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The Arts

‘Laundry’ explores women’s voices, lives

PUTNEY—A part of the Brattleboro Literary Festival, Laundry is a celebration of women’s voices and women’s lives through the writing that they do. It will be presented on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m., at 118 Elliot.

According to a news release, the idea for the show was originated by Meg Baronian, a writer and teacher of writing at Landmark College in Putney. Featured artists include Verandah Porche, Wendy M. Levy, Megan Buchanan, Taite Blais, Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez, Diana Whitney, Meg Baronian, and Shanta Lee Gander.

The show’s originator and executive producer, Meg Baronian, uses the word laundry as a metaphor to describe the writing that women do.

“It’s all about the dirt,” Baronian said. “It’s about coming clean and putting it out in public.”

Baronian further explains.

“Bringing the personal into public is in a sense an act of transgression and therefore very powerful. Making known the unknown, bringing out into view what we are taught to keep to ourselves pushes back against propriety.

“It might set some people on edge, but it gets others talking about real issues that need confronting in everyday life, just to get through or just to get it all out. Think public laundry, where you go every Saturday with everybody else and all your dirty clothes to get the wash done.”

“Growing up, the household motto was always, ‘keep your dirty laundry to yourself,” said Shanta Lee Gander, a writer and one of the show’s participants. “There are a lot of things I like about the analogy of laundry as it relates to writing. The dirt doesn’t always come out in the wash or sometimes we hang things out there as unapologetic and without explanation as the words we craft, allowing others to bring their own meaning or understanding to them.”

The show will include some work that may fit into the metaphor and others stretching outside of these bounds. For more information, visit

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Originally published in The Commons issue #480 (Wednesday, October 10, 2018). This story appeared on page B2.

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