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Thriving: An Anthology

ISBN: 9781736464250
Binding: Paperback
Author: Edited by: Rhonda Rosenheck & Foreword by: Bracken MacLeod
Book Designer: Alan P. Hayes
Pages: 184
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 06/04/2024

Thriving: An Anthology invites you to glimpse the many facets of thriving through 87 imaginative works by 63 writers, poets and photographers, and then to reflect inwardly at what helps them thrive. Human thriving comes about through awareness, truth-seeking, persistence, reframing, faith, questions, forgiveness, humor, generosity, and by cherishing the relationships that nurture us. It can be characterized as vibrant well-being that has been cultivated in a nutrient-rich loam of satiation, gratitude, joy, trust, creativity, openness, beauty and purpose.

The Foreword by multiple award-nominated novelist Bracken MacLeod is, itself, a work of art. A survivor of childhood trauma, MacLeod continually crafts a life filled with love, purpose, creativity and community. In the Foreword, he concisely frames the concept and questions of thriving then lays open his own, often painful, path to thriving and shows us how literature has nourished him along the way.

The anthology's 87 poems, photographs, and short works of fiction and creative nonfiction (observation and memoir) are grouped into six clusters: Noticing, Accepting, Wrestling, Opening, Entwining, and Exuberance. These stories, photos and poems touch on such topics as addiction, recovery, careers, loneliness, COVID, anxiety, mortality, grief, love, parenting, childing, immersion in nature, aging, appreciation, overcoming challenges, and finding joy in even the tiniest of things. In these works of artful imagination, the 63 contributors invite readers into unknown worlds that are, at the same time, familiar. In some works, a haunting quality provokes empathy and deja vu. In others, humor and surprise elate the reader or bring on an unexpected laugh.

The clusters emerged from the selected pieces themselves, through the editor's intuitive sorting process. They hint at an order of operations: Noticing is an essential beginning while Accepting and Wrestling lead to the Opening and Entwining necessary for a person to thrive. Perhaps Exuberance (the only non-gerund) is that gleeful pause of self-awareness: I am thriving! And in just that moment, something shifts, and we Notice something new, maybe even something that could trip us up. The next trailhead appears, and before we know it, we're traversing the next leg of our journey to thriving.

Each entry can be enjoyed alone or alongside its neighbors. Go to the page you intend to land on, and then treat yourself to enjoying pages you happen upon along the way. Read, enjoy, reflect, discover, and repeat.


Poet and writer Rhonda Rosenheck is the editor of Thriving: An Anthology, for which she won an Individual Artists Award from NYS Council on the Arts through its regional regranting agency, Saratoga Arts. During 33 years as an educator, Rhonda lived in NY, NJ, FL, MA, Israel, and Canada. She moved to New York's Capital Region, where she launched, grew and sold an online copyediting business. Her publications include one chapter in The Ultimate Jewish Teachers Handbook, her books, The Five Books of Limericks: a chapter-by-chapter re-reading of the Torah and Yiddische Yoga: OYsanas for Every Generation, and the chapbooks Looking and Sin No More! A Biblical Sea Shanty. Rhonda is the internship coordinator of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild where she also serves on the board. She hosts twice-monthly write-ins in Clifton Park, NY, and co-hosts the monthly Poetry Circle at the Schenectady County Public Library. She was the featured poet at Amesbury, MA's Poet-Laureate Monthly Poetry Reading and at the Saratoga Springs, NY, Open Mic at the Senior Center. The poetry troupe she manages, A Cauldron of Crones, performs periodically throughout the region. Her poems have appeared in the anthology A Book of Sonnets and in a variety of magazines and journals. Her poem MakerSpace was theatrically performed at the Fenimore Art Museum's Glimmer Globe Theater in Cooperstown, NY. Rhonda enjoyed a juried residency at Prospect Street Writers House in North Bennington, VT and was the June 2023 resident writer at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland.

Bracken MacLeod is the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award nominated author of the novels, Mountain Home, Come to Dust, Stranded, and most recently, Closing Costs. He's also published two collections of short fiction, White Knight and Other Pawns, and 13 Views of the Suicide Woods, which the New York Times Book Review called, "Superb." Before devoting himself to full-time writing, he worked as a civil and criminal litigator, a university philosophy instructor, and a martial arts teacher. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and son, where he is at work on his next novel.

Alan P. Hayes, after dropping out of kindergarten, still wanted to learn to read, and his mother taught him using Blake's Tyger as their text. For most of his life he devoted himself to design and craft, among other things making musical instruments, building and designing houses. Growing up in a bookish family, when the opportunity to make books arrived, it was something that came fairly naturally. and he has spent a good portion of the last few decades designing and producing catalogs and books. He published poetry, under the imprint name Elephant Tree House. His major preoccupation in the last 15 or 20 years has been with photography, mainly in a street photography aesthetic.


"You did a wonderful job - and thank you so much for sending a copy of your book!! I have it on my desk at work and dip into it periodically when I need to breathe." - Matt Rogowitz, Producer, AHA! A House for Arts

"I ... walked out of my den holding a book ... 'I have a non-fiction story in it ... called Dancing, and the book is called Thriving. Bracken [MacLeod] wrote the foreword, and he wrote wonderfully about surviving trauma and having a conscious desire to carry on.' Bracken's introduction is worth the price of the anthology alone. He bares his soul, emphasizing his point on surviving trauma." - Anthony Tremblay, novelist