Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew


Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew writes, loves, and supports the spiritual lives of writers in South Minneapolis.  Her books are Swinging on the Garden Gate:  A Memoir of Bisexuality and Spirit (Skinner House Books), now in its second edition; On the Threshold:  Home, Hardwood, and Holiness (Westview Press); and the novel, Hannah, Delivered (Koehler Books).  She has also written two books on the writing craft:  Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books) and Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice (Skinner House 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 and My Red Couch and Other Stories of Seeking a Feminist Faith. Elizabeth's writing explores incarnation and the intersection between spiritual growth and the creative process. She teaches spiritual memoir at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, MN. You can connect with Elizabeth at www.spiritualmemoir.comand www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com.

A beautiful and powerful memoir of coming of age and coming out ,Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Memoir of Bisexuality and Spirit describes a period of time in award-winning writer and teacher Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew’s life when she came to know bisexuality as an embodied manifestation of divinity. Andrew not only reconciles her United Methodist faith with her sexuality but realizes that her body is holy, her sexuality is holy, and the word she carried within her has always been holy.

The spark of spirit Andrew identifies in her body she also finds throughout the solid matter of life—in childhood, nature, creativity, loss, death, and especially the coming out process. Andrew brings a distinctly queer feminist lens to Christian teachings and answers the question young people have posed to her over the years: “Is it possible to be both queer and spiritual?” The act of bringing hidden, personal truths to light is transformational, and for Andrew, a universal calling.

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 Jarrett Andrew.)

Biography Date: January, 2004; rev June 2021

Additional Resources


Women's spirituality | Author/editor | Bisexual activism | Minneapolis | Minnesota


“Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed May 18, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/elizabeth-jarrett-andrew.


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