Boston Globe West People
THE WRITE STUFF: Writing teacher and coach Mindy Pollack-Fusi of Bedford met the late Jerry Christen at a meeting he held in 1999 to discuss establishing the Bedford Center for the Arts. Already struggling to cut back her duties as a public relations consultant while raising two daughters, she told him, “I will work for you, but I won’t run anything.’’
Soon after, he had persuaded her to join him in cochairing the first Arts for All! event for the facility.
“Years later, Jerry told me, ‘Whether or not you lead something, you can bet you’ll be leading it,’ ’’ Pollack-Fusi recalled of her friend, who lost his battle with cancer in 2003. “He saw that trait in me, for good and for bad, before I had even recognized it in myself.’’
A founding board member of the Bedford Center for the Arts, Pollack-Fusi credits Christen’s mentorship with helping develop her abilities to motivate people and administer projects. The combination has served her well in her latest project, editing “The Ice Cream Stand and Other Stories & Poems,’’ a 200-page collection of pieces by her writing students at the Place for Words & Workshops in Bedford. The book comes out today.
Pollack-Fusi completed the project with a $600 grant from the town’s Cultural Council. She said it is especially meaningful that her mentor’s wife, Charlotte Christen, and daughter, Linda, contributed to the book.
The other contributors are Karen Bella of Belmont; E.M. Karrick of Concord; Kathleen Shure of Wilmington; poetry teacher Dianalee Velie of Newbury, N.H.; Judith Yarbrough of Lexington; and Bedford residents Rhona Barlevy, Marilou Barsam, Bob Beckwith, Lisa Benson, Claudia Fox Tree, George Hand, Alma Hart, Jennifer Klein, Lea Ann Knight, Susan Miele, Bruce Nickerson, Katherine Picard, and Louise St. Germain.
The book was proofread by Leslie Wittman of Bedford and designed by Monderer Design of Cambridge.
“I love flipping through the pages and seeing the work of these talented writers all in one place,’’ said Pollack-Fusi, who also teaches writing through the Lexington Community Education program.
There is an ice cream social to celebrate the book’s launch slated for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Old Town Hall, 16 South Road; reserve a seat at email@example.com or 781-275-7301.
The book is available in Bedford at Great Road Gallery & Framing, the Paper Store, and the Carriage House Café & Catering, as well as the Concord Bookshop and Amazon.com. For more information, visit www.theplaceforwords.com.