By Olga García Echeverría
From: La Bloga
Hay lunas que se ocultan. Hay lunas llenas y brillantes. Hay lunas que se despedazan poco a poquito, broken moons that become slivers of silver or dangling half domes en el cielo. And then, there are the other moons–Las Lunas Locas, a womyn’s writing collective orbiting the literary mundo en Los Angeles. These Lunas are escritoras who gather weekly at Here & Now, an alternative and holistic healing art studio in El Sereno. These moon womyn have been meeting for the past year and they are branching out beyond writing and workshopping.
But who exactly are these escritoras lunáticas of the eastside and what are they so crazy about? The two founders and facilitators of Las Lunas Locas, Karineh Mahdessian and Sophia Rivera, are sharing with us a bit about their group and their creative mission and vision.
Welcome Karineh and Sophia! First and foremost who are Las Lunas Locas?
Lunas, as we have come to be known lovingly, are fierce self-identifying womyn. They come from all walks of life and are interested in exploring their relationship to words and writing. These womyn are mothers, daughters, artists, activists, healers, students, teachers, community members.
What motivated you to start this weekly writing group for women in El Sereno?
Karineh: I had been part of In the Words of Womyn which is an all womyn writing circle out of Tia Chucha’s Cultural Center and Bookstore and had wanted to create something similar closer to home. When I met Sophia at a workshop that Mujeres de Maiz had hosted, I mentioned to her about my writing circle. It was too long of a commute and it sparked an idea to co-create a space on the “eastside.” When Here and Now opened up, I asked Iris De Anda if we could hold our circle there. We wanted a space that was safe and closed. As a way of preserving the group’s sacredness, we did not want Lunas to meet at a coffee shop. There is a lot of personal sharing that takes place at the circle each Monday night and we wanted to maintain its safety.
Sophia: When I moved back to California after making a difficult decision to leave grad school, I was desperately searching for community and a way to heal from the painful transition of returning home. It was at that point where I met Karineh at the Mujeres de Maiz writing workshops. It was so healing for me to be surrounded by other womyn writing, creating and communing. I think I might have said aloud to Karineh, “I wish there was something like this all the time,” and it grew from there. She told me about In the Words of Womyn and I knew I wanted to be a part of a womyn’s writing circle, it was just a matter of distance. A few months after our conversation, we met up again, came up with a name and description, and sent the call out. A year later, Las Lunas Locas has been an integral part of my survival and healing process. There is an incredible power that comes from womyn gathering; I swear, it’s magic when we come together to write. Read Entire Interview Here