Mara Koven-Gelman will be among dozens of local authors in Larkin Square Wednesday as part of the second annual Larkin Square Local Author Festival.
Koven-Gelman, who lost who first husband to an unexpected heart attack in 2002, and her friend, Liz Pearl, recently released the third edition of “Mourning has Broken: A Collection of Creative Writing about Grief and Healing.”
They believed that writing, and sharing, can bring some comfort after loss.
First published in 2004, the first edition of the book contained poems and short essays from 50 people who had lost loved ones, including rabbis and pastors, health professionals and bereavement specialists, moms, dads, spouses and kids.
The third edition has 20 new writings, including one from Nancy Weil, director of bereavement support services with the Catholic Cemeteries in the Buffalo Diocese.
For a piece that ran Saturday on the Refresh Buffalo Blog, Koven-Gelman told me she edited every piece in the book, a process she described as cathartic.
At the time she worked on the first edition, she was 40-year-old single mom who regularly attended a young widow/widower support group. She lived in Toronto at the time. Today she is remarried and lives near the Elmwood Village in Buffalo.
As they worked on their book project, Koven-Gelman and Pearl reached out to bereavement experts across North America, and to others who were finding thoughtful and creative ways to channel their grief online or in support groups.
The free Larkin Square event celebrates Western New York’s literary community with author discussions and sales of published works. Proceeds from book sales at the event will benefit Talking Leaves local bookstore.