Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow

News from Heidi

Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.

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What is the Bellwether Prize?

That lovely shimmery gold seal on the front of my book -- well, it means that my book won a prize. Not any old prize, but the Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change. In this video, my very awesome editor Kathy Pories explains how the prize was created and what it salutes. And good news for all of you who love Bellwether Prize books: the new Bellwether Prize winner, Naomi Benaron's books is coming out in February 2012 --Running the Rift. Can't wait that long? Even better news then: the very amazing Bellwether Prize winner, Hillary Jordan (Mudbound), has a new book coming out in October: When She Woke. You are going to love this one too!

For the Danes and assorted Afro-Vikings

Enjoy this video in which I know I mangle the Danish language with my heavy accent and nerves. Plus, an article by Rikke Viemose that recently appeared in Femina (pdf), Denmark's Glamour magazine.

My Portland Public Schools Visit

I loved seeing this video of the wonderful students I met at Madison and Cleveland High School talking about The Girl Who Fell From the Sky and my visit. I remember each of you and am touched by your words! Thank you!

A Poem Inspired by The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

Student art inspired by The Girl Who Fell From the SkyThis poem was inspired by The Girl Who Fell From the Sky and written by students in my friend Amal's University of Washington freshman writing and reading course. Love it!  The beautiful artwork is by a student at Cleveland High School in Portland, OR.

You were thrown into a black abyss,
it's your "evil" Danish mother you miss,
if only she gave you one last kiss,
before she threw over your brother and your sis,
Your nappy black hair and bright blue eyes,
led you to believe in so many lies,
your little blue bottle has been your disguise
you should listen for your Grandmother for she is wise.--

Bibliocracy Interview

Listen in on this interview that aired earlier this year on KPFK's Bibliocracy.  It was intense--it was akin I'm guessing to getting "Silverblatted" by KCRW's Book Worm host Michael Silverblatt.  Now I will be ready if he ever calls.  Michael?  I'm ready!


You can download the interview: here. You can also

subscribe to my podcast via itunes and never miss another one again.


Portland Community College Podcast Part 2

This is Part 2 of the culminating event at Portland Community College for the PCC Reads events at Sylvania. I love the staged reading. I love the energy and questions.


You can download it: Part 2 (mp3). You can also

subscribe to my podcast

via itunes and never miss another one again.


Portland Community College Podcast Part 1

This was the culminating event for my visit to Portland Community College Campus-Wide Read of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. You will be impressed by the student's thoughtful questions and the amazing staged reading of excerpts from the book. This is Part 1. Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow.


You can also download it:

: Part 2

.  Or download it from itunes.  Better yet,

subscribe to my podcast

in itunes and never miss another audio podcast again.


PBS Books & Co. Interview Extended

Yesterday I posted the complete interview that was aired on PBS's Books & Co., but here is the extended behind-the-scenes interview! Check it out!

PBS Books & Co. Interview

I mentioned before that this interview was upcoming. Well, now the complete interview is available on You Tube! You can see it here! Yay!

Mixed Roots In the Schools

Mx11kidsatschool1 My dear friend Rayme Cornell and I had the great opportunity to visit a Santa Monica middle-grade school where we got to talk to kids about the upcoming Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, June 11-12, 2011 in Los Angeles. www.mxroots.org.

People often ask me whether I think things are changing for kids who are mixed. Unfortunately, the answer is no. In a big city like Los Angeles, you'd think that the kids would encounter a lot of diversity, that they wouldn't find themselves feeling so lonely because of their dual identities. Here are some excerpts from the kids' writing. We asked them to write a few sentences about themselves using this prompt: When I think about my roots, I think . . .

  • "I am Swedish, Finnish, Native American. I have Viking blood and much more. I am Christian, and a pinch Catholic. I think of my roots when I'm bored, sad, or curious about me. I think about mixed roots when I'm walking on the street and when I'm at school. I feel curious about where people are from." --O.
  • "I see the world as a blend making a nationality smoothie!" --O.
  • "I think about my roots all the time because in second grade one kid said to me 'Why are you black?' so that scared me, so when I I with my friends I think 'Do I fit here?"-- B.

Some of the responses just broke my heart, but also helped me realize that we really have to carry forth with the Festival -- the young folks still need a place to be heard.  If you're reading this post, you are someone, know someone or love someone in the Mixed experience.  Won't you please consider donating to the Festival?



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