Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Tag Archive for ‘family stories’

“Music Lives On,” by Matt Kulak

One of the most satisfying things about Riehlife is connecting with new readers and hearing their thoughts. Matt Kulak commented on “Just as the Sun Went Down”–a Civil War song chosen by my father Erwin A. Thompson. Here’s a lovely letter he wrote to Pop. –Janet __________ So although the facts may disappear from history, […]

“Why Jelly Donuts Make Me Smile,” by Janean Baird

Janean Baird, my niece, is the oldest child of my brother Gary Thompson and his wife Patty. She’s an artist, writer, and a younger woman of wisdom. You can read more of her work at her blog Turquoise Tangles. Here’s a funny family story about my older sister Julia. This is the first time I’m […]

Holding a Family Lineage and Heritage: What does it take?

In past generations…way back in the day…families made it their business to hand down their lineage and heritage–whether planting tomatoes in manure-rich dirt, singing together in the car or around the piano, or recounting a treasure trove of family stories. My mother, as matriarch, was part of this tradition. Even now, five years after her […]

Family Stories Our Way: In Poetry, Prose, and Music

My father and I have given several workshops on family stories. Last year we presented a workshop called “Family Stories in Poetry, Prose, and Music” at the Hayner Library in Alton, Illinois. With my father, these three always go together. I set up a structure for the workshop on how to write family stories. Pop […]

Steady Dating Librarians: Thompson-Riehl Archives

If you have a rich family history. If you have an Elder who holds the history of your locale and region. Don’t let it slip through your fingers. Don’t let that lore die when they do. It’s history. And, as my father likes to say, “History belongs to everyone.” With great generosity he continues to […]

Grannie Annie Anthology. Submit your family stories now!

Do You Have Grannie Annie Stories Ready to Share? There’s still time for students to discover a story from their family’s history, write and edit their story (and illustrate it if they wish), and submit their story to The Grannie Annie to be considered for publication in Grannie Annie, Vol. 6. Submission Deadline Stories and […]

Writing Prompt: Part 1 Who Owns the Story?

Womens Memoir is running a 2-part series Stephanie Farrow and I have written on the topic “Who Owns the Story?” We’re exploring issues of family story and memoir. There are several fun writing prompts at the end of each post.

Family Stories in Prose & Poetry: Hayner Library Welcomes Thompson & Riehl

Father-daughter team Janet Riehl & Erwin A. Thompson present “Family Stories: Prose & Poetry” on April 25th at 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Hayner Library in Alton Square Mall, 132 Alton Square. Family stories shape our lives. Erwin A. Thompson and Janet Grace Riehl reflect on the power of memory […]

“Worth Remembering: The Poetry of Our Heritage,” edited by Erwin A. Thompson

Our latest book “Worth Remembering: The Poetry of Our Heritage,” edited by my father Erwin A. Thompson is now available on-line.

Pig Farmer Kin Sayings

My mother’s father farmed pigs. Courtney Johnston loved his grandkids. As we ran to him, he’d welcome us in his arms with the endearment: “My little runts!” You have to know that “the runt” is the littlest pig of the litter. And the youngest grandchild was ever his “runt.” What we do shapes our language. […]