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Women Who Inspire: Jonatha Brooke

(Photo Credit: Sandrine Lee)

NAME: Jonatha Brooke

AGE: 50

OCCUPATION: Singer-songwriter, Creator and Star of the Autobiographical One-Woman Show My Mother Has Four Noses

WHO SHE IS: Careful chronicler of nuance. Observer and interpreter of maladies. Of cautionary tales, the stories between the seams, the moments just before the bottom falls out. Think the poetic preening of Joni Mitchell meets the wry incandescence of Nora Ephron, with a voice that ranges from a whispering wind to a damning, devastating downpour. The pop-music poet laureate for the cautiously optimistic dysthymic in all of us.

WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Her music, though not preachy or pedantic or particularly crafted in the “get ‘em, tiger,”  spirit of Corporate McGirl Power Lite™, has always been both a security blanket and a beacon of hope for me. Like one-way advice from the big sister I never had. Lyrics like “I go on looking for comfort/I can no longer see to the left or the right/But I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun/Claiming these streets for myself” from “Paris” and My hands get shaky and I think of all the reasons/ And I start to drink/I get lonely, get depressed, don’t sleep well nights/ Can’t get dressed / I can’t help myself” from “Westpoint” have been like lyrical lighthouses for me. An anchoring hope of deliverance over the past two decades since I first was introduced to her album “Plumb” by a boyfriend whose musical taste far outlived our relationship. Her songs have been a mantra and a siren, pulling me back into myself, reminding me that even in our darkest moments there’s someone out there who’s held their breath and weathered the storm, too.

Filed under: 38/38


Tamar Anitai

Tamar Anitai has one husband, two cats, no kids, no car. Midwestern by birth, New Yorker by a 14-year act of stubborn defiance. Digital content strategist for a global agency, and essayist on the occasional off night. Rap game Bea Arthur. Yes, she wants see photos of your cat. @tamaranitai on social.


  1. David Rakofsky says

    That there’s some class-A writing, Tamar Anitaiin. Summed things up very nicely, with a poetry all your own. my color = impressed

  2. SadonnaSwann says

    Beautifully expressed.  I have been a fan of Jonatha’s for years and see her whenever she is performing close by.  Would love to be able to get to NYC to see this show.

  3. Pingback: Silly Things People Have Said to Me When I Tell Them I’m Not Having Kids | Tue Night

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