Episode 53 with Thoughtful and Observant Journalist, Magazine Editor, and Memoirist, Cassandra Lane, Author of We are Bridges: A Memoir


Show Notes and Links to Cassandra Lane’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 53


On Episode 53, Pete talks with Cassandra Lane about her journalism career,  her literary sparks and heroes, and finding inspiration in her family’s history and beautiful and traumatic events. Cassandra reads an excerpt from her upcoming memoir, We are Bridges: A Memoir, while discussing the stories and background that make up the book.


Born and raised in Louisiana, Editor in Chief Cassandra Lane made the transition from La. to L.A. in 2001. She was most recently community relations manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she learned to cheer on her team like a real Angeleno. Cassandra has also served as a newspaper reporter, high school English and journalism teacher, college application advisor and senior writer for a nonprofit committed to improving the quality of early care and education for L.A. County children. She and her husband are having fun raising their son, who currently wants to be an astrophysicist, artist and video game developer. She has a BA in Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writings have appeared in a number of publications and We are Bridges, A Memoir is set to be published on April 20 of this year.

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At about 2:00, Cassandra talks about the busy and exciting time leading up to the publication on April 20 of this year of her memoir, We are Bridges


At about 3:45, Cassandra talks about her childhood love of reading, and how her family influenced her 


At about 6:15, Cassandra talks about the influence of her uncle, a preacher, and how her childhood was influenced by the Bible as a literary and religious text


At about 7:50, Cassandra talks about writers who gave her “chills at will”


At about 8:40, Cassandra talks about the “revelatory” texts that affirmed her desire to be a writer, especially James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon


At about 10:30, Cassandra talks about when she gained the “sense of empowerment” to imagine herself as a writer, as well as how this spurred her on to working in journalism


At about 13:25, Cassandra talks about inspiring contemporary writers, such as Jesmyn Ward, Sharon Olds, Terrence Hayes, mentor Kalamu ya Salaam


At about 15:50, Cassandra talks about texts that spoke to her high school students when she was a classroom teacher at traditional schools and alternative high schools


At about 18:50, Cassandra talks about getting kids to read in new and exciting


At about 20:10, Cassandra talks about her work with LA Parent Magazine


At about 26:00, Cassandra talks about her short pieces, some which figured directly in her upcoming memoir, including “The Seeker and the Artist”


At about 32:00, Cassandra talks about writing about personal/familial experiences


At about 33:40, Cassandra talks about “White Oak,” a fictional piece in which she memorializes the tragic lynching of her great-grandfather, Burt, and which has become part of We are Bridges


At about 36:00, Cassandra talks about her great-grandmother, Mary, and how her story informed Cassandra’s life and her writing, as well as how Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” impacted Cassandra


At about 40:00, Cassandra talks about the connections between 1904 to 2021 and the generations in-between


At about 41:20, Cassandra talks about the “scars” and the “silence around the scars” in dealing with generational trauma in the process of healing


At about 42:20, Cassandra talks about the pre publication press and blurbs for We are Bridges


At about 43:30, Cassandra talks about the beginnings of the book, around 2001 at Antioch University


At about 47:00, Cassandra reads an excerpt from We are Bridges: A Memoir


At about 51:40, Cassandra talks about future projects


Buy We are Bridges: A Memoir on Bookshop.org! (Comes out April 20)

Buy We are Bridges: A Memoir on Amazon.com


Buy We are Bridges: A Memoir at Eso Won Books in Los Angeles


Read Cassandra’s short fiction and nonfiction on her website

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