About Me

Anna Bozena Bowen

Anna Bozena Bowen

I am a poet, a writer, a retired RN, and an intuitive. My life began in 1953 in Holyoke MA a mill town. My immigrant parents arrived in this country in 1951. I was their first American-born child and, with my three siblings, was raised in a Polish community. Polish was my first language. Holyoke is where I grew up and where in high school I met my future husband.

In my early thirties – a wife, a mother to two young children, a critical care nurse, and more – I reached a turning point. I felt something was missing in my life. I decided to go back to school. I started with one summer course—The Short Story—at Holyoke Community College. There I fell in love with writing, poetry, and literature. In 1990 I was one of ten recipients of the USA Today Distinguished Student Scholar Award, and was featured in “15 Exceptional Women” in Your Family magazine. I also had the privilege of reading my poetry alongside Pulitzer Prize winning poet Maxine Kumin. I went on to UMass Amherst, where I received a BA in English and Women’s Studies.

My twenty-five year nursing career, mostly in critical-care and mental-health areas, my commitment to my healing journey, and my work counseling and facilitating groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual and ritual abuse privileged me to hear many profound stories. I witnessed the resilience of spirit and the freeing of one’s soul that occurs with finding one’s voice. This holistic approach to life and connection to spirit and the universe influences my writing and is evidenced in my writing of Hattie, my debut novel. Hattie is a testament to the multidimensional aspects of our human and spiritual lives; it is about being a woman, it is about being human in a sometimes inhuman world, it is about trauma and survival, it is about the in-between and beyond, it is about soul and spirit, and so much more.

I am a member of the International Women’s’ Writing Guild (IWWG) and the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). I am also a SoulCollage® facilitator and find this creative expressive process and journaling valuable tools for one’s life journey and healing. In 2006 I was a contributing author to Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Other Abusive Relationships. Hattie was published in 2012. Recently my poetry has been published in Compass Roads: Poems about the Pioneer Valley (2018) and in https://www.strawdogwriters.org/blog/changes. I am in an MFA Creative Non-Fiction program through Bay Path University.

I am grateful to have experienced all that I have over the last six decades and feel blessed to have a meaningful and fulfilling life. As I age I continue to find fulfillment in many different ways. I love cooking, food and wine experiences, sharing meaningful conversation, helping others in their healing and life journeys, journaling, collaging, and travelling. My three favorite places to be are Maui, our other home in Napa Valley, and our home base in Western Massachusetts. I share life with Doug my husband of 46 years.

How I came to write HATTIE

I believe that creative expression comes from the soul and that soul work is important to our life here on earth and to our spiritual journey. That is how I came to write Hattie’s story.

My thirties were a profound, challenging, and, as I refer to it, a “life saving” time for me. Along with being a wife, mother to two young children, taking care of our home, working as a critical care nurse, and going back to school, I was journeying through a process of healing. One evening, as I sat on the step in the garage – I would go to this spot to have some quiet time, to write, to create art, and to smoke cigarettes – I met Hattie. As I was writing in my journal, I sensed the voice of a woman connecting to me. These were some of the first words she shared, “It’s funny how the world can be as small as the flesh around you or as large as the winds your voice travels upon.”

And so Hattie began telling her stories, which continued to be revealed through the weeks, months, and years that passed. As a woman, a survivor, and a writer, I became a witness to the truths of her life. As her final stories unfolded I thought about how others could benefit from them – from the gathering and sorting of her experiences, from her complexities, from her wisdom, from her pain, from the psychology of a woman who experienced great losses in life, from the understanding about self that she gained through exploring her human life from a soul and spirit perspective – even when breaking her silence came after she died.

This sharing and writing experience between me and her became a collaborative process which inspired and resulted in HATTIE a literary novel, which reads like a memoir.