My Home in Space

by Shirley A. Wallachy

I come from Mars.
Planet Mars.
I am red.
Or so they say.
Many people think I am green.
What do you think I am?
I think I am tall.
With big ears.
And a sharp nose.
I make noises like a whale.
But there’s no sound in space.
© 2017 Shirley A. Wallachy & Write Around Portland, from our 53rd anthology, Know These Mountains / Conocer estas montañas

Featured Writer: Shirley A. Wallachy

Interview with Featured Writer Shirley A. Wallachy

Interviewed by Write Around Portland intern Kaylee Ma.

Shirley A. Wallachy, 59, was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She participated in a Write Around Portland workshop in Fall 2017 at Home Forward’s Gallagher Plaza. In the workshop, Shirley drew inspiration for her writing from her family, particularly her mother. She enjoys volunteering with Write Around Portland and hopes to continue writing in the future. 

How did you first hear about Write Around Portland?

I heard about it at Gallagher Plaza. They had a note up and everybody said “Yeah! You should sign up and come!” So I signed up.

What was it like writing with your neighbors at Gallagher Plaza?

I liked it. Because I could read what they wrote and they could read what I wrote and it was really nice.

What was your favorite part about the workshop?

The facilitator we had. She was nice. And it was just nice getting acquainted with other people. It was just nice sitting around the table and hearing all of the other people and what they wrote.

What inspired you to write your piece “My Home in Space” in the anthology?

I don’t know why I wrote it. I just wanted to do something that I’ve never done.

What other things did you write about in the workshop?

I don’t know. It was just fun writing and if I could do it again I would.

What was fun about the experience?

I can’t speak a lot. But it was just nice sitting around joking and laughing; it was a nice experience. 

Would you recommend Write Around Portland to others?

Yeah. I would. I would encourage people to do it. It’s fun and Write Around Portland has good people.

How was it like to see your book published in the anthology?

It was nice just to have my piece in the book. 

Did you read your piece at the reading? How was that?

It was fun! I got up there and read my piece.

How did you pick this piece?

I can’t read and I can’t write, so I have a caregiver helping me with it. We sat down and talked about it. And she said “If you’re going to pick anything, I would pick this one, because it stands out.”

Is there anything else you would like to say about the experience?

I liked it. It was really super. I would tell everybody to try. They would like it. 


Write Around Portland publishes and sells anthologies of participant writing at the end of each season of our free workshops in partnership with community organizations. These professionally-produced books provide participants – many for the first time – the opportunity and satisfaction to see their words in print, while providing the public the opportunity to read powerful stories and diverse voices.
Books are available for purchase for $12 at local bookstores and through our office (plus postage and handling, if mailed). Some anthologies may be found at Multnomah County Library branches. Call us at 503.796.9224 for more details.

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Past Featured Writer Interviews