ABOUT AMY WACHSPRESS
Amy Wachspress was raised in Schenectady, New York. She lived in a number of locations in New England and the Midwest, and she traveled extensively in Europe, Canada, Israel, and the U.S., before settling in California in 1978. She is the daughter of mathematician Dr. Eugene Wachspress and social worker Natalie Wachspress.
Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Drama from Syracuse University, her master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and she completed her coursework for her Ph.D. in English at Washington University in St. Louis but bailed before writing her dissertation. She attended the Bread Loaf School of English Graduate School through Middlebury College in Vermont for four summers. She received her Holistic Nutritionist Certification from Bauman College in 2015.
Amy worked for over a dozen years as a scenic carpenter, scenic artist, welder, stagehand, and theater technician. She was the first woman hired to work on permit as a scenic carpenter in the traditionally all-male union in San Francisco. She worked as a scenic artist and sculptor for the San Francisco Opera Association and the San Francisco Ballet for six seasons. She also worked as a scenic carpenter in many non-union theater shops, such as the Berkeley Repertory Theater and the Magic Theater.
After leaving the field of technical theater, she worked as a writer and editor, an administrative assistant, and a Head Start administrator. She authored Cleopatra for the Quercus Publishing Company History Series in 1986. She earns her bread-and-butter income as a grant writer, and in that capacity she has secured more than $200 million for excellent projects in more than 40 states.
In the 1980s, Amy worked as a peace and justice activist in Berkeley, California. She was a founding member of Kehilla Community Synagogue, the first synagogue in the Jewish Renewal Movement to be formally incorporated.
In 2007, she and her husband established Woza Books to publish her children’s fantasy adventure The Call to Shakabaz. The sequel, Changing the Prophecy, is seeking a publisher. Her novel Memories from Cherry Harvest (Counterpoint Press, 2012) was awarded the Frances Fabri Literary Prize in 2011 and published in 2012.
Amy and her husband Ron Reed raised their three dazzling multicultural children on 40 acres of remote forest, accessible only by a dirt road, in rural northern California. After their children left home, they moved out of the forest, however they still live in the shadow of wise old trees. They are now grandparents.