York is the author of the internationally acclaimed novels Mercy, Effigy (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize), Fauna and The Naturalist (winner of the Canadian Author’s Association Fiction Award). Stories from her short fiction collection, Any Given Power, have won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award. Alissa has lived all over Canada and now makes her home in Toronto with her husband, artist Clive Holden. She teaches Creative Writing at the Humber School for Writers. Alissa was a Shoe Project writing mentor twice in 2016-2017.