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Monday, January 7

Katrina Kenison in the Loft

“[an]… intensely moving tribute to the importance of enjoying every moment of life…[Kenison’s] journey will inspire tears and determination, and remind readers that anything, ‘done from the heart, changes the world in some small way for the better.’”
– Publishers Weekly

Thursday, January 24
Buy Tickets
Guest Moderator: Psychologist and Author Patricia Gianotti

Ticket package includes book, bar beverage, and author meet-and-greet/signing

On Thursday, January 24, The Music Hall’s Innovation and Leadership Forum and Writers in the Loft series welcome author Katrina Kenison to the intimate Loft theater.  Kenison is the wise voice behind the two popular books Mitten Strings for God and The Gift of an Ordinary Day.  On YouTube, the abbreviated, meditative version of The Gift of an Ordinary Day has been viewed by an astounding 1.7 million.

She comes to Portsmouth with her latest book of reflections, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment. The gathering will begin at 5:30pm with the author presentation and Q+A beginning at 6:30pm. The evening guest moderator is Patricia Gianotti, a psychologist, author, and lecturer based on the Seacoast.

Just as Kenison’s past works have cast light on the importance of family and mindful living, her new book looks at a critical challenge facing all parents – learning how to reinvent their lives without children at home. “In this special forum evening, Katrina will share insights important to so many of us parents,” said Margaret Talcott, Associate Producer of Writers in the Loft.  “Her presentation and Q&A with guest moderator Patricia Gianotti will be valuable and meaningful to anyone whose is raising or has raised children. I’m also looking forward to hearing from Patricia Gianotti, as she too is a voice of wisdom, admired by many in the community.”


Magical Journey is an intimate account of a year of loss and self-discovery. For any woman who has ever mourned the passage of time, questioned her own purpose, or wondered, “Do I have what it takes to create something new in my life, to discover what is important to me now, and to claim that?,” this book will resonate deeply.

When her younger son abruptly leaves home to finish high school in another state, Katrina finds herself at a crossroads, contemplating the new reality of life without children at the dinner table and without the small, consuming tasks of motherhood to give shape and direction to her days. Suddenly, she has a piercing realization: nothing lasts. With signature candor and warmth, Katrina reflects on the inevitable changes wrought by time: the death of a dear friend, the recognition of her own physical vulnerability, and surprising shifts in her marriage.

Throughout these challenges, she finds solace in the notion that midlife is also a time of unprecedented opportunity for transformation as old roles and responsibilities fall away, old dreams and assumptions come up for re-examination, and unanticipated possibilities appear on the horizon, from enrolling in a yoga teacher training to finding a deep sense of connection in the stories shared by other women. Along the way, Katrina learns that the love she offered to her own children can be carried out and into the world.

Poignant and insightful,Magical Journey will inspire readers to believe that even as old identities are outgrown, new ones do begin to beckon—if we can only summon courage to heed the call.

“Katrina Kenison’s writing is both refreshingly down to earth and spiritually connected.  She has the ability to convey the challenges of growth and change in midlife with just the right balance of whimsy, humility, and wisdom.  After reading her book, I feel as if I’d just spent time with a dear old friend,” said the evening’s moderator Patricia Gianotti.


Katrina Kenison is the author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day and Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry and, with Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga. Her writing has appeared in O: the Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Family Circle, Redbook, Woman’s Day, Health, and other publications. From 1990 until 2006, Kenison was the series editor of The Best American Short Stories, published annually by Houghton Mifflin. She co-edited, with John Updike, The Best American Short Stories of the Century. A certified Reiki master and Kripalu yoga teacher, Katrina lives with her family in rural New Hampshire. Visit her at http://www.katrinakenison.com.


Patricia Gianotti is a licensed psychologist, lecturer, and educator. She is the co-author of the recently published work Listening with Purpose: Entry Points into Shame and Narcissistic Vulnerability. With over 20 years of experience as a clinical psychologist, she has worked with individuals, couples, and groups on integrating the spiritual and psychological aspects of the human psyche. Her work has focused on discovering the process and journey towards forgiveness, finding personal and spiritual balance, and exploring life’s deepest questions in order to find purpose and meaning.  A former professor at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Gianotti currently leads numerous workshops and retreats for both secular groups as well as religious communities wishing to deepen their spiritual walk.  She has published numerous articles on psychological and spiritual integration in Hampton Union, The Exeter Newsletter, and Seacoast Online. In addition Dr. Gianotti was recently featured on New Hampshire Public Radio’s “The Exchange” as a guest speaker on the psychology of forgiveness.


The ticket package for this special Innovation and Leadership Forum with Katrina Kenison presented with Writers in the Loft is $39 ($36 for Music Hall members). In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of the book Magical Journey ($24.99 hardcover), a bar beverage, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased through The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at 603-436-2400 or online. Packages can also be purchased on the night of the event, if available, at The Music Hall Loft Box office at 131 Congress Street, beginning at 5:30 pm for the 6:30 pm event. 

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