“Welcome Back Kent Kids.” The caption depicted in the photo below was taken at the first Kent Reunion in June of 1998. The picture symbolizes an event that caused an emotional tsunami inside me, opening the passion for writing. Our family left Kent, Connecticut in 1959 when I was eight years old. The resulting emotional distress, coupled with other major life events, compounded and festered for nearly forty years. That first reunion, when thirty-five faculty children and primary friends gathered in Kent, became a catalyst for a significant emotional event, triggering the release of layers of grief from my youth, making room for bliss and joy to fill my core and my writing cup. As my brother, Michael, said about Swift The River Hoosie and Kent, “Wonderful stuff about a magical place. To see it is to understand.” There is more to reveal in the days ahead. Keep watch for further writings.
About the author
James “Jim” West has been writing since 1998, inspired by the love for his beautiful hometown, Kent, Connecticut. The father of four incredible grown sons and two adorable grandchildren, he graduated from Stephen’s College, Columbia, Missouri with a B.A. degree in healthcare and psychology and is a retired respiratory therapist. He also taught Tai Chi and meditation classes in southwest Michigan for many years. He currently resides on a lake in southeast Michigan where he continues to write full time. He has authored two children’s picture books, a comforting bedtime story, Dream Time, to be published in mid 2020 and an endearing inspirational book, Where Katy Lives, to be published in late 2020.
About the illustrator and designer
Juli Ann Polise is a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator and content creator originally from the New York metro area. She graduated from the University of Michigan with her B.F.A. in art and design, and now resides in Chicago working as a freelance designer and creative with food, travel, and lifestyle clients. She has a passion for traveling, and has been to 20 countries across 6 continents and takes inspiration from the new cultures she experiences to fuel her creative process.