Get to know Trina Paulus

Trina Paulus is best known as the author and illustrator of the classic book Hope For the Flowers. At 18, she turned down two college scholarships and moved to Grailville seeking spiritual formation.

After building up the art center there, Trina went to Akhmim, Upper Egypt to help develop a women’s weaving and embroidery cooperative. In 1967, during the Six Day War, she was evacuated to the International Grail Center in Paris,where she chanced on the manuscript titled “Hope” she had written for The Grail two years earlier.

Trina returned to the US in 1969, when a series of providential events led to a publishing contract with Paulist Press.

Retreating to a $10 a week room in Hartford, Connecticut, Trina struggled for seven months to complete “Hope.” One April day, the caterpillar images on the cover crawled off that book to become Stripe and Yellow and the story we know, Hope For the Flowers was born. It took another two years to edit and complete the hand-lettered text and the hundreds of painstakingly hand-separated color illustration layers.

Hope for the Flowers was released in September of 1972 and won the Christopher Award as the year’s most inspiring book. Trina’s only son and her first royalty check arrived almost simultaneously the following October—a useful time to have money after having worked all her life as a volunteer! The income from Hope allowed her to raise her son and continue her work as writer, sculptor, peace and environmental activist, organic gardener, composting advocate and permaculture enthusiast.

Trina currently serves as Vice President of both the Cornucopia Network of NJ and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. She also raises several hundred Monarch butterflies each summer to increase the population and encourage others to personally experience the miracle of transformation.

Hope For the Flowers is available in English through Paulist Press and through foreign publishers in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Russian, with many others in process. At this time the Spanish version is out of print.


The story has also come of age electronically as an e-book!

The ebook launch was dedicated to the memory of her mother Alice, who burst her cocoon September 20, 2014 at 104 years of loving service to many.

If funds appear, so may an animated film and/or an enhanced e-book. Trina is currently working to finish the long-awaited sequels relating Stripe’s & Yellow’s adventures as butterflies. She expects to complete this work before she is called to the “big cocoon” that we all will someday enter.




B.L. Ochman Interview