POW 2017 Workshop & Keynote Descriptions

Here are the details of the awesome line-up of presentations, workshops, performances, and keynotes for this year's POW! Workshops and schedule are subject to change — isn't everything? See the Schedule Summary here.


Sparks! with POW Presenters

Join us and a handful of POW 17 presenters on June 15th to get a sneak preview of their upcoming workshops!

RSVP for free here

Register at the Regular Rate

Thursday, August 17th

Pre-Conference Performance — OPEN to the public!

Soul Songs - An Evening With Singer-Songwriter Kelley Hunt

Join us and some of the first to hear new songs from Kelley’s upcoming 2017 release, along with other selections from her previous 6 recordings. Free for POW registrants, $10 at the door for non-registrants.

In some ways, Roots R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/piano player/guitarist Kelley Hunt is a rarity and a challenge to the music industry's penchant for easy artist definitions -- a woman who has muscled her way onto the scene on her own terms with an identity steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and a refreshing originality. She makes music with its righteous roots intact that also crosses boundaries, has an open-minded, exploratory attitude, and takes on social and political issues. Together with a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard, and songwriting skills, she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe.

Friday, August 18th

Pre-Conference Workshops   Get in on the Pre-Conference!

P1. Limbs & Language — Mahogany Browne: This workshop is designed to investigate how our memories inform our poetry. Focusing on imagery and new ways in which we look at the body as a landscape, our dreams as a blueprint and our yesterday's as an almanac. This generative writing workshop will consist of five components: analyzation, discussion, writing, editing & performance. This journey will bloom new writing in an effort to create an urgent dialogue with our limbs as language.

Mahogany is an Executive Editor at The Offing, a Cave Canem, Poets House & Serenbe Focus fellow and author of several books including NAACP Image Award nominated Redbone. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and Australia. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada's The Word and UK's MOBO. Her poetry has been published in literary journals Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Apogee, Literary Bohemian, Joint & The Feminist Wire. She co-organizer of #BlackPoetsSpeakOut, founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room (housed on Pratt Institute) & is an Urban Word NYC Poet-in-Residence (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices). Mahogany earned her MFA degree from Pratt Institute (inaugural class) and serves on the Board of Trustees for Pratt Institute. Mahogany is currently co-editing Black Girl Magic (Haymarket, 2017), is the Poetry Program Director of the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ© and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

P2. Creative Empathy that Builds Bridges Across Difference -- True Story Theater: Learn applied improv tools from True Story Theater ensemble members. The session will help you express not only through your words, but also through your face and body--in a way that helps people feel heard and reaches to the heart of  human stories.

Christopher and Anne Ellinger founded, direct and perform with the 24-member improvisational Playback Theatre ensemble, True Story Theater. True Story has done hundreds of shows and workshops in the greater Boston area, including with the inner city youth, cancer survivors, climate action groups, social justice organizers, expressive therapists, global philanthropists, and more. Christopher and Anne started Playback North America, a network serving 76 Playback Theatre companies in the U.S. and Canada. Previously, they ran two national nonprofits focusing on transforming the culture of generosity: More Than Money and Bolder Giving. Their book, Getting Along: Skills for Life-Long Love, shares lessons from 30+ years living and working together. They also co-authored A Playback Theatre Toolkit, with 300 pages of handouts drawn from artistic, company, and business development aspects of being part of their artistic ensemble. See here for bios of accompanying ensemble members.

P3. We All Belong to Stories — Joseph Bruchac: Ked8winna 8tlok8ganikok. That’s how we would express it in the Abenaki language. We all belong to stories. Stories are a part of every culture and every person and it could be said that we live them as much as we tell them, that stories not only entertain us, but also shape who we are. They have great power. In many native cultures around the world, stories are seen as living beings and it is certainly true that the life of a story may be infinitely longer than that of any individual. In this workshop we’ll explore the roots of storytelling that everyone can access so that we can help our stories to find us; the ways in which stories can guide and change us; and the importance of knowing stories at the deepest level—and not just as carelessly spoken or memorized collections of words—so that we can better know ourselves. *In writing the Abenaki language, 8 stands for a sound like the “uh” in sunk.

For over thirty years Joseph has been creating poetry, short stories, novels, anthologies, and music that reflect his Abenaki Indian heritage and Native American traditions. He is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults. The best selling Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children and others of his “Keepers” series, with its remarkable integration of science and folklore, continue to receive critical acclaim and to be used in classrooms throughout the country.

P4. Soulful Singing — Kelley Hunt: When Ella Fitzgerald said, “The only thing better than singing is more singing”, she knew what she was talking about! From the first sound we make as we come into the world, we all have our own soulful song to sing. In this workshop we’ll learn safe, ease-filled ways to open up and take good care of our voices singing as a group, learning songs both new and familiar, exploring improvisation, harmonies and part singing. Expect to have fun & be energized!
 
For over 20 years, Kelley has facilitated singing workshops and master classes at all educational levels including the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, Music in the Schools programs throughout the United States, group singing classes for the University of Kansas’ Osher Institute, the Kansas City Women’s Chorus, Music Educators conference choirs and more. The past 12 years she has co-facilitated, along with poet, writer, teacher Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, “Brave Voice – Writing and Singing for Your Life” in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas. Kelley’s passion is spreading love through music and helping others to find their true voice.

P5. Can We Talk? Strategies for Building Young Children's Language — Susan Bennett-Armistead: This session will focus on the 5 components of language development as well as offering fun, easily accessible ways to promote language and build children's brains.

Susan is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Maine. She completed her doctorate in Teacher Education, Curriculum and Policy at Michigan State University with an emphasis in early literacy, while serving as the the Program Supervisor of the MSU’s Child Development Laboratories. Prior to doctoral study, she was a preschool teacher and administrator for 14 years. Dr. Bennett-Armistead speaks internationally on literacy development in young children as well as on the role that families can play in that development and is the co-author of several published books. She is the early literacy consult both to Maine's Raising Readers and Save the Children. Dr. Bennett-Armistead lives in Bangor with her husband and four of her 6 children.

Friday Keynotes

True Story Theater — Stories of Stigma and Social Healing: We open the conference with personal stories -- a key to human connection. In Playback Theater performance, volunteers from the audience are helped to share what’s important in their lives. On the spot, actors then portray the heart of what they heard using music, movement, and dialogue. From this simple interaction, people laugh, cry, share fresh insights, and bond. This performance will explore stories of healing from social stigmas of all sorts (e.g. race, class, ability, age, etc.).

Mahogany Browne — By Any Means Necessary: When the Narrative Interrogates a Righteous Rage:
BYP100 says Mahogany L. Browne "is the embodiment of a black womanist." Browne creates a poetic landscape using storytelling, prose, performance poetry, and laughter, sharing both her personal approach to poetic activism and about being involved in social activism collectives. She is the co-​founding organizer of “Black Poets Speak Out," a poetic protest which began as a tumblr page hosting a couple dozens of videos of black poets reading poetry, prayers, and mantras in response to Michael Brown after his murder in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, and the grand jury's decision on November 24 not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fired the lethal bullets. The literary movement that encouraged the community to speak out activated a vibration of mourning and healing through literacy and was spearheaded by Browne and Cave Canem fellows: Jericho Brown, Jonterri Gadson, Amanda Johnston, Sherina Rodriguez-Sharpe.

Saturday, August 19th

Workshop Series #1

1A. Love is All There Is: Mantra Singing for All — As we meet new circumstances affecting our individual and collective well-being, our creative work, and our service to others, it’s good to have the vibration of universal love at our call! In this skills-sharing session, we will practice mantra singing, or kiirtan, using contemporary compositions, and consider kiirtan’s transformative possibilities for the routines and critical moments of our lives. Brief silent meditation will help us absorb the effects of our singing and refresh our palates between exercises! Participants will reflect on the vibrational experience of mantra singing, and share resources for further enjoyment and exploration.

Barb Asen has been nurtured by daily spiritual practice including mantra singing and meditation throughout her career in human services and ventures into creative and community activities. She is most recently experimenting with composing song poems inspired by mantra music. Barb has taught beginning meditation and supportive practices in college, workplace, and community settings since young adulthood (a long time).

1B. My Story In A Soundbite: Notes from A Digital Evolutionary — We all do it. Like it or not. We’ve learned to master the art of short text responses and instant photos sharing that ends up as a collection of multiple, bite-size communications. Our voice is highly visual in nature because that’s how our brains process information quickly with more context. You will hear how this new digital default for showing and telling can help you deliver non-verbal sparks of emotion, proof points of an argument, and greater retention of your message. Participants will also originate a content strategy for their own project and leave with a digital storytelling toolkit.

Brenda Magnetti is a curious culturalist and student of behavior economics who is happiest when helping others pursue their passions to amplify their voice through shared experiences. In a moment of pure passion, she founded rTrail LLC to enable purpose-driven business owners a more agile marketing plan based upon techniques and skills that bigger, bolder companies deploy to drive sustainability, diversity, and economic development in local communities. When she is not serving the greater good, she can be found at the intersection of branding and selling for global clients as Vice President of Insight and Strategy. Magnetti is an award-winning marketer and serves as a juror of industry excellence awards for the ANA. Over the past 8 years, she served on Arts and Economic Development boards for Northwest Indiana.

1C. Wabi-Sabi Storytelling: The Perfect Imperfection of Spoken-Word Art — Wabi-sabi storytelling, unlike a well-rehearsed presentation of the spoken word, is a natural, narrative dialogue. It can be a bridge between minds that, at its universal level, is not always neatly paved or straight, yet always guides us to one another. As such, it is a work of art--an authentic manifestation of the richness of oral communication. We will exercise our personal narrative skills with playful practice, a little writing, and no judgment.

Lyn Ford is a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller, and writer; Lyn is also a Thurber House mentor to young authors, a teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and the Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center (OSBCI), and a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. Lyn likes to work at play that creatively stretches the mind and heart and connects us to the joy of simply being who we are.

1D. What's Your Blue Moon Legacy?: Honoring the Uniqueness of Your Voice and the Bigger Message in Your Work — We’ve all heard the saying, “once in a blue moon.” Well – what if YOU inspired that “once in a blue moon” experience through your creative work? What if YOU were that “once in a blue moon” voice? What if YOU had that “once in a blue moon” gift to share with the world? Join Tina for a rich and interactive discussion about blue moon legacy stories and how they not only define your own legacy, but help shape a bigger message for others. Are you clear about what your legacy is and how it’s showing up NOW? And are you aware of the expansiveness of it?

Tina M. Games is the author of Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery. As a certified creativity and life purpose coach, and a gifted intuitive and certified retreat leader, she is the “Moonlight Muse” for women who want to tap into the “full moon within” and claim their authentic self, both personally and professionally. Through her signature coaching programs, based on the phases of the moon, Tina gently guides women from darkness into light as they create an authentic vision filled with purpose, passion, and creative expression. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her husband and their two children.

1E. Mother's Voice: Nurturing Self through Expressive Writing — Do you nurture yourself? In this experiential workshop, helpful to anyone who wants to connect more fully to the nurturing part of themselves, we will use prompts that invite the wise body-voice to connect to the physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual worlds within and without. Tune into intuition, the collective unconscious, and archetypal mother’s love and encouragement for resonant knowing, self-care, inherent creativity, and personal growth.

Joanna Tebbs Young, MA-TLA is a Transformative Language Arts facilitator, presenter, and coach in Vermont. A freelance writer, she is a columnist for her local paper and has written a book on a Vermont historian which is coming out this year. She blogs at wisdomwithinink.com and rutlandwhen.wordpress.com.

Saturday Afternoon Keynote

Susan Bennett-Armistead — Read it again! Read it again! How Read Aloud Builds Brains and Changes the World! This talk will focus on the many benefits of read aloud for young children and also make recommendations for maximizing the experience, addresses common challenges families have, and offers suggestions for turning read aloud into the best time of a family's day. (Oh, and there's a read aloud!)

Workshop Series #2  Register for POW!

2A. How to Write the Story That Brings You Audiences and Jobs — Marketing is, first of all, communicating with people who are hungry for what you offer—and letting them know that you offer it. Most artists, though, reluctant to “sell," fail to communicate what they offer. What if you knew a simple pattern for creating an honest story that would help your ideal customers -- your ideal audience and jobs -- imagine how you can benefit them? As it happens, I have used such a pattern successfully for decades. You’ll leave this workshop with 1) a basic story outline about something you offer, and 2) concrete steps for completing and using it, to invite exactly the customers you seek.

In 1970, Doug Lipman was a struggling teacher of troubled adolescents. He had given up connecting with them when one day, by accident, he found himself telling them a story. They responded! Ever since, he has pursued the power of storytelling. Over the years, in addition to writing award-winning books on storytelling, Doug has traveled the world performing, coaching, and training others to tell, to teach others, and to make their livings doing what they love. When at home, he creates online, written, and recorded instruction. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter (now nearing 175 issues) at http://StorytellingNewsletters.com

2B. Women's Writing Circle (WWC): Using Expressive Writing in Sacred Circle — Gathering in circle, we will free write from a series of quotes, poetry, and positive psychology prompts as an entry point to explore emotions, themes, personal histories, shared truths, joy, grief, shame, and those things that matter most to us in our hearts. We will then share and listen, inviting each participant to be courageous, vulnerable and compassionate truth-tellers and witnesses to others' personal stories.

Jennifer Minotti is currently a Visiting Artist at Suffolk University's Center for Women's Health & Human Rights in Boston, MA. Jen has 25 years of experience working in communications, instructional technology & media, research, and writing. In 2012, Jen founded the Women's Writing Circle (WWC) as a means to merge her passions for expressive writing, psychology, community building, women’s health, and social activism. She has facilitated dozens of WWCs to senior citizens, adults, college students, and teenagers in multiple settings. Jen is a graduate of Boston University (B.S.) and Columbia University (M.A., M.Ed) and is currently working towards a PhD at Lesley University.

2C. Psychodrama, Writing, & Imagination: Playful Tools for Healing, Growth, & Change — Psychodrama is a powerful – and playful - modality for healing, growth, role-training and personal/community transformation. Psychodramatic tools are marvelously creative and can be applied with dynamic results in (1) writing workshops (2) therapeutic relationships, and (3) in the development of your own writing. In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to key elements of psychodrama (role reversal, doubling, auxiliary roles, surplus reality, empty chair & more) and have the chance to practice psychodrama based writing warm-ups for use in a variety of settings. No background in psychodrama is necessary and 1.5 training hours may be earned.

Kelly DuMar, M.Ed. is a playwright and poet who facilitates creative writing & expressive arts workshops across the US. Her poems are published widely in literary journals and her plays are published by dramatic publishers. Kelly’s newest chapbook, Tree of the Apple, was published by Two of Cups Press in 2107. Kelly is a certified psychodramatist and a Fellow in the American Society for Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama. She serves on the board and faculty of the International Women’s Writing Guild and she facilitates Sparks!, a bi-monthly poetry, story, and song videoconference for TLAN. Her website is kellydumar.com.

2D. Songwriting: The Inspiration and Acrobatics of Language — Martin shares insights and processes that lead to the creation of his quirky, one-of-a-kind songs which gain national recognition and awards for their originality. Part concert, part discussion, part hands-on exploration of language, inspiration, songwriters 'filters' and the prosody which makes songs SING! No songwriting experience necessary.

Martin Swinger sang his first solo in a first grade Christmas pagent and hasn’t stopped since. He began composing songs for church choir and theater productions, majored in theater and helped start a company in Atlanta, but eventually returned to singing and songwriting. He toured 8 years as part of a duo, and finally moved to Maine to begin his solo career, winning regional and national acclaim. Host of a local TV concert series for 9 years, Martin is recognized for his arts-in-education songwriting in the classroom programs, family campfire sing-alongs, improvisational singing workshops and original concerts of award-winning songs.

2E. Soul Song for Centering: An Experiment in Creating Sacred Song — Using your name as a foundation for exploration, you will be guided to create your own personal Soul Song to sing or chant whenever you want to connect with and feel the beauty of your Soul. You will create your own meaning and intention for your Soul Song and will be gently guided to find your inner melody. Whether you're shy or comfortable using your voice to sing, we will create a safe environment for you to find your Soul Song for Centering. No singing or musical experience needed. Bring notebook, ear buds or plugs (if you have them), and an open mind and heart.

Tonia Pinheiro is a warm, highly creative improvisational actor, singer, sound healer, group facilitator, ceremony leader, and author. She has a relentless enthusiasm for catalyzing shifts in perception, conscious awareness and inner healing through the use of sound and vibrational medicine. Tonia is founder of Wake Up! Works and Iseeu Theater, is a founding member of True Story Theater, and is author of Sweet Water Shadow Woman, a memoir by Toni Kelleher. She has led numerous experiential groups and is committed to social healing by engaging and empowering people through holistic improvisation and other creative self-expressions.

Workshop Series #3

3A. Drinking from the Well of Laughter: Laughter Exercises — Like a drink of fresh, cool water, laughter soothes the body, mind and soul.  Join the fun of relaxation techniques, informed play, and the joy of effectively breathing for the child's heart in all of us. Exercises are offered to energize and enhance your own, personal health practices. Become a more resilient human bean (smile, you sweet pea, you!).

Lyn Ford is a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller, and writer; Lyn is also a Thurber House mentor to young authors, a teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and the Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center (OSBCI), and a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. Lyn likes to work at play that creatively stretches the mind and heart and connects us to the joy of simply being who we are.

3B. Sound Puzzles, Rounds, and the Meaning of Life According to the Woodthrush — This interactive presentation showcases the culmination of one woman’s modest experiment in responding to birdsong as a unique portal to re-inhabiting her own singing voice.  Interspersed with narratives from her story, "I Shall Go Singing," spoken against a recorded backdrop of original vocal sketches, the presentation offers listeners live performances of original songs, rounds, and sound puzzles inspired by birdsong. Audience members will be invited to learn a few of these lyrical, whimsical, and sometimes quirky “why” rounds. Deb's story offers insight into how deep attention to sound and song in the natural world promotes access to one's own ancestral, spontaneous, innate, and amazing natural voice, as well as a deeper understanding of ecological literacy, place, and identity.

Deb Hensley is an artist, singer/songwriter and educator offering workshops in best practices for early childhood education, music and singing. Deb is the Director of Early Childhood Education with Broadreach Family and Community Services in Belfast, Maine. She holds a degree in Transformative Language Arts, and is an active force for the TLA Network. Also a member of the Improvox Improvisational Music Collective, (www.improvox.com) Deb offers vocal concerts and workshops. Projects include workshops with Katey Branch, Brio! with Martin Swinger and Matt Loosigian and solo work. Besides singing she loves playing with paint, hiking, reading, birding, sailing, flying and playing outside along the Maine coast where she lives with her husband Jonathan.

3C. What a Composer Hears and Sees: Sharpening Your Musical Sight — Without using words, instrumental music communicates deep emotions, tells stories, creates imagery, and helps us learn about other perspectives and cultures. If we allow ourselves to listen deeply, we will be amazed by the rich landscapes and layers of meaning that music evokes in our imaginations. Wytold helps participants better hear and understand musical meaning by composing music together as a group (no experience required!).  Throughout the workshop, Wytold weaves his own blend of classical technique and contemporary rhythms on the six-string electric cello, which has been featured in film, theater, dance, TEDx, and with the National Symphony Orchestra. 

Wytold plays the six-string electric cello with a live-looping blend of classical inspiration, contemporary rhythms and jazz improvisation. He has performed his original work for several years with the National Symphony Orchestra, as a featured presenter at TEDx Foggy Bottom, on stage accompanying live theater and contemporary dance, and in the score of the Sundance award-winning film Blood Brother. In addition, Wytold regularly leads educational workshops in DC-area schools and at Walter Reed Military Hospital and Fort Belvoir, helping students of all ages and backgrounds better understand and express themselves through music.

3D. Contact Improvisation Movement: A Nonverbal Language of Communication — Creating greater connection and ease in improvisational partner dance--through physical structure and timing. All welcome. Contact improv is a form of improvised dance that started in Ohio at Oberlin College in 1972 and has now spread all around the world.  It is dramatically inclusive, welcoming people of all ages and physical abilities. Many people think of Contact Improv as acrobatic, but it can also be playful, simple, sensuous, or theatrical.  

Christopher Eillinger is a teacher/facilitator for Contact Improv Boston and a black belt in aikido. Founding director of physical improv theatre company, True Story Theater, since 2001. Author of several books including Getting Along: skills for life-long love (2013), and A Playback Theatre Toolkit (2016).

3E. Making Friends with a Poem — Can a poem be like a friend to call on when you need guidance, focus, comfort, or a new way of seeing? How to make friends with a poem? Try spending enough time with it to learn it by heart—which is the custom for ordinary folk in places like Iran and Afghanistan. Hear how a poem takes on life when it is recited by heart, from the heart—rather than read aloud or silently. Experience hearing yourself recite poetry in your own voice. No preparation needed. (But if you do have a short poem to recite, we would love to hear it!)

Cynthia Ciani Anderson is a lover of reciting poetry. There were life-long inklings of this love, but it has become full blown over the last six years, starting when she read the book Saved by a Poem, by Kim Rosen. Reciting poetry by heart has become a practice for her, like yoga, or mindfulness. Cynthia has a background in teaching/coaching sports and youth sports coaches; training Girl Scout leaders; architectural design; and teaching yoga. She lives in a cohousing community.

Healing Arts / Body Work

New this year! Enjoy some healing work done for your mind and body. Practitioners in sound healing and breath work will have sign-up sheets available for individual or group work available during Saturday afternoon. Practitioners will set their own rate or suggested donation and will keep all proceeds.

Saturday Evening Keynote

Joseph Bruchac — Trickster's Truth and Lies: We are living at a time when fabrications put forth at the highest levels are dominating the national conversation. In this presentation of stories featuring the Abenaki culture hero Gluskonba and other Native American tricksters, we’ll look at the ways in which Algonquin Indian cultures recognize and reinforce the importance of honesty through traditional tales of those who break the rules—and then must either accept their mistakes or suffer the consequences.

Sunday, August 20th

Workshop Series #4   See the Schedule Summary

4A. Gratitude as Wisdom and Healing — Practicing gratitude as a core expression enhances mental and physical health, as well as enriching our relationships (even after divorce or death) according to the extensive research on the power of gratitude to change how well we live. We will be exploring the power of expressing gratitude in our own lives through a series of fun experiences including writing, sharing, and games that can be taken home and used in your own workshops.

Karen Edwards, PhD. has led many Developing Wisdom Workshops based on the curriculum book she co-wrote called Becoming Women of Wisdom: Marking the Passage into the Crone Years. Her new writing project includes workshop materials on a variety of topics such as Gratitude, Forgiveness, Community Building, and more. She has offered workshop training for Social Workers, Chaplains and Senior Center Personnel who can then deliver the workshops themselves. They are taught how to lead the workshop as they participate.

4B. Qualitative Research in the Arts: Publishing, Researching, and Funding — In this workshop we'll explore the relationship between qualitative research and the arts, and look at the benefits and challenges of using the arts as a means of gathering data for future work and funding.

Emilee Baum Trucks is an author, artist, and market researcher based in Atlanta, GA, and currently serving as the council chair of the TLA Network. Her book, The Agency of Bliss, emerged from her MA in Embodiment Studies at Goddard College. She is currently working toward her PhD in Expressive Arts at The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

4C. Writing the Tree of Life: Midrash to Re-vision Our Lives — Midrash is the Hebrew tradition of re-interpreting and re-visioning our guiding myths and messages to foster greater meaning, freedom, and authenticity. This practice is rooted in the understanding that the Torah, a holy book in Judaism, “....is a tree of life, and a tree can stay alive only if it grows,” explains writer Alicia Ostriker. Grow your own Midrash through writing prompts and meditations that lead you into poetry, fiction, songs, and more, and in the process, find new branches and blossoms into who you are, how you live, and how you can help your community re-vision their stories.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is the author of 21 books, including two novels, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community, and six poetry collections. She has explored Midrash writing from her first collection of poetry Lot's Wife through her newest novel, Miriam's Well, which recasts biblical Miriam in the spiritual and political wandering of our time. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, and with singer Kelley Hunt, writing and singing retreats. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com

4D. Narrative Healing: Transcending the Illness Narrative — The power of story to heal was understood 2,000 years ago. We now have over 30 years of research that confirms this philosophical, intuitive understanding. This workshop will engage you in your own narrative healing process, introduce the salient history, philosophy, and research, and prepare you to write and revise your story from a salutogenic, rather than pathogenic, perspective. Deepen your abilities to embrace your own healing and nurture that of your clients, patients, students or loved ones. Find out: do you have your story – or does your story have you?

Reggie Marra is an Integral Master Coach™, a Registered Mentor Coach with the ICF and Creative Director at Teleosis Institute. An award-winning poet, and author of eight books, his And Now, Still and Coaching and Healing: Transcending the Illness Narrative were released in 2016. Reggie has conducted hundreds of poetry, narrative healing and adult development workshops for organizations that include the National Association for Poetry Therapy, The Transformative Language Arts Network (2005-2008), the Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, Iona College and in schools throughout the northeastern United States. More information: www.reggiemarra.com.

4E. Connect to the Earth & Dance your Heart, Body, and Soul AWAKE! — Using music from artists with an environmental theme Katey Branch will introduce people to the Ecstatic Dance Rhythm Wave. The music guides the wave and invites participants to expand their awareness and experience of moving through flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness rhythms. These rhythms open up experiences held in the body/mind/spirit and offer a path to knowing more about ourselves and releasing old stories and seeing new possibilities.

Katey Branch, Masters in Environmental Ed. from Lesley University, co-founded Project AWARE and the Alan Day Communtiy Garden. She has been practicing Contact Improvisational Dance and Ecstatic Dance for over 20 years and teaching introductions to both. She offers dance, massage therapy, yoga and life transitions counsel at Halls Pond Healing Arts. Katey is a multi media artist using song writing, poetry, pottery and painting. Her motto is “Cultural Transformation through authentic creative expression.


Join us this August!

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

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