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Event Details

Alexandra Hewett: Shimmer (with Melissa Ultra Sharlat and Ed Doyle-Gillespie)

Join us for an evening of music, conversation, and celebration around Alexandra Hewett's memoir, Shimmer! This will be a joyful community event in to honor an authentic and compellingly-told story. Alexandra will be joined by poet Ed Doyle-Gillespie and musician Melissa Ultra Sharlat, who will help bring her memoir alive.

Alexandra Hewett grew up in the shadow of her mother’s struggle with schizophrenia, balanced by the warmth and security of her father's love. Artistic creation, therapy, humor, and effervescent optimism were her secret weapons and her lifelines as she navigated anxiety, grief, and loss. Shimmer is the story of her inspiring journey from girlhood to womanhood, from sorrow to joy.

A representative from NAMI will give a presentation about their services. NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) Metropolitan Baltimore improves the lives of individuals living with mental health conditions, their families, and communities through education, support, and advocacy. We envision a world where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares.

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To reserve your copy of Shimmer, please give us a call at 410-377-2966.

Alexandra Hewett is an actor, storyteller, writer, producer, teaching artist, mother, yogi, and lover of life. She produces the storytelling show Mortified in DC and Baltimore. She wrote and performed her one-woman show Mother Therapy at MCS Theatre in NYC. She has performed at The Manhattan Rep Theatre, DC Fringe Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Baltimore Improv Group, the Magnet Theatre in NYC, and the Strand Theater in Baltimore. She is a lecturer in the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey program where she teaches Finding the Funny: Comedy Writing and Performance. She has an MS in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland and an MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore. Her essays have been published by Eight Stone Press, Baltimore Fishbowl, and Welter. Shimmer is her first book. You can find her at https://alexandrahewett.com.

Melissa Ultra Sharlat is a career non-profitista, singer, songwriter, self-taught drummer, reverend and enthusiastic Baltimore arts patron and ambassador. She has performed with many bands at Artscape, the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Lyric Performing Arts Center, Center Stage, The Kennedy Center, with Fluid Movement and on many other notable stages across the country. A founding member of the highly acclaimed comedy/improvisation troupe, The Flying Tongues, Melissa toured the country with them before returning to Baltimore City, her beloved home and creative playground for nearly 40 years.

Edward Gillespie is a Baltimore City Police officer. A 17-year veteran of the force, he has worked in patrol, operations, and education among other specializations. Currently, he is engaged in the training, teaching, and planning of the BPD’s movement towards police reform. His books of poetry include Masala Tea and Oranges, On the Later Addition of Sancho Panza, Socorro Prophecy, and Aerial Act. His most recent title is Gentrifying the Plague House, an exploration of our world of social upheaval and pandemic. He is a former teacher who holds a BA in History from George Washington University, and a Master of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University.

More about Shimmer:

“Hewett’s story is powerful, funny, bright, and beautiful. With an unflinching voice, she captures a mother-daughter dynamic that manages to strike a balance that is both ultra-specific and universal.”

—David Nadelberg, Creator of Mortified  

“This book highlights Hewett’s journey to find her mom beneath her mental illness, and in it she finds the sparkle in the chaos —SHIMMER is like shards of broken glass collected from her life to form a mosaic of stories that are compelling, vulnerable and moving.”

—Matthew Corozine, Author "If You Survived 7th Grade, You Can Be An Actor”, Acting Coach, Artistic Director Matthew Corozine Studio

“Shimmer is a beautiful book of courage, sensitivity, and perseverance. Hewett leads us through a journey of creativity, strength, and trauma. Her role as daughter, wife, mother, and artist are illuminated by her struggle to care for, understand, and negotiate life with a mother with schizophrenia. This book flows and truly shimmers with insight and awareness.” 

—Karyn Harvey, Ph.D. Psychologist, International Speaker, and Author of “Positive Identity Development and Trauma-Informed Behavioral Interventions” 

Alexandra Hewett’s memoir, Shimmer, does exactly what the title implies: it shimmers with light, despite Hewett’s painful and often harrowing relationship with her schizophrenic mother. Told with pathos, humor, and unflinching honesty, Shimmer is the story of one woman’s profound resilience in the face of loss and trauma, and her persistent drive to seek the light, even in her darkest hours. This is a beautiful and hopeful book.

—Mira Bartok, Author of The Memory Palace






Event Details

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 6:00pm


The Ivy Bookshop - Back Patio, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

by Dr. Radut