The 2005 conference featured Grace Paley, Deidre McCalla, Thandiwe Shiprah, and Katherine Towler. Held at Goddard College and organized as a project of the college, it also included a tribute to Grace Paley, and a wild story involving Grace's participation (read it here). Here is a list of presenters and workshops.

GRACE PALEY “…is a wonderful writer and troublemaker. We are fortunate to have her in our country,” writes Donald Barthelme. Revered as a committed activist and one of our most beloved short story writers, Paley is the author of many books, including The Little Disturbances of Man, Later The Same Day, Leaning Forward, Long Walks and Intimate Talks, Enormous Changes At the Last Minute, and Begin Again: Collected Poems. A member of the War Resisters League, she opposed American involvement in the Vietnam War and was a member of a peace mission to Hanoi. She attended the World Peace Conference in 1974 and in 1985 visited Nicaragua and El Salvador, after having campaigned against the U.S. government's policies toward these countries. Grace Paley received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction in 1961 and the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Short Story writing in 1970. In 1980, she was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters. She was Vermont’s State Poet in 2003, and has won dozens of awards and honors.

DEIDRE MCCALLA is a singer, songwriter, modern-day troubadour and preeminent performer in both folk and women’s music circles, having performed with notables such as Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, Odetta, Cris Williamson, and Sweet Honey In the Rock.An African-American lesbian feminist with five albums to her credit, Deidre’swords and music traverse the inner and outer landscapes of our lives, chronicling our strengths and weaknesses and celebrating the power and diversity of the human

THANDIWE SHIPRAH is a poet activist and orator who creates acoustic “word concerts” that incorporate vocal improvisation, movement, percussion instruments, poetry, and call and response. She is founder of LogoRhythms, which advocates the language arts to promote creativity, personal growth and spiritual renewal. A seasoned performer who travels around the country, she is the author of Leftover Light: Poems and Don’t Make No Sense: A Creative Response to Your Life’s True Calling.

KATHERINE TOWLER is author of the novels Snow Island (2002) and Evening Ferry (2005).  A freelance writer, she has received fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and Phillips Exeter Academy, where she served as writer-in-residence.  She taught in the artists-in-the-schools program in New Hampshire for many years and is currently working on volume 3 of the Snow Island trilogy.

Pre-Conference Workshop:

Journal to the Self: A Journal Therapy Appetizer – Kathleen Adams, LPC, RPT-MS. In this lively experiential workshop, you’ll get a smorgasbord of writing techniques to jump-start your journal.  You’ll learn how to create writing prompts out of everyday life, and how to match journal techniques with issues and process styles.  You’ll leave with a full plate of journal ideas, insights and inspirations. Kathleen Adams LPC, RPT-MSis Director of the Center for Journal Therapy and author of six books on journaling, including the best-selling Journal to the Self.  She is Past-President of the National Association for Poetry Therapy.  Kay lives with her flower garden in a tiny urban forest near Denver and is writing her first novel.

Post-Conference Workshops:

New Stories, New Lives: The Role of Narrative in Transformative Practice – Jim Sparrell, Ph.D. This workshop will consider the contribution of psychological traditions of Narrative Therapy to understanding personal and social change. Bearing those strategies in mind we will discuss the process of constructing or accepting narratives in every day life, as well as ways to bring complexity, paradox, and unpredictability to stories to show how this process can be useful in shifting consciousness and getting “unstuck.” Through the use of an exercise we will explore the development of new stories, and the value of reflection in gaining new perspectives. Jim Sparrell, Ph.D. has a doctorate in Clinical/Community Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He sees his work in clinical psychology as helping people to tell their stories, and to tell them in new ways, with new metaphors, new words, and sometimes new characters. As a former contributing editor of Mars Hill Review, he has written and edited personal essays and critical reviews of music, literature, religion, and contemporary culture

The Cry of the Soul: Poetry Therapy and Beyond – Joy Sawyer, RPT. Poetry therapy is a growing field, with enormous potential to bring healing and hope to people in all manner of life circumstances. In this workshop, we'll examine some of the poetic roots of healing within and beyond poetry therapy traditions. Together we’ll assess those circumstances when encouraging the craft of poetry and involvement in a spiritually-nourishing community may be the way toward individual and community healing. Joy Sawyer is a poet and is on staff with Urban Skye, an urban monastery in Denver. She is a registered poetry therapist and, along with Kay Adams, teaches Writing and Healing at the University of Denver. Joy is the former poetry editor of the Mars Hill Review, and holds master’s degrees from both New York University and Colorado Christian University. She is also the author of several books on spirituality and creativity.

Workshop Session A

A1 -Writing, Healing, and Emotional Well-Being: The Theory Behind the Practice – Francis X. Charet, Ph.D. Writing as a way of healing has been taken up by many people and found its way into a growing movement that promotes its practice. This workshop will look at some of the clinical and practical studies that clarify the healing and other benefits that result from the practice of writing. Francis X. Charet has a background in psychology and religion with a particular focus on Jungian Psychology. He has taught at a number of universities as well as lectured before various Jungian groups and at the Jung Institutes in Zurich and in New York. He is a faculty member in the BA and MA programs at Goddard and is the Coordinator of the Consciousness Studies Concentration.

A2 -- Opening to the Sacred Feminine: Literature and Writing as a Doorway for Teenaged Girls – Suzanne Ehst. From her experience of teaching “Literature of Women’s Spiritual Journeys,” to seventeen 11th and 12th grade girls, Suzanne will reflect on related research, writing, and praxis. The presentation will combine theory on feminist spirituality and its relevance to teenage girls with practical tips and exercises for fostering a sense of the sacred in teen writers.Suzanne Ehst has taught high school English, drama, and creative writing since 1997 and recently completed her master’s degree in Goddard’s Transformative Language Arts concentration. Suzanne’s master’s project is a book-length manuscript written for a teen audience titled Awakenings: Feminist Spirituality for Teenaged Girls.

A3 - The Passion of Inanna: Following Her Journey in Participatory Performance – Sharon Mathis, Ph.D. The Sumerian myth of the goddess Inanna’s death and resurrection models the shamanic journey and the process of depth psychotherapy. Participatory performance teaches the audience to join in as musicians, singers, and spoken word chorus. The myth is enacted using poetry, rhythm, and music along with group participation. Discussion follows.Sharon Mathis, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, performer, writer, and director in Atlanta .She presents psychotherapy and performance workshops for varied audiences around the country. As an artist, she works at the crossroads of myth and the city. As psychotherapist, she integrates existentialism, feminism, myth, and the expressive arts.

A4 - Po*ART*ry Anne Sheffield. Bring some poetic lines and an art supply toshare. We will turn words into an exhibit (optional)by using some book art and broadside techniques – borders, folds, colors, marbling. No experience neededfor this experimental workshop aimed at enhancing text through visual performance on paper. Anne Sheffield has an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College, teaches Art to SED children k-12 in a hospital school, and is a CPT-in training with Sherry Reiter.

Workshop Session B

B1 - Empowering Difference Through Story – Meg Gilman, MFA. Storytelling as a healing art offers specific clinical, emotional and spiritual benefits. In this highly participatory workshop, we’ll challenge our perceptions of empathy and ‘difference’ (e.g., brain injury, trauma, elders, chronic illness and grief), share stories to tell and to teach, and explore ways to adapt stories to enhance storytelling as an inclusive art. Meg Gilman, MFA, storyteller, teacher, writer and visual artist, and member of the Healing Story Alliance board, designs storytelling programs for healing and educational environments. Her experience with storytelling and healing has encompassed work with individuals and groups on such issues as chronic and terminal illness, spirituality, grief, and trauma recovery.

B3 - Found Words, Found Intimacy – Nancy G. Shapiro. The word intimacy comes from the Latin intimus, which means “innermost.” An earlier version of the word comes from the Old Latin word interus, meaning “inward.” Found Words-Found Intimacy explores intimacy, through reading and writing from evocative poems, as echoed in its relationship with our selves and how that weaves through our attachments to others.Nancy G. Shapiro is presently in the training program for certification as a poetry therapist. After personally experiencing the healing power of poetry, she created a workshop called Found Words. Fascinated by the mysteries of this world, she continues to use poetry and prose as guides toward insight and innovation.

B4 - Writing Into the Woods: Ecopoetics Here and Now – Danielle LaFleur-Brooks & Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. Through greater awareness of the sounds, sights and sensations of place, we can find words to help us connect with what David Abram calls the “more-than-human world.” During this meditative workshop, we’ll walk in silence into the woods, arriving at a clearing where we’ll discuss potent writing of place and write some of our own.Danielle LaFleur-Brooks, MA-TLA, MED, is Goddard’s Academic Services Coordinator and the founder of Earthcurve Studio, a painting and writing for process center. She has facilitated workshops for people affected by chronic and serious illness, health care professionals, underserved youth, and the general public. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., CPT coordinates Transformative Language Arts at Goddard, and facilitates writing workshops for many populations and writing retreats on ecopoetics, mythology and spirituality.

Workshop Session C

C1 - Grant-Writing and the Power of Storytelling to Fund the Work You Love – Lynn O’Connell. Do you have a great project/idea, but no funding? Participants in this workshop will learn grant-writing strategies, combined with storytelling techniques, to use in applying for funding. You’ll discover where to find the most likely funding sources and what to do to make your project stand out to them. Lynn O’Connell has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years. For the last eight years, she has worked in grantmaking and currently she is director of a national healthcare foundation. Since 1992, she has been teaching adult education courses in grant-writing and other fundraising techniques.

C2 - From Art to Word: Natural Transformations – Carol Ray Philips, Ed.D. Writers, the people most likely to usually express and communicate through words, are invited to engage with non-linguistic symbols. We make site-specific visual art using natural materials collected on the Goddard campus. We then reflect on and share this experience through words. You can expect to be surprised by your discoveries.A Goddard MFA graduate and former ADP faculty, Carol Ray Philips earned her Ed.D. at Harvard studying relationships between the arts and human development and on transformative adult development. A working artist, she designs and delivers arts workshop for personal and professional development through Making Art: Transformative Experiences.

C3 - Writing on Air: Reaching for Our Dreams Joannah L. Merriman, M.A. Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver – “The Summer Day”This workshop is an active celebration of our dreams and desires, with practical exercises (scribbling and collage) designed to plant our dream gardens and cultivate them with love and hope. Discard old admonitions about "wool-gathering" and "daydreaming" and replace them with the joyful possibilities of experiencing some of our wildest dreams! Joannah L. Merriman, M.A. is a psychotherapist, educator and journal therapist in private practice. She has kept a journal for 50 years, presenting workshops and seminars locally since 1979, nationally since 1993. She lives outside Fort Collins, Colorado, where she is constructing a labyrinth between her home and studio.

C4 - Transforming Words: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Poetry and Psychology – Jan Hitchcock, Ph.D. This workshop will present a “joint venture” of poetic and psychological perspectives, describing the design and experience of a course “Transforming Words: Poetry and Psychologies of Change,” and sharing the readings, exercises, and assignments that could facilitate comparable interdisciplinary explorations in other settings.Jan Hitchcock, Ph.Dis Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean at Lewiston-Auburn College, University of Southern Maine. Reflecting her campus’s interdisciplinary mission, she teaches and writes on topics including risk perception and the interrelationships between poetry and psychology. She is also a published poet

Workshop Session D

D1 - Body Poetry: An Exploration of Meaning and Creative Impulse – Traci Childress. Guided reflection will set the stage for exploration of creative impulse as it presents itself in and through the body. A short yoga session will serve as a practice for exploring Rilke’s notion that poetry comes “only when [memories] have changed into our very blood” and is “no longer to be distinguished from ourselves.” Traci Childress – teacher, poet, dancer, and yoga practitioner – seeks to create space for exploration of the body and its meaning. By using yoga, creative expression, and movement with others, she seeks to challenge and discover the meaning(s) of body, and the connections these meanings have to creative impulse, spiritual awakening, and social justice.

D2 - Toward an Integral Perspective: Some Things to Include As We Liberate Ourselves and the World – Reggie Marra. Liberating ourselves and the world can be complex and time consuming (ask George Bush). Through Ken Wilber’s integral map, we’ll explore roads taken and not taken in life and work, optimize and integrate our liberation efforts, and identify authentic internal revenue. Don’t trust the IRS to do this for you!An educator for 30 years, Reggie Marra’sIntegral Journeys programs foster human transformation through poetry, writing, meditation, council, and story. He is a Master Teaching Artist in Connecticut, and the author of three books, most recently, Living Poems, Writing Lives: Spirit, Self and the Art of Poetry(2004).

D3 - Writing, Healing, and Emotional Well-Being: The Theory Behind the Practice – Francis X. Charet, Ph.D. (see A1)

Other Offerings:

TLA Professional Association Launching – TLA Association Steering Committee. Come join us to discuss what you want in terms of networking, sharing resources, finding greater support, and cross-pollinating with people using TLA aloud, on the page, in the streets and out in the field. We’ll also talk about a proposed mission statement developed by TLA practitioners in the past year, and plans for how to best move ahead in pioneering this new profession for writers, educators, therapists, storytellers, dramatists, community leaders, activists, artists and others who are drawn to this life-changing work.

Publishing, Readings, Performances and Getting Your Work Out There! – Katherine Towler, Deidre McCalla, Kathleen Adams, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Jeanne Chambers. Once you’ve written or composed it, and revised it up one wall and down another, what’s next? Between the seven of us, we cover the genres of fiction, poetry, song-writing, memoir, humor, biography, non-fiction studies, self-help books and more, and we’ll be gathering to tell stories of how we went from first draft and first note to first press and first recording as well as ways to get our art out into the community through many venues (readings, websites, conferences, magazines, newspapers and more on the local, regional and national levels). Bring your questions and ideas because there’ll be open space for discussion and brainstorming. Katherine Towler is the author of two novels, Evening Ferry, and Snow Island; Deidre McCalla is a singer-songwriter with a long history in women’s and folk music, five albums to her credit and a thriving career in music; Kathleen Adams is Director of the Center for Journal Therapy and author of six books on journaling, including the best-selling Journal to the Self;; Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, a poetry slam champion who has performed poetry with musicians and dancers, is the author of three volumes of poetry, two young adult non-fiction books, & poetry and prose published in literary journals; Jeanne Chambers, the CEO (Cavorting Evolutionary One) of Keepsake Biographical Services, is the author of Life Is Too Short to Be Ordinary, Just the Write Gift, and many biographies she's written for families who care enough to preserve their stories for present and future generations.

Right Livelihood: Making a Living Doing What We Love – introduced by Francis X. Charet. Right Livelihood is rooted in cultivating work that helps you live better and in better balance with the world. After Francis gives us an overview of Right Livelihood, we’ll open the floor up for people to share stories of how we have found work we love and/or what we’re learning through the search for meaningful work that contributes to community and makes the most of our gifts. During this lively concluding discussion, we’ll talk about the origins and possibilities of Right Livelihood through creating more TLA opportunities for our communities. Bring questions, stories, advice and wonders to share.

Gallery Showing

99 Reasons for Silence,” an installation work by Denver artist Heather Doyle-Maier, explores childhood sexual abuse. In the format of a large quilt, pieces of text interact with pieces of women’s and girls’ garments, allowing silent voices to be heard. The artist will be present to discuss the transformational process of creating the work. Heather Doyle-Maier is a BFA candidate in Visual Art at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Heather’s artwork explores the social construction of the feminine, particularly those cultural codes passed down intimately to girls by the women who raise them. Her visual language is informed by the languages of storytelling, writing, theatrical design and parenting.

In addition, we are thrilled to feature Carol Philip, one of our workshop presenters, also in the gallery. Carol Philips’s new pieces, "Transformations," embody their collective title. In each panel, Philips explores a single color, working with a range of materials, from paint to glitter and sequins to leaves. Through that exploratory process, materials coalesce into unanticipated abstract images. While developing the images, Philips also engages in a naming process, eventually calling every piece with the word that its image most inspires.

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