Tuesday Dec 20, 2022

Inside Passage: The Waterfield Sisters on Their Fractured Childhood and the Redemptive Power of Memoir and Music featuring Keema Waterfield and Tekla Waterfield

Keema and Tekla Waterfield join Let’s Talk Memoir for a conversation about being raised by a young single mother in Southeast Alaska after their father left the family. With very little money but a passion for music and art, their mother moved them frequently in pursuit of her education, gigs, and new relationships. As the sisters grew, art and their at-times traumatic childhood led each of the sisters on different paths. Keema wrote Inside Passage, a memoir about her nomadic Alaskan childhood, the toll her upbringing took on her, and the effect it had on her relationship with her mother. Tekla became a singer-songwriter whose most recent release, "New Skies" landed in the NACC Top 30 Folk Album Charts in October of 2021. In this special holiday episode they share their perspective on their childhood, how each of them grappled with their father leaving, and why art has always been central in their lives.


Keema Waterfield

Keema Waterfield is the author of Inside Passage, a nomadic childhood memoir set along the wild coast of Southeast Alaska. Other work has appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Brevity, Redivider, and others. She resides in Missoula, Montana, with her husband, two children, a bunch of extra instruments she doesn’t know how to play, and a revolving cast of quirky animals. She lives and writes on Séliš and Qlispé land. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @keemasaurusrex 




Link to Keema’s memoir Inside Passage: https://bookshop.org/books/inside-passage-a-memoir/9781950584567


Ronit’s review of Inside Passage: https://therumpus.net/2021/08/inside-passage-by-keema-waterfield/


Tekla Waterfield:

2020 & 2021 Doe Bay Resort & Retreat Artist Resident recipient, 2019 Jack Straw Cultural Center recording grant recipient, and 2018 Allied Arts Listen Up! Women in Music grant recipient, Alaskan born Seattle based singer/songwriter Tekla Waterfield incorporates elements of folk, country, roots, rock and soul creating a wide-ranging sound unified by dynamic vocals, compelling stage presence and point-of-view storytelling. Waterfield's music has been heard on radio stations throughout the US, on NPR's World Cafe, in the UK, Scotland, Wales, Australia, England & Korea and has been described as "poignant and emotionally soaring" by No Depression Magazine. Waterfield's most recent release, "New Skies" landed in the NACC Top 30 Folk Album Charts in October of 2021.

Website: www.teklawaterfield.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teklawaterfieldmusic/



Ronit is a teacher and speaker whose essays, creative nonfiction, and fiction have been featured in The Atlantic, The Rumpus, The New York Times, The Iowa Review, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest, American Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her memoir WHEN SHE COMES BACK about the loss of her mother to the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and their eventual reconciliation was named a 2021 Best True Crime Book by Book Riot and was a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards, the Housatonic Book Awards, and the Book of the Year Awards. Her short story collection HOME IS A MADE-UP PLACE won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award and will be published in 2023. She is creative nonfiction editor at The Citron Review and lives in Seattle with her family where she is working on her next book.


More about Ronit: https://ronitplank.com


More about WHEN SHE COMES BACK, a memoir: https://ronitplank.com/book/


Connect with Ronit:





Background photo: Canva

Headshot photo credit: Sarah Anne Photography

Theme music: Isaac Joel, Dead Moll’s Fingers

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