Laura Hawley (con’d)


If you could put a second Mighty Writers anywhere, where would it be? In my neighborhood of Brewerytown because I see kids hungry for knowledge there. In my dreams, I would work there, and we’d have a slide going out the window from the library to the playground.

What was your favorite book as a kid? “Charlotte’s Web,” by EB White

What did you like to write as a kid? Funny limericks and maudlin little poems.

Who influenced you to care about writing? I grew up with books all around me, and with good storytellers ——my mother, my father and my grandmother. And their stories were so different. My grandmother’s were rural stories that her father had told to her. My mother’s were more fantastical, about an orange elephant and an pink leopard with purple spots; my father’s were more satirical and ridiculous. h me from the beginning. We were given the sense that stories had great value. My grandmother missed us when we lived overseas, so she would send us her stories on cassette tapes for us to listen to.


“Mighty Writers lets me spend time talking books with cool people.”


What was the last book you read? Volume three of Jennifer Worth’s series “Call the Midwife.” It taught me a lot about the conditions of poor people, especially poor women, in London after WWII. Now I am reading Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” for the book club.

What is your favorite thing to write? I am working on a philosophical project that examines how people participate in their own suffering—and how we sometimes turn our gifts in life against ourselves. It is interesting to me, but writing is not as much fun as reading or treating patients, so I neglect it for long periods of time.

What keeps you coming back to Mighty Writers? Because it makes me happy and lets me spend time talking books with cool people. And it lets me do something for the youth of Philadelphia, who I think have been badly let down by underfunded public schools.

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