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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Writing to triumph over adversity


“It's funny, I'd rather be known as a writer who crafted a really nice piece about women's friendships over time. But that doesn't roll off the tongue like 'YouTube sensation.'” – Kelly Corrigan

Corrigan became that so-called “YouTube Sensation” with her essay “Transcending,” about women’s friendships and support for one-another during trying times, particularly when dealing with cancer.  Many of her works have been about her own battle with breast cancer, although her first book The Middle Place, is a memoir about her Irish-American father’s battle with and triumph over the disease.

Corrigan launched a “how-to” website called “Circus of Cancer,” for friends and family of women with the disease, and she created the annual benefit concert Notes and Words in 2010, which has since raised over $5 million for Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, Calif., where she and her family live.  An annual event, Notes & Words features bestselling authors and top recording artists onstage together at the Fox Theatre in Oakland.

A native Virginian, she was born on this day in 1967, went on to The University of Richmond and then earned a Masters in Literature from San Francisco State University. She also is the host of Foreword, a series where top thinkers take on big time ideas.                

Speaking with humor and compassion to groups at hospitals, corporations, and nonprofits, she recounts the many experiences she has written about in her books and urges her audiences to be civically engaged by sharing her guide for finding important work, the value of participation, and the rewards of deep community involvement.


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