MORE ABOUT ALICE
BREAKFAST WITH ALICE: ALICE MENDELSOHN INTERVIEWED
BY DANA FAULKNER-PUNZO
Alice Mendelsohn is the author of two self-published books and designs her own personal greeting cards. She is recognized as a well-rounded poet and inspirational writer who always puts time into the community for readings and book signings, and has been asked to write meaningful prayers for her church. I had the pleasure to write with Alice with the Morning Muses for a few years. She has been a part of Women Who Write since 2001 and served as a coordinator for the Morning Muses and was a board member. I asked her a few questions about writing, hoping to let our readers get an intimate glimpse of Alice at a local diner. She knew every person sitting near us and gladly acknowledged each of them. We live in the same town so it was nice to arrange an informal interview over breakfast.
After a big hug we sat down and I got right into the conversation about how Alice started writing. She spoke about her earliest memories, and as she did I could picture her as a child at her kitchen table writing poetry with her mother as she prepared dinner. Alice’s eyes lit up as she went on to give me details about how her mom would write on small pieces of paper after Alice wrote something and the two of them would read and write together while delicious smells would fill the kitchen. She started writing with mom first and waited to join WWW years later. Then Alice retired and compiled years of writing into her first self-published book titled It’s Time, to which she credits her mother for the title of the book. As the waitress heated my coffee Alice told me, “I always knew that after I retired I would write a book. So I did! I had poems ready for this book and always wanted to do something with them.” In her first book each poem is introduced in prose, which Alice thought would add interest to the reader’s experience. She writes about the pleasures in life and shares experiences in poetic form.
Alice then went on to write a second book titled Let’s Celebrate. She says,“This book is another poetic journey for the reader to take.” Alice uses her talent for writing greeting cards and compiled them in a book of memories. Alice comments, “Each sentiment I hoped would be an inspiration for others to write this way to friends and family after reading my work.” Alice then shared that she has another book in the works. She has many poems written like her favorite called, “The Stalker” about a true encounter with a suspected stalker who followed her in a car. Alice came to find that this stranger was ironically her pastor and saw this as a lesson from God. God is always with her even when she isn’t expecting it. This is a huge accomplishment for her because it took years for Alice to even say she is a poet. I can relate to that and understand what she means.
Alice has been a widow for two years and admitted that she is grateful that Jack, her late husband and she both had separate interests. She knew he was supportive of her writing and like her mother who has since passed is still always with her. “Writing helps me cope with the loss of two significant forces in my life.” After we told the waitress that we were ready to eat breakfast, I commented that I always was impressed with Alice’s ability to stay current. She is always in the writing circle. So much so that when I get the chance to look at a local paper and spot a reading or workshop I am always tempted to call Alice to see if she wants to carpool. I know she will be either reading poems, or in the audience learning something new. She breathes poetry and even has poetic messages on her cell phone and car rear window for other drivers to see. Living what you love is who Alice is. After she paid for our breakfast we walked outside together and I watched her walk to the car. I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking about this interview experience. Later that day I received an email from Alice. She thanked me for interviewing her and wanted to send me a picture for this article. We briefly talked about how she really was a member of WWW as a little girl before she became an official member 13 years ago. Alice, if you are reading this, thank you for your dedication to writing. We are the beneficiaries!
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