Note: This is the fifth of seven parts in a series of blogs on authors living in the Pioneer Valley. Click here to read from the beginning.
By Vanessa Pesa
Tzivia Gover spends her days navigating the cultural divide.
As a teacher of poetry at The Care Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Tzivia works with teen moms who are mostly of Puerto Rican descent. Tzivia, a 52-year-old white, suburban Jewish woman of Northampton, Massachusetts, says that the teaching is mutual; that she learns from the young women while they learn from her.
Learning in Mrs. Towne’s House: A Teacher, Her Students and the Woman who Inspired Them is Tzivia’s newest nonfiction book charting her experiences with the women she educated in the first years of working at The Care Center. It also delves into the rich history of the school building, which was once home to Elizabeth Towne, also a teen mother and leader of the New Thought movement.
Tzivia has also published a chapbook of poetry, Dream House, which explores the various meanings of the word home. It is a collaborative effort, as her sister Joanne Yoshida contributed her artwork to the hand-bound book. While Tzivia’s main genre is poetry, she also works with self-help and mindfulness with her book Mindful Moments for Stressful Days: Simple Ways to Find Meaning and Joy in Daily Life. This book offers tips to make even the simplest task meaningful and includes meditation techniques and yoga practices. Tzivia also has an upcoming self-help book set to be released in December and is also working on a young adult novel.
She has been writing since she was about 10; she reminisces over a red, loose-leaf binder with the title Poams scribbled across the front, which she toted around with her and collected all of her work within. Tzivia worked on her high school newspaper, the literary magazine in college, studied literature and fiction at Hampshire College, and referred to herself as your “run of the mill English nerd.”
Tzivia says it takes an extreme amount of discipline to find time for her creative writing; she keeps her hours manageable at work to leave room enough to do so. She says that all artists need to balance paid work with their artistic work and find what works best for them personally to achieve that equilibrium. She is celebrating her 15-year anniversary at The Care Center, so she has evidently found her balance.
Dream therapy is another aspect of Tzivia’s career in which she conducts workshops and individual consultations as a certified dream therapist through Third House Moon. She also offers keynotes in dream work and mindfulness to empower individuals to access their own healing and wisdom.
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