Andrea Carter Brown and her husband, Tom, lived one block from the World Trade Center on that fateful day, September 11, 2001. In part 1 of our conversation, she takes us through some of her experiences of that day and the days and months that followed. Andrea is a natural story teller who will draw you in with her words and stories, and you'll feel as if you're with her on her journey. Here's some of what we talked about:
What her life was like pre 9/11Her journey from bookkeeper to poetThe questions she asked herself that led her to writingThe inspiration she found from 19th century pianist, Clara Schumann, the decision to write Clara’s biography - and why she never finished itHow a poetry reading shifted her lifeHer haunting recap of that fateful morning from her perspective just one block awayHow she learned about the terror attack on the World Trade CenterWhat her intuition told her about the Tower - and what she didThe initial aspect of her griefHer sole motivation for many decisions she made that dayWhere her husband would have been that morning, if he hadn’t had a meeting in another part of New YorkWhat life was like in NYC the first weeks and months after 9/11The health effects she experienced within two weeks of the attacksWhat going back to live in her apartment was likeThe memories - and what’s beneath the memoriesMy experience of going to NYC in 2009 and being at Ground ZeroThe losses her small hometown in NJ (across the river) from Manhattan experienced on 9/11The memorial her hometown created - and what it’s made ofWhy she hasn’t returned to Ground Zero since leaving New York - and why she chose not to participate in the 10th anniversary commemorationWhat she believes is part of the mourning experienceThe beautiful way she describes what it was like to live in Battery Park before 9/11 - and why living there was the best of both worldsWhy allowing is such an important part of the healing processHow poetry helped her preserve her experienceWhy it took her so long to write her book, September 12What’s happened since the book came out that she didn’t anticipateWhat she's been asked by generations who weren’t alive on that dayWhat it took her a long time to realize she was mourningHow the loss of her neighborhood haunts her
Be sure to listen to the next episode for the conclusion of our interview.
Be sure to get a copy of her book, September 12.
You can find more about Andrea and a sample of her writings on her website.