In a predominantly Latter-Day Saint community, it seems that LDS women are oft stereotyped. And yet the narrow definition of a “Mormon woman” leaves much unsaid about the way LDS women both contribute to and draw upon their faith in their individual journeys through life.
It is with those stereotypes in mind that the “Our Vision, Our Voices: A Mormon Women’s Literary Tour,” featuring LDS women writers from across the west and including SUU English Professor Danielle Dubrasky, was created.
Our Visions, Our Voices is a historic multi-state, multi-university readings series by established and emerging Mormon women writers.
According to a press release from the tour founders, the tour was conceived to “create a space for Mormon women of diverse experiences and backgrounds to articulate the richness of our shared tradition and its futures.”
The local community is invited to join in the conversation on Thursday, March 25, at 5 p.m. in the Student Center Theater at Southern Utah University.
As a contributing writer to the tour, Dubrasky says her experience, expressed through poetry, is “just one in a strong collection of female voices” that, according to Joanna Brooks, tour co-founder and English professor at San Diego State University, all aim to “create common ground and broaden perspectives.”
Of her involvement, Dubrasky has said “The Our Vision, Our Voices project shows that you can come from the same community and still have widely different perspectives of that community.” She continues, “Perceptions of Mormon women are often based on stereotypes – while women who are raised in the Mormon religion have some experiences in common, how they interpret those experiences may be vastly different.”
Dubrasky commented that this tour, featuring a variety of contemporary voices, will allow the audience to hear a range of definitions to broaden their perceptions.
Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Dubrasky holds a graduate degree in English from Stanford University and a doctorate degree from the University of Utah in creative writing. A skilled and creative writer, Dubrasky has received many literary awards, including the 2006 Utah Arts Council First Place Award for Poetry for her collection of poems entitled To Live Elsewhere. Her poetry has been published in City Arts, Dialogue, ECOllective, Irreantum, Petroglyph, Tar River Poetry, and Weber Studies among other places.
“Our Visions, Our Voices: A Mormon Women’s Literacy Tour” is being sponsored by the Utah Valley University Department of English, with additional support from the Claremont University Mormon Studies Program. Additional stops for the tour include: Claremont College, Arizona State University, Utah Valley University, and the University of Utah.
According to the Mormon Women Writers' website, Our Visions, Our Voices comprises a group of female writers "devoted to discovering, promoting and connecting Mormon women writers, loosely defined." As such, the gropu considers Mormonism "a broad umbrella including not just the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but the Community of Christ, as well as other smaller denominations."
Additional information can be found online or by calling 619-594-5271.