POW 2019 Session Descriptions


Friday, September 27th

Pre-Conference Workshops

P1. Stories Old and New: A Path to Healing and Resilience — Traditional stories ignite our connection to self and affirm our belonging to community. Connecting our personal stories with traditional stories we can access a deeper wisdom about life. In this dynamic workshop we explore the intersection between storytelling and healing arts, and learn skills to guide others in a creative and empowering experience. Through a variety of interactive exercises participants learn to tell a short traditional tale and uncover personal meaning in timeless themes & structures, the universal element in their own personal story, and skills to guide others in a non-threatening creative process of exploring a traditional story that leads to insight, resilience, and transformation.

Noa Baum is an award-winning storyteller and author who presents internationally. She works with diverse audiences ranging from The World Bank and prestigious universities to inner city schools and detention centers. Born and raised in Israel, she was an actress at Jerusalem Khan Theater, studied with Uta Hagen in NYC and holds an M.A. from NYU. Noa offers a unique combination of performance art and practical workshops that focus on the power of narrative to heal across the divides of identity. In a world where peace is a challenge in the schoolyard and beyond, Noa’s work builds bridges of understanding and compassion. Noa’s book, A Land Twice Promised – An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace,  – a winner of the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award – is an introspective memoir that mines the depths of the chasm between the Israeli and Palestinian experiences, the torment of family loss and conflict, and the therapy of storytelling as a cleansing art. With her storytelling background, Noa captures the drama of a nation at war and her own discovery of humanity in the enemy.

P2. Clarity and Courage of Your Calling — Designed for those at the intersection of the creative arts and social activism/engaged spirituality, this workshop will revolve around a series of self-reflective questions to help participants gain clarity and courage to take whatever Next Steps will deepen their alignment with what their lives (and the world) are calling for from them; what their gifts and passions are and how to use them in socially useful ways; and how to get what's on the inside out.

Gregg Levoy is the author of Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion (Penguin), and Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life (Random House) –rated among the "Top 20 Career Publications" by the Workforce Information Group and a text in various graduate programs in Management and Organizational Leadership. He is a former "behavioral specialist" at USA Today, and a regular blogger for Psychology Today. A former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico, former columnist and reporter for USA Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer, and author of This Business of Writing (Writer’s Digest Books), he has written for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Omni, Psychology Today, Christian Science Monitor, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, and many others, as well as for corporate, promotional and television projects. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and his website is www.gregglevoy.com

P3. Fetch the Fire: Writing the Ghazal — In this writing workshop, we will enter into the world of the ghazal, the form that was architected to express the universal language of Love. The ghazal is one of the East’s more known poetic forms popularized in part by Agha Shahid Ali’s corrective anthology.  In this session, we will learn about the history, tropes, themes and stylistic intricacies of this couplet-form while learning how to write one—adapting it to contemporary usage without losing its flavor. We will explore the magic of cadence, rhythm and repetition to unify a poem while also learning how to use the power of suggestion via brevity in expression.

Usha Akella has authored four books of poetry, one chapbook, and scripted and produced one musical drama. She earned an MSt. In Creative Writing at Cambridge University, UK. She read with a group of eminent South Asian Diaspora poets at the House of Lords in June 2016. Her work has been included in the Harper Collins Anthology of Indian English Poets. Her most recent book, The Waiting, is published by Sahitya Akademi, India's highest literary authority. She was selected as a Cultural Ambassador for the City of Austin for 2015 & 2019. She has been published in numerous Literary journals, and has been invited to prestigious international poetry festivals in Slovakia, Nicaragua, Macedonia, Colombia, Slovenia, India etc. She is the founder of ‘Matwaala,’ the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival in the US.

Friday Evening Keynote

Gregg Levoy: The Call of Creativity — People who are fueled by a sense of calling about their lives—a deep feeling of purpose, connection to something greater than themselves, and a fit between who they are and what they do—will bring that vitality to their creativities, careers, and communities. What does a call ask of you? How do you tell true calls from siren-songs? How do you keep the fires burning? What happens when you say no? What happens when you say yes?

Right Livelihood Panel — Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Laura Packer, Rachel Gabriel, Caleb Winebrenner, Joseph Galata

Saturday, September 28th

Session Series #1

1A. "Bad Asian Daughter:" Transforming Shame Through Embodied Storytelling — This session will include a solo autobiographical performance followed by a mini-workshop introducing playful techniques for entering into embodied storytelling. In the performance, Lisa tells and enacts the story of her journey as the daughter of Taiwanese-Chinese immigrants in the American Midwest. Lisa's taboo-breaking story aims to show possibilities for healing shame through the transformative medium of solo performance. She seeks to complicate and humanize the characters in her family and personify the competing voices in her head as she navigates the search for belonging, the expectations of ambition, the mysteries of a hidden past, and her own struggle for self-acceptance.

Lisa Chu, MD, is a multidisciplinary artist, performance creator, and SoulBodyMind life coach. She enjoys encouraging people of all ages to recognize and explore their own creative potential, which Lisa herself has explored through research and practice at the intersection of expressive arts and healing for the past decade, and performing arts and teaching for the past three decades. She trained as a physician, and has worked as a venture capital investor, violin school founder, organic farmhand, outdoor gear reviewer, illustrator, improvisational rock violinist, and community festival organizer. She lives near the ocean in northern California.

1B. Pathstone Writers' Group: Gathering and Sharing the Lived Experiences of Individuals Residing in Assisted Living — Formed through a collaborative partnership between a senior living community and a student-driven university literary outreach program, the Pathstone Writers Group is a poetry therapy group whose mission includes amplifying the voices of elders who reside in assisted living. This presentation describes the group's activities, accomplishments, and limitations. The presentation will benefit attendees seeking information on establishing a creative writing workshop for seniors residing in assisted living and best practices for that workshop. Attendees will also be given examples of how  amplifying the voices of elders builds community, fosters understanding, and creates joy for everyone involved. The presentation will be delivered as a PowerPoint. It will describe the activities, objectives, methodology, and outcomes for the Pathstone Writers Group. 

Diana Joseph is the author of the short story collection, Happy or Otherwise (Carnegie Mellon University Press 2003) and the memoir, I'm Sorry You Feel That Way (2009). She teaches at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the founder and director of the literary community outreach program, LitReach.

1C. Walking Fields and Streets to Find Poems and Stories — The poet, Rumi said, “Beauty surrounds us but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.”  This workshop does two things to encourage our creative process. The first is to actually (consciously) walk through the surrounding beauty to put our bodies in motion, open our senses, and invite wonder, memory and imagination. The path is self-selected with a prompt guide for each participant to observe particular sensate and associative details. The second is to craft stories and poems from that lived experience with the help of structuring exercises and shared examples.    "We do not need a garden to create beauty for a walk in itself is the laboratory of poetry and story. It is the place where we find the time, space to let images and feelings bubble up; for memory to be suggested, for the senses to open as we move through the world. It is precisely in the intersection of physical movement and “chance” observation of the environment we interact with that creates a condition that is in essence, a meditative state, encouraging our memory and imagination.

Loren Niemi is an innovative storyteller with 40 years experience creating, performing and teaching stories that matter. His work has been called “post-modern,” “with a dark beauty of language that is not ashamed of poetry.” He is the author of a collection of ghost stories, What Haunts Us, the award winning The New Book of Plots on oral and written narratives, and the critically acclaimed, Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories, which he co-authored with Elizabeth Ellis. For more Info: www.lorenNiemistories.com

1D. Fostering an Enduring CommUNITY — Utilizing the power of words, participants will engage in a process of sharing what a healthy and vibrant community may need to thrive and how each person’s story may be a catalyst for celebrating, preserving and sharing the hopes and expectations of each community member.  Participants will engage in a non-threatening experiential process where each community member defines a word that best describes what they would teach others to promote a thriving safe community.  Participants will work together to construct a community built with 3x5 index cards culminating with a wondrous gallery walk reflecting upon  the amazing outcome.    

Alec Esparza is a Retired Secondary School Counselor, Presenter and Master Storyteller with over 25 years of experience presenting at local, state and National conferences including the National Association of Peer Programs; California Association Bilingual Education; National Storytelling Conference: Storytelling In Prevention; Orange/Los Angeles County Human Relations Committee, Walk In My Shoes High/Middle School Conferences and CA Head Start Conferences emphasizing community building, cross-cultural competency and environmental awareness. His goal is to impact his audience to view life’s challenges with greater strength, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday Afternoon Keynote

Usha Akella: Matwaala, the Birth of a Festival Founded in 2015 by Usha, Matwaala, South Asian Diaspora Poets’ Collective, is a community of poets whose origins go back to South Asia. Its mission is to promote South Asian poetry in the American literary landscape and collaborate with other arts in North America through a festival, publications, and mutual support among poets.

Session Series #2  Register for POW!

2A. Sacred Earth, Common Ground The Earth is in crisis. To find solutions, let’s begin by reconnecting with nature and each other, affirming our mutual affection for the natural world – a shared value that transcends the political divide. “Sacred Earth, Common Ground” explores this theme through performance – stories by Doug Bland and songs from John Genette – and story circles. The audience breaks into facilitated groups to share stories about experiences in nature – those times when, like Moses at the burning bush, we found ourselves standing on holy ground. This interactive session includes time for comments and reflection about the performances and story circles.

John Genette (right), M.A., is a Citizen Artist (musician/storyteller and story circle facilitator). He is co-founder of The Storyscope Project, which is partnering with Arizona Interfaith Power & Light on “Sacred Earth, Common Ground,” blending the arts with community story circles to reconnect with nature and each other – laying a foundation for collective environmental advocacy. John is a Research Fellow in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, and is co-author of Hot Topics, Cool Heads: A Handbook for Civil Dialogue. He is a fundraising consultant, and a doctoral candidate at The Wisdom School. 

Rev. Doug Bland (left) is Executive Director of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light---a spiritual response to climate change. AZIPL is one of forty state affiliates that work to make connections between faith and climate justice. He is adjunct faculty at South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute where he teaches “The Art of Storytelling,” “Storytelling & Advocacy,” “Storytelling & Healing,” “Telling Sacred Stories,” and “Using Storytelling in Businesses and Organizations.”

Jennifer Linde (right), M.A., is a principal lecturer in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, Artistic Director of The Empty Space (Theatre), and a founding director of the Institute for Civil Dialogue. She has designed and taught performance studies courses on communication and creativity, storytelling, oral interpretation of literature, civil communication, and methods for adapting traditional scholarship to the stage. She is co-founder of The Storyscope Project and has participated in the design and development of Civil Dialogue® since its inception in 2004. She is co-author of Hot Topics, Cool Heads: A Handbook for Civil Dialogue.

2B. Creating Online TLA Classes that Inspire, Build Community, and Transform Our World — For many teaching artists, developing an online course from scratch or transferring a face-to-face workshop to an online environment can be a difficult challenge. In this presentation, Liz Burke-Cravens will share strategies, techniques, and tools fo r creating successful transformative language arts classes online and in hybrid formats. Topics will include organizing and planning your course, practicing self-care and ethics, creating meaningful opportunities for connection, integrating multimedia, and cultivating a rich online environment for creative expression and exploration, and other related topics. This presentation will be helpful for those already teaching TLA courses online and for those who would like to start.

Liz Burke-Cravens is a poet, interdisciplinary educator, and writing coach. She is the founder of A Brave Space, a learning community that seeks to create positive social change and personal transformation through writing. Her work has appeared in Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History: A Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia, Volume 2, The Irish Herald, Soulstice: A Feminist Anthology Volume II, and Sandy River Review. Originally from Portland, Maine, she now lives in Oakland, California with her wife and their two dogs. You can learn more about her work at http://www.abravespace.com.

2C. The Path of Needles or the Path of Pins: Other Ways of Seeing "Red" — "“...You always have to choose between the path of needles and the path of pins. ...the quick and easy way or the painful way that works.”― Rosamund Hodge. Being able to recognize past choices, and consider what we did and should carry,  impacts our progression toward "wise and serene elder." Join in an exploration of the symbolism and interpretations of Red Riding Hood's story, also known as “The Grandmother’s Tale.” Write from your mind’s reasoning of the story. Reflect on and embrace your life's path as a journey of choices.

Lyn Ford's work is enriched by her family's Affrilachian storytelling traditions, as well as her own desire to offer, encourage and nurture the love and gifts of story. Lyn has presented workshops and stories for conferences and festivals from New England to Hawaii, and from Ireland to Australia, including several Power of Words Conferences. Lyn has also facilitated online classes for the Transformative Language Arts Network. This workshop is adapted from one online class session.

2D. Heroic and Healing Journeys for Contemporary Times — We are all on journeys of heroism and healing in our lives. Heroism comes out during dark times of struggle and healing comes out during times of being wounded. Heroism and healing are two sides of the same coin of transformation where we go through the painful process of letting go of the old, welcoming in the new and unexpected. Transformation moves us from isolated, individual suffering into greater compassion, interconnection, and social responsibility. David Kopacz has been using the hero’s and healer’s journey frameworks with military veterans and health professionals to re-orient from individual suffering to collective transformation.

David Kopacz works as a psychiatrist in primary care at Seattle VA where he runs The Journey Home classes for veterans. He is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington and is board certified in psychiatry and integrative medicine. David is an international speaker and the author of Re-humanizing Medicine: A Holistic Framework for Transforming Your Self, Your Practice, and the Culture of Medicine and with co-author Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma & PTSD and Becoming Medicine: Pathways of Initiation into a Living Spirituality.

Session Series #3

3A. Building Community Through Narrative: Facilitating Story Circle and Performance Events — Leaders of The Storyscope Project (Scottsdale, AZ) will share the group’s approach to facilitating community story circles and producing events that blend performance (to awaken sensibilities) and story circles (to foster inclusiveness). After the methodology is presented, attendees will participate in story circles with as many people as possible trying on the role of facilitator. The session will conclude with commentary and Q & A.

John Genette, Doug Bland, and others TBA (see bios above).

3B. Fight Back Any Adversity in Life: Overcoming a Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer Diagnosis, The Pink Hulk Will Help You Find Your Inner Superhero — Being cured of lymphoma and in remission with breast cancer, Valerie was recently diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. With sophisticated medical advancements, she now has no evidence of disease. Valerie wants to debunk the myth that someone with chronic cancer is not able to live a full life. On medication forever with this diagnosis, she’s thriving. Through excerpts from her award-winning show, The Pink Hulk, Valerie will inspire and empower those facing ANY adversity in life—not just cancer. Included will be a Q&A, improv games and writing exercises to help you find your own inner superhero.

Valerie David is an award-winning actor, playwright, and three-time cancer survivor of lymphoma and breast cancer twice. Fall 2018, she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Five months after receiving targeted treatment only, Valerie has no evidence of disease—cancer gone! Her critically acclaimed solo show, The Pink Hulk, has been empowering audiences worldwide, accepted into 26 different festivals. Awards include Sweden’s Gothenburg Fringe’s WOW Award and Shenandoah Fringe’s Audience Choice. It’s a refreshing take on cancer with plenty of humor. Upcoming: an Off-Broadway run and Stockholm Fringe Festival. Talkbacks, teaching improv, and writing courses accompany performances. http://pinkhulkplay.com

3C. Writing as Refuge in Times of Disruption -- Come together to co-create a refuge in the middle of our conference and in the middle of our times when so many social and eco-communities are threatened. In this experiential and ceremonial workshop, we'll write our way toward shelter from the storms of our time to reconnect with what we love, what we grieve, and how we can make and hold space for one another. Drawing on writing to further discover and explore our spiritual paths, we will replenish our inner well and recommit ourselves to our work, art, and community. We'll also share individual approaches, considerations, resources, and questions. Most of all, we'll use this workshop time to immerse ourselves in the refuge we write and create together.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is the founder of Transformative Language Arts, including of the first TLA MA program (at Goddard College) and the Power of Words conference. She is the author of 23 books, including Miriam's Well, a novel; Everyday Magic, essays; Following the Curve, poetry; Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other; and The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Caryn offers writing and right livelihood coaching and consulting, and she has led community-making writing workshops, classes, and retreats widely since 1992. She offers Brave Voice writing and singing retreats with singer Kelley Hunt, and the Your Right Livelihood training with Laura Packer.

3D. Writing Memoir for Empathy and Inquiry — Empathy begins with self compassion. How can writing your memories--the genre of memoir--shape your sense of self understanding? How can this creative practice inform your work as a Transformative Language Artist? In this interactive workshop, we will explore memoir as a tool for introspection and facilitation to deepen our understanding of the art of empathy. Using master texts from authors like Maxine Hong Kingston, Nick Flynn, James McBride, and Louise Erdrich, we will explore memoir’s potential to cultivate empathy for ourselves, and how such healing informs our work as practitioners of TLA. Come prepared to write freely and read deeply, knowing that participants will not be required to share raw writing. The intention of this writing workshop is to provide a creative circle in which to explore the transformative power of memory.     

Rachel Gabriel, M.F.A., shares and encourages creative expression through word, image, and song. Her writing is included in several anthologies, and she is the recipient of an Artist Residency Fellowship at the Ragdale Foundation. She has taught youth and adults at The Loft Literary Center for over a decade, and was awarded their Excellence in Teaching Fellowship by student nomination. A passionate advocate for literacy and arts education, she created an intergenerational songs and story time at her local bookstore. She is a trained vocalist and Registered Music Together Teacher, as well as an apprentice in book arts and bibliotherapy. Ms. Gabriel believes in the power of creative expression to facilitate community and personal wellness, and is particularly interested in the intersection of the arts with phenology, women’s studies, religious tolerance, and spiritual practice.

Saturday Evening Keynote — OPEN to the public!

A Land Twice Promised — Israeli storyteller Noa Baum began a heartfelt dialogue with a Palestinian woman while living in the United States. She weaves together their memories, and their mothers’ stories, to create a moving testimony that illuminates the complex and contradictory history and emotions surrounding Jerusalem, for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Noa takes us behind the rhetoric and headlines to hear the true stories of four women, 2 Israelis and 2 Palestinians. In the process, we experience the most precious ingredient for the resolution of any major conflict: mutual compassion.

Noa Baum has been teaching and performing for audiences of all ages in hundreds of schools, libraries, community centers and congregations since 1982. Born and raised in Israel, living in the US since 1990, she holds an MA in Educational Theater from NYU and BFA in Theater from Tel Aviv University. A recipient of numerous Individual Artist Awards from The MD State Arts Council and The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, her audio recording, Far Away And Close To Home, is a Parents' Choice Award Winner. Noa lives in Silver Spring, MD and is a member of the National Storytelling Network.

Sunday, September 29th

Session Series #4   See the Schedule Summary

4A. Telling this Truth: Creating Social Justice Theatre with TLA — Over the past couple of years, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have been speaking powerful truths about the reality of sexual and intimate partner violence faced by women, gender non-conforming people, and men. In the Telling This Truth workshop, Vanita will share how she produced a social justice theatre event featuring a cast of survivors. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of how they can produce a similar event; from the audition and rehearsal process, to how do this work from a trauma-informed foundation. Participants will also learn about and experience the TLA methodology used to create the script.

Poet/artist Vanita Leatherwood, M.A., T.L.A., has over 30 years of experience in facilitating wellness and community education programming. She serves as the Director of Community Engagement at HopeWorks where her work includes facilitating Transformative Language Arts private sessions and workshops for survivors of trauma. She is also in private practice with the Restorative Counseling and Wellness Center. Her facilitation work features poetry, expressive arts activities and mindfulness practices that promote healing, transformation, and self-alliance. A Goddard alum, Vanita is a member of the TLA Network and the National Association of Poetry Therapists.

4B. Transformation through Professional Vocal and Body Expression Skills — In this hands-on, highly-interactive skills training session, participants will learn professional techniques for increasing their own vocal and body expressiveness for enhancing all types of spoken word: poetry, storytelling, personal narrative, etc. They will come away with the understanding of the crucial role their own voice and body expression have on transformational  processes and will have the tools to continue to increase their own skill sets.   

Karla Huntsmans's life work is making meaning and transformation through story and theatre activities. She has been a faculty member of four universities teaching storytelling, drama education, public speaking and interpersonal communication. She provides residencies, workshops, teacher in-services, conference presentations, and performances at state and national venues. She sings, plays guitar, autoharp, washboard, and djembe drum as part of transformational storytelling experiences. Her performances include festivals, libraries, schools, and community venues and events. Currently she works as a storyteller, drama specialist, teaching artist for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, and  performer for the Las Vegas Improvisation Players. 

4C. Deeprogramming through Embodied Play, Poetry, and Hypnotic-Induction — Imagination is magic, it has the power to re-integrate parts lost to overwhelming events and institutional programming. In this workshop, you will be guided through an inter-modal process with the intention of initiating a symbolic conversation with the subconscious. In order to remain in the liminal creative part of consciousness, and avoid intellectualism or psychology, this discourse with the subconscious will be initiated through an embodied hypnotic induction and further facilitated  through movement, sound, drawing, and words. This will be a trauma-informed process.

Sarvenaz Moshfegh Asiedu (SAr-va-nez Maw-sh-feg Ah-sy-Edou), M.A. is a trauma-informed creative life coach/artist/facilitator/community activist and hypnotherapist. Her modalities include writing, painting, music, ritual, and theatre. Sarvenaz graduated in 2000 from Basel Conservatory (Switzerland) with a Lehr-diplom in classical cello and music pedagogy. After completing a postbaccalaureate degree in Fine arts at the School of the Museum of Fine arts in 2001, she spent three years at the Lee Strassberg Institute for Film and Theatre. After returning from Ghana, where she worked in arts education, she completed a second undergraduate degree in Expressive Arts Therapies. Sarvenaz holds a Masters in Psychology from Goddard College; the focus of her studies has been the psychological, spiritual, and societal effects of the systemic imprisonment of the human psyche and the use of embodied creative expression within the healing process.

4D. Purposeful Memoir as a Path to a Thriving Future — This transformational workshop in purposeful memoir is aimed at anyone who seeks to awaken or deepen their practice of spiritually grounded activism and conscious leadership. Following the framework Jennifer developed in her award-winning writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir, this workshop uses the four elements—Earth, Water, Fire and Air—as potent metaphors for different stages and aspects of our life experiences. As we align our personal histories with the larger narratives of our time and place, we are able to more deeply understand the present moment as a springboard into a thriving future. This workshop is aimed at anyone who seeks to awaken or deepen their practice of spiritually grounded activism and conscious leadership. I will introduce the elemental journey framework as a new way of thinking about different life stages, as well as key aspects of our lives.

Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D. is an associate professor of comparative literature and media arts at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, with a special interest in writing for social and environmental justice. Her memoir, What I Forgot... And Why I Remembered, was one of six finalists for the 2018 International Book Awards in the memoir category. Her writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion won a 2017 Nautilus Silver Award. The editor of three anthologies of global women’s writing, she offers her workshops in purposeful memoir internationally, and lectures widely on issues of environment, activism, and the arts.

Session Series #5

5A. Stand Up and Speak Out: Using Storytelling Techniques to Change Yourself, Your Life, and the World — The first step in changemaking is to own your story. In a safe and supportive environment we will explore what it means to say your story out loud, why telling it matters, who you might want to share it with and why. Using engaging, interactive, and supportive exercises, we will practice our stories and explore what change you are pursuing and how you can use your story to make that change a reality.

Laura Packer knows that the best way to the truth is through a good story. She has used the transformative power story to entertain, enlighten, coach, heal, and consult around the world. She is the author of From Audience to Zeal: The ABCs of Finding, Crafting, and Telling a Great Story, and is the winner of multiple awards for her performance and service. Laura is also the sole proprietor of the organizational storytelling firm, thinkstory llc, where she helps organizations identify, hone, capitalize upon and celebrate their stories.

5B. Here to There: How do I Get? This is me. Is it you too? You attend a vibrant gathering and say to yourself, "That was the best conference! I have so many ideas and contacts and...." Then three months later you hear yourself think, "Where are my notes from that conference? The cards I gathered, the ideas I sketched and dreams I incubated?" I get it. It happens to me often. This is why I have designed this set-apart-time for you during POW 2019. Come with your inspiration, ideas, infusions and together, as a group, we will help one another sift out the gems. You will have your genesis moment. Using meditation, strategic journaling and group centering/sharing expression, you will better see how to get from here to there. The group and I will help you cross over and translate things from the conference into real tangible life!

Elizabeth (Beth) Turner is a life-long writer passionate about the power of words to heal and transform. She is a former television broadcast journalist who's won a few awards for reporting, including an Emmy. Beth co-owns a video production company with her husband plus a few other creatives and runs her own expressive writing and healing storytelling business adventure by hosting retreats, conferences, and workshops. She is a previous POW presenter who was so insired by the event and TLA peeps that she submitted again and again to be a part of things this year. Beth is also a certified Journal to the Self facilitator, a published poet, and a mom to a tribe of three young men.

5C. Self-Imposed Administrative Leave: Self-Care in Freelance — In your TLA practice, you are CEO of that divine domain. Freelance clients may come in feast or famine waves, but the fully alive Transformative Language Artist knows to take their breaks. Respecting your workspace, integrating work-life balance into the sacredness of your creative process, giving time to do nothing, and the virtue of NO -  all of these things mix together into the authentic being with authentic output that affects not only your client base, but your community. Using lively discussion and writing prompts, let’s discuss your signs, stories, and freelancing pitfalls to keep your output in its ‘Golden Age.’ This is for any freelancer who has felt the call to sacrifice themselves to get the client and pay the bills. There is nothing wrong with working hard, long hours. But there has got to be a stopping point, and it's not the same for everyone.

Tiffany Vakilian is a joyful TLA Practitioner with a Masters in Transformative Language Arts, TLAN Membership, and TLA Foundations Certification. Through her poetry blog and community involvement, she continues to use word-art for social commentary and change. In her first book of poetry, Ugly Drawers, Pretty Panties, Tiffany shares many of those verbal vignettes. Now, she is honored to lead as President of the San Diego Book Awards. Tiffany is a San Diego Kingdom Writers Association Vision Lead, a member of ASCAP, The National Forensics League, and has been involved with the Transformative Language Arts Network journal, Chrysalis. Tiffany is the quintessential Renaissance Gal.

5D. Aim for Astonishing: How Writing from Your Photo Stream Awakens Healing — We all take, save and treasure, photographs of the people, places and things that bring meaning and mystery, love and loss, into our lives. Writing from photos allows us to express the truth of what we feel and haven’t said, and capture the beauty and deeper meaning of an image in words. Writers and TLA practitioners at all levels of experience will imaginatively encounter personal photos to generate remarkable writing experiences. You’ll let the images “speak” and explore stories that help you honor, probe and preserve memories, awaken purpose and meaning amidst loss and change, and express truth and beauty from relationships after loss. Bring photos to write from.

Kelly DuMar, poet, playwright, and engaging workshop leader, guides new and experienced writers to aim for astonishment, reclaim their imaginations, and generate enlivening writing experiences. Her Aim for Astonishing photo-inspired process elicits profound personal awakenings, deepens connection with others, and fosters beautifully crafted writing in poetry and prose. Author of three poetry collections, Kelly is also author of Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. She produces the annual Boston Writing Retreat and the weeklong summer Play Lab for the International Women’s Writing Guild, where she serves on the board. You can learn more at KellyDuMar.com. 

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