Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew writes, loves, teaches, and urban homesteads in South Minneapolis. When she’s not chasing her gregarious daughter around the neighborhood or dancing with her partner, she’s doing her best to support the spiritual life of writers. Her books are Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), On the Threshold: Home, Hardwood, and Holiness (Westview Press), and the novel, Hannah, Delivered (Koehler Books). She has published essays and short memoirs in The Christian Century, Fourth Genre, Many Mountains Moving, The Florida Review, Open Hands, and other literary and religious journals, including the anthology, Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith. Elizabeth's writing most often explores intersections between sexual identity, spiritual growth and the creative process. She teaches memoir, essay and journal writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. You can connect with Elizabeth at www.spiritualmemoir.com and www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com.
A bold and probing story, Swinging on the Garden Gate explores bisexuality as a creative expression of God and examines the various ways in which the spirit resides in the world. Andrew weaves the threads of spirituality, sexuality and the creative process out of the compelling events of her life. The spark of spirit she finds embedded in her body she also discovers throughout the solid matter of life-in childhood, in nature, in encounters with death and loss and wild growth. Her exploration of the sacred is vivid, fresh, and grounded in the details of ordinary days. In Andrew's words, "There was a time when I was not yet out of the closet when I'd stand for hours scanning the bookstore shelves for a book that dealt honestly with both sexuality and spirituality, that might reconcile the experience of being bisexual with the Christian faith. If I could find this book, I'd be less lonely and more confident of my sanity. There was no such book. The gap on the bookshelves gave me a mandate: Walk into your longing. Write this book."
Debra Kolodny, editor of Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith, writes of Swinging: "Elizabeth's words sing. Her life soars. This work will doubtless inspire others to claim the lush delights of their own secret gardens."
Parker Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, writes, "The most important decision anyone can make is to live 'divided no more,' to cease acting on the outside in ways that contradict truths one holds deeply on the inside. Swinging on the Garden Gate is a memoir of one woman's journey into the undivided life. Written with honesty, grace and power, this book is a joy to read, and more. Read carefully, it will call us toward congruence in our own lives, toward an incarnation of truth that will set us-and our world-free."
(This biographical statement provided by Elizabeth Andrew.)