Meet Sulima

sulima malzin
sulima malzin
Sulima Malzin

For more than 70 years Sulima Malzin has found writing (in Toni Morrison’s words) to be a way of … not just feeling, but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic, or just sweet. She considers herself lucky to have been able to learn through direct experience, and not without scars, to accept Life with a capital L on its own terms for the bittersweet journey that it is … a fragile weave of light & dark, joy & sorrow, grace & grit … and to write about it using words that both trudge and dance.

Born in 1939 in rural Connecticut to a Russian mother and German father during a time when ethnic prejudice, racism, and misogyny ran high, Sulima grew up thinking of herself as something akin to a “political prisoner.” But this was not the storyline she wanted to follow, and once what she calls her ancestral resilience kicked in and partnered up with the unrelenting curiosity she seemed to have been born with, Sulima found herself opening windows that offered views of a more vibrant landscape.

Although she has written almost since she learned to read, she describes herself as one who came late to the party, not having begun writing for an audience until the late ‘90s and even then without the academic credentials that most writers claim today … no MFA, no Iowa Writer’s Workshop, just a few enriching weekends here and there with guides like Natalie Goldberg, Jean Houston, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Naomi Shihab Nye, and the late Grace Paley.

Her three recently self-published books, Words That Dance, a small volume of (mostly) poetry, Arms Filled With Bittersweet, a hybrid memoir, and All in the Soup Together … Four Seasons of Recipes & Reflections, are palimpsest collections of what was, what is, and what might have been.

Following her retirement from 20 plus years working in the field of addiction recovery and another 15 in eldercare, Sulima has in recent years, facilitated weekend retreats, daylong workshops, and now in “covid times,” online writing adventures for other aging rascals and occasional writers who are curious to discover where their writing might take them.

If you have found your way to this website and want to know more about these gatherings and other creative opportunities, take a look at Sulima’s Light Waves. If you’ve read either or both books and would like to engage in a group or individual conversation (online or in person) don’t hesitate to contact Sulima. And, of course, if you’d like to purchase a book or several, you are more than welcome to do that too.