“A Dream” One Woman Show, by Juanita Kirton

Editor’s Note:  Presenters at the Power of Words Conference wanted to share about their work. This week, we feature a couple of those that did not get posted before the conference.

Juanita Kirton shares about her show.


The monologue that I created started out as a poem in the voice of a slave women who dreams of what it would be like to be free. Her dreams take her on a magnificent journey, from the fields of cotton/tobacco to Nova Scotia. She experience true love and loss. Through her dreams she is able to mentally escape the horrors of slavery.

I wanted to expand my poem and create space between the various places/times. I sing with the Riverside Church Inspirational Choir, in NYC and it became apparent that I could use music to separate my stanzas. I did some research and added spirituals between the different places & scenes for the character. The piece transformed itself from just words on paper to words & music. The songs gave the character some time to reflect on her journey.
In October, 2013 a member of WWW (Women Who Write) put out a call for 10min stage readings. I ask if a long poem could be considered. She told me to come and audition. It was accepted and I performed a stage reading at Watchung Arts Center in NJ. The house was packed, I was very nervous, but it went well, with a great response. As with all writing, edits are always occurring. I added some authentic African history to this piece and gave the female character a real name to honor my spouse’s mother. Now, “A Dream” arrived at Power of Words Conference. I am excited to have part of this experience, thank you for the opportunity to share my work.

screenshot-2016-09-11-at-15-48-20Juanita Kirton holds a BA in Psychology, an MEd in Special Education, a PhD Educational Administration and a PhD in Developmental Disabilities. In 2015 she obtained a MFA from Goddard College in the Creative Writing/Poetry track. Juanita sings with Riverside Church Inspirational Choir, is a member of Rutgers University South African Initiative Brain Trust Committee, the Pocono Mountain Arts Council, the Pocono Mountain African American Network, volunteers with several local organizations.

Juanita facilitates the Blairstown Writers group in New Jersey, which is affiliated with Women Who Write in NJ and participates in the Women Reading Aloud workshop series. She directs the QuillEssence Writing Collective that coordinates an annual women’s writing retreat at Kirkridge Retreat Center in Bangor, PA, and is currently a poetry editor for the Goddard College Clock House Literary Journal.

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Eviction Notice, by Laurie Pollack

Editor’s Note: As some of you may know, the TLA Network offers a Certification program. Chronicling TLA practice is a part of that process, which can be fulfilled by writing multiple pieces for the blog. This is the fourth post from Laurie Pollack, a poet and artist currently pursuing certification. You can find her earlier posts here.


Until 2013, I had never written or read a performance piece. I had read poetry frequently at the peace vigils of Brandywine Peace Community, a local Philadelphia area antiwar group. In fact, Bob Smith — the leader of the group — looked on me as sort of his “go to” poet. Once, at a Hiroshima event, he asked me to read “your Sadako poem”. (For Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who died of leukemia from the after effects of the Bomb). It happened that at the time he asked I didn’t HAVE a Sadako poem. But by the time of the rally, I DID.

But I had never done a performance piece. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy brushed my area lightly but did not greatly affect it. Still, it was a wake up call for me to start thinking about the environment more. I started to use cloth grocery bags, and hang my clothes up to dry instead of using the dryer and a few other small changes. I also started to imagine how Mother Earth would feel if she were to talk to her children (that’s us). What would a mother say? When I wrote this poem, it was as if I were invoking Mother Earth: as if she were dictating the poem to me!  A very intense experience.

When I was asked to read a poem at a peace event after that, I decided to perform “Eviction Notice,” and included props such as the Pepsi bottle and other trash.

I enjoyed doing this. It was more like acting, and more fun than just reading a poem.

Since then, my poetry has been more intuitive: more from the heart as I try to listen to what my spirit wants to say.

At the time I wrote this, I had Mother Earth telling the kids that unless they cleaned up their act, they were out of there. But I changed it in this revised version to say their time was up. I guess I feel a little more uneasy now about climate change. But I still hope we can wake up and listen to her words before it is too late!

 

Eviction Notice
by Laurie Pollack (as Mother Earth)

 

Kids,
Are you listening?
I don’t think you are!
Because you never clean your rooms:
I was walking in my forest yesterday and do you know
What I found? This Pepsi can!
And here’s what I found in my ocean the other day:
A filthy, yucky plastic bag!
Not only that.
You left the heat on full blast the other day
And when I got home the icebergs were all melted.
You crowd the whole house
with your STUFF. Your Junk.
And my other kids have nowhere to go.
My sea turtles! My birds! My bears! My wolves!
The water is all dirty. It stinks.
And you don’t clean it up.
You live here rent free.
Eating my food.
Drinking my water.
Breathing my air.
Not doing your chores.
Not getting a job.

I have had it with you kids!
You are old enough to know better.
Grow up!
I am MAD.
And don’t assume you can get away with it.
I’m not Mama. I’m not Mommy anymore.
I’m MOTHER EARTH.
And when I get mad I can throw
A tsunami, an earthquake, or a hurricane.
And I will.

I have warned you before.
But you didn’t listen.
So now it’s time and
You have to get out of my planet
And find another place to live
Because remember that I brought you into the world
And I can take you out of it!
No more apple pie, kids!

Signed,
MOTHER

“Wordless” by Laurie Pollack

Editor’s Note: As some of you may know, the TLA Network offers a Certification program. Chronicling TLA practice is a part of that process, which can be fulfilled by writing multiple pieces for the blog. This is the third post from Laurie Pollack, a poet and artist currently pursuing certification. You can find her earlier posts here.


Terrorist attacks in the US and abroad. The shooting at the Pulse nightclub. Shootings of Black men by police. Shooting of police officers.

Angry words by Donald Trump. Condemnations of immigrants.

The words and acts go.on and on.

As I get older I get more and more drawn to quiet and solitude and silence… I feel more and more, a desire to go BEYOND words. Beyond their limits.

And I wonder:

Why can’t we shut up and just quietly look into each other’s’ eyes, and see the Light there?

I felt drawn to write this poem about the events going on and also felt moved to invoke the elements of nature: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. The power of words. But also the limit of it. What happens, where do we go when we are wordless? Maybe inside ourselves but maybe to each other?

I was also inspired by the title of the TLA Conference: Power of Words.

We all matter. Infinitely. Each human life is sacred.

 

Wordless

by Laurie Pollack

 

Words
I always thought
Always believed
Words have power

Campfire warmth
Sun melting snow
Sparks blowing high
Glowing coals
Flickering  candle
Forest fire
Nuclear blast
Words are Fire

Stream running over rocks
Ocean wave breaking
April rain misting down
Arctic glacier
Blizzard
Flood
Tsunami
Words are Water

Garden Seeds planted
Trees shedding leaves
Deep dark cave
Sandy beach
Geode crystal
Desert cliff
Landslide
Quake
Volcano
Words are Earth

Baby’s first breath
Evening breeze
Clouds in the sky
Hurricane
Tornado
Words are Air

No. It can’t be true. Words lose their power.

Please say this didn’t happen
Please say he isn’t gone
Please say she isn’t dead
No you can’t bring him back with words
No you can’t bring her back with promises
With statements about how sorry you are.
All I have is silence anymore
And still I want to look
Into your eyes
And see the Light in them.
Can we walk on in silence and carry
Their memories on the
Air, Fire, Earth and Water?
Human life is Spirit

Amy Oestreicher on Telling Her Story on Stage

Editor’s Note: Amy has written for us before, and her story is a powerful one. With the Power of Words Conference coming in two weeks, we asked her to share more. We will also post her TEDx talk within the next week.
————-

Bringing Gutless & Grateful to the Transformative Language Arts Network Conference last year was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I couldn’t be happier to be presenting again this year! In my workshop,  I’m sharing my near death experience and unique personal story with humor, hunger and heart, and helping others realize their potential as storytellers who can heal through their own word and powerful personal stories.

I’ve presented this workshop on college campus, at conferences, theatres, hospitals, and many other audiences from Hawaii to Pennsylvania, to survivors of sexual assault to business entrepreneurs, medical professionals to law students.  Everyone has a story to tell – some of us just don’t know it yet! Once we discover this, it’s incredibly empowering, and my greatest joy is watching people realize this for themselves.

From the time I could remember, I have always possessed an intense passion for the world of words and music. All my life, I had dreamed of pursuing a career in theatre.  However, at 18, I was rushed to the ER, and to summarize very briefly, my stomach exploded, I was in a coma for six months, and I was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for over three years.  After 27 surgeries, I was miraculously reconnected with whatever I had left.  However, to persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength.  I relied on my creativity to get through.  My therapy was purely based in the world of theatre, art, writing, dance, music, and whatever else I felt was an area that I could express myself appropriately.  The arts were a way for me to express whatever felt too painful and overwhelming to put into words.  They also helped me process what I was feeling.  But most importantly, they served to be the greatest reward acting as a medium where I could still engage with my community, reach out to others, and make a difference in this world while utilizing my passion.  Arts were my way of connecting with the world, sharing my story, and spreading my message of hope, strength, and finding beauty in whatever life brings you.

I was not able to fully appreciate the beauty of my detours until I was able to share them. As a performer, all I’ve wanted to do was give back to the world.  But now I have an even greater gift to give: a story to tell.  Until I could put into words what had happened to me, I couldn’t fully heal.  Telling my story is the magic push I needed to move forward, and that is what inspired me to bring my workshop to TLAN for the second year in a row: to help others bring out the story burgeoning inside of them.

As actors, writers, creators, humans, we tell stories constantly.  I first told mine over four years ago.  Not only to myself, but to complete strangers and New York theatre-goers.   Fresh out of my 27th surgery, I performed words from journal entries I wrote years ago as a way to pass the time between the endless series of medical interventions.  Every time I “perform” what happened to me, I find myself somehow transformed in the process.  Theatre has the power to change lives, both for those directly involved and those who watch. Theatre teaches us we’re capable of anything – and usually tells us this at times we need it most.

I’m truly touched by how my story has affected so many people and it only serves to spur on my creativity more and more.  Even on the more difficult days, knowing I can have an impact is just one extra nudge to get me going in the morning.

It’s really the ability to give back, and to have my work serve as a lens, a mirror, a window that others can look through, or look into, and see themselves or whatever they need to see at that moment.  To feel whatever they need to feel.  That’s how I connect with my world – that is my aliveness.  As a member of this human race, it’s how I can contribute.  Isn’t all we ever want: to make a mark on the world?  

Gutless & Grateful,” the honest one-woman musical story of my life.  It’s my story, shared through a medium I’m passionate about. I was finally able to heal and move on once I was able to share, and now I’m so excited to help others share the story within them in whatever medium that they feel most comfortable in.

Why share at all?   It takes “guts” to talk — and sing — about my sexual abuse, my anger, my guilt, how I lost hope in things ever getting better. But I share to show that things do get better with patience, trust and resilience. I share to give courage and a sense of belonging to people who are struggling with all kinds of mental health or physical challenges, but also to help build a campus that gives everyone the kind of awareness and generosity of spirit that makes that world a better place. If we all share our “detours,” we see that our detours are not detours at all. Every road leads somewhere — we just need to hang in long enough to catch the flowers along the way. The more we share our stories, the more we realize we’re not alone.

Through the transformative power of words, we can all share our stories.  I can’t wait to hear yours!

———–

Amy Oestreicher B&W 2006Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright, sharing the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking.

As the creator of the Gutless & Grateful, her one-woman autobiographical musical, she’s toured theatres nationwide, along with a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness  and Broadway Theatre for college campuses.

To celebrate her own “beautiful detour”, Amy created the #LoveMyDetour campaign, to help others thrive through difficulties.

As Eastern Regional Recipient of Convatec’s Great Comebacks Award, she’s contributed to over 70 notable online and print publications, and her story has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, CBS, Cosmopolitan, among others. 

She has devised workshops for conferences nationwide,  and is this year’s keynote speaker for the Hawaii Pacific Rim International Conference on Diversity and Disability.  Learn more: amyoes.com.

POW Workshop: Self-Expression Through Movement and Play with Marguerite Walker

Thank you for this opportunity to exchange ideas with the other presenters for the POW conference in August!
My workshop “Self expression Through Movement and Play” is designed to enable the participants, regardless of background, to experiment with their childhood curiosity. They will be encouraged to use voice and movement in a play -like atmosphere. Scenarios will be provided or the participants may develop their own. These stories will be shared with the group in a supportive atmosphere.
I enjoy enabling others to experience the freedom of letting our adult guard down
and then allowing our creativity to find new ways of looking at a situation.
This workshop is an outgrowth from my passion for improvisation with voice and song. In watching and learning from artists such as Rhiannon and Bobby McFerrin and locally from improv director, David LaGraffe, I have been motivated to share my joy of play with others.

Marguerite WalkerAfter 35 years spent as an RN, Marguerite Walker  brings a cornucopia of life experiences to her workshop. As a lover of word play and seeing the zany side of situations, she enjoys helping others experience that sense of enjoying the moment.
Marguerite presently resides in South Portland enjoying time with her dog, going to Meet ups, visiting with friends, reading historical fiction, singing daily for the joy of it, and looking forward to her next adventure.
She agrees with GK Chesterton regarding play:
“The true object of all human life is play.”
She would like to thank Debra Hensley for suggesting that she submit a workshop proposal to the TLA Network.

“Oh My Stars and Garters!” with Lyn Ford, POW Keynote Speaker

Editor’s Note: I’ve known Lyn for several years, and she is an incredible human being. Listening to her talk would itself be worth the conference registration.


OH, MY STARS AND GARTERS…I’M TALKING ABOUT BELLY BUTTONS!

THE HERNIA JOURNAL:  MY WORD-DANCE THROUGH DARKNESS TO JOY – A journey in progress, from belly-ache to belly laugh, from abuse to a-ha, from hell to Hafiz, shared in personal narrative, folktale, and poetic joy.

That’s the blurb I passed on to TLAN for my Saturday, August 13 keynote performance for the 2016 Power of Words Conference.  Then I set aside any thought on the subject, so that, in a couple days, I could look at that blurb with fresh eyes.

04crw_2102-1Five days later, I looked at what I’d sent, and my fresh eyes blinked as if I’d been smacked by a hard gust of wind.  I said to myself, “Self, you’ve just committed to sharing a portion of the map of that dark walk into and through the woods, the one that frightens and confuses and excites you, and makes you laugh and cry at the same time.  Just a few steps, reflection and folktale connection and poetry.  You are going to share from your hike through personal muck and mire, in 45 minutes.”

Oh, my stars and garters…

This writing project grew from journaling while I worked on socio-emotional development activities and stories for educators and storytellers.  That work became difficult as I maneuvered over several rough patches—illness and injury, problems with medications, emotional situations…you know, life.  In the worst of it all, I wrote and shared my stories.  Folks laughed with me, which made me laugh more.

I’ve selected stories and verse from my journal, offered because they lend themselves to the conference theme, “Begin with YES!”  But “yes” isn’t just the beginning of transformation.  It’s the effective affirmation of every step of each human being’s personal journey.  “The Hernia Journal” presentation has its emotional ups and downs, but, yes, we will laugh, because that’s how I roll…or, reel, or trundle, …it’s all good.  I always pack joy for the journey, even when I’m crawling, with “yes” in my heart.

The preconference workshop that I’ll facilitate is titled “LAUGHTER, BREATH, JOY: COMMUNAL COMMUNICATION”.  That’s what we’re going to share.  As a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader (and now, I’m a Certified LY Teacher, too—yay!), I’ve become more aware of the important empathetic connections of laughter, play, and simple stories.  Most big folks just don’t play enough, or feel the excitement of telling their own stories without self-criticism and with the lightness of the child’s heart that still beats inside us.  I’m hoping folks come to the conference early, and play and laugh and communicate with an open heart and mind.


Lyn FordLyn Ford is a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller and workshop facilitator. 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’s work is published in several storytelling-in-education resources, as well as in her award-winning books, Affrilachian Tales; Folktales from the African-American Appalachian Tradition, and Beyond the Briar Patch:  Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore. Lyn’s 2015 book, Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts is a creative-writing resource; Lyn’s fourth book (with friend, Sherry Norfolk), Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Kids, is set for publication in the summer of 2016.   For more information on Lyn’s work, go to her website at www.storytellerlynford.com. Or contact Lyn at friedtales2@gmail.com.

Becoming a Poet, by Eila Algood

I mustered up my courage to step into the local writer’s group. Attending meant I might have to consider myself a writer — for the first time, at age 50. That was five years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I became a regular, then the facilitator, and now lead two additional writer’s groups in my community.

The next hurdle was reading my poem and short story at a public event. Although I’m comfortable as a public speaker, this was far more personal. It meant sharing my deepest thoughts and feelings. A surge of energy crept up through my body as I stood and read aloud my memorized poem. The spoken word of my written words made it all come together. That was four years ago and I’ve gone on to read, organize and emcee at many public readings.

Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing a live performance of spoken word by Shane Koyczan and felt extremely inspired to incorporate his style of storytelling with the reading of my poems. I was invited to read a few poems at a public event and tried out a simple story introduction to the poems. It was very well received as audience members came up to me later and expressed their appreciation for the story set up.

I am inspired to continue to share my poetry in this way and look forward to new inspirations to grow as an artist.


eila algoodA native New Yorker, who’s now living her dream of a sustainable life in Hawai’i with wife, Holly, Eila Algood has been expressing herself through writing since childhood.  Her published works include,  “On The Road To Bliss, A Poetic Journey”, “Rhapsody in Bohemia”, pieces in Frida Magazine and Think Pink Anthology.

“The Poetry of English” by Laurie Pollack

Editor’s Note: As some of you may know, the TLA Network offers a Certification program. Chronicling TLA practice is a part of that process, which can be fulfilled by writing multiple pieces for the blog. This is the second post from Laurie Pollack, a poet and artist currently pursuing certification.

The Poetry of English

By Laurie Pollack


I am a very verbal person. Have always been. Have been writing poems since age 7, when I started writing little rhymes with my poor handwriting.

Words are who I am. Meaning is, too. I am constantly trying to figure out what things mean, both analytically and intuitively.

I have a constant internal mental dialog going on, as well as a mental soundtrack.

Thus, I am constantly flooded with words.

I also have had since I was young a very strong need to understand and be understood. I would feel frustrated when this did not occur. Recently I started to let go of this. To realize that one person really cannot understand another. Because each of us is different.

As I let go of the obsessive need to communicate, I started to look at language. Not what it means, but what it sounds like. And to realize there is a sort of poetry in language sounds.

I first experienced this when I lived in Israel for a year in 1982 at age 23. Although for part of that time I was enrolled in a 6 month Hebrew work-study program, still most of the time what people said in Hebrew was unintelligible to me other than a few scattered words. I felt as if I were behind a wall, a wall of not understanding. At times this was extremely frustrating. I wanted to connect but could not. At least not in the usual way.

But because I could not understand what was being said I found I listened more carefully to the feeling behind the conversation and looked more carefully at expressions and gestures.

I also found that I could hear a sort of melody in the language itself. But it was hard to explain this to others so I didn’t try.

Lately I started listening in the same way to my own language: English. Put up the wall of misunderstanding of meaning, deliberately. And was amazed at what I found.

All my life I had heard that English was a harsh, guttural Germanic tongue that is not “pretty”. This may be true, but I found to my amazement that when I tried, I could imagine a sort of poetry in the way the words sounded.

If you are a native English speaker, try this. Everyone’s reaction will be different. You will hear English different from what I hear.

It is hard to do this when you understand the words. So make a deliberate attempt to NOT understand.

Listen to the sound of an English sentence. It can be an interesting experiment in mindfulness and attention. In going beyond the habitual.

How does it sound? Are there visual pictures or images? Colors? Does it have a certain feel to it?

What does your English look like? Sound like? Feel like? Taste like?

What is its poetry?

Try any sentence. How about this one?

“English is a harsh, guttural, ugly language”.

To me, the above sentence looks like a purple tree blowing around in a hurricane, with the leaves being torn roughly off. Smells like the earth of a newly dug up garden. Feels like sandpaper being rubbed against a block of wood. Sounds like rocks falling down a cliff.

If you really want a powerful experience: try looking, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling a sentence from Shakespeare, or the King James Bible, or Walt Whitman. Or better yet: your own poetry.

Contemplate a single English word.

Consider the word “HAT”.

To me it sounds like the wind blowing.

“Water”.

Feels like a tidal wave sucked out to sea then crashing back to smash whatever is on shore.

“Dance”

Looks like a tornado in the distance.

“Blue”

Tastes to me like a butterfly flapping its wings.

NO, English is not pretty.

To me, English is the power of a cold waterfall full of icy shards.

English is the energy of a crackling bonfire.

English is the strength of a room full of dancers celebrating a wedding.

It is the warmth of the sun on the pavement, on a hot July day

English is not beautiful. Is not pretty. Is not delicate. Is not spun glass.

English is not a chocolate mousse. It is a crockery of unfired earthen pottery filled with split pea soup fragrant and filling.

Look, listen, touch, taste and smell your English. And dance!

Laurie Pollack: To my Ten Year Old Self

Editor’s Note: As some of you may know, the TLA Network offers a Certification program. Chronicling TLA practice is a part of that process, which can be fulfilled by writing multiple pieces for the blog. This is the first post from Laurie Pollack, a poet and artist currently pursuing certification.

As part of my daily journaling practice, I write something (maybe a poem or a brief piece of “flash fiction”) in response to a prompt from a book of writing prompts. I choose each day’s prompt randomly. One day the prompt was, “Write a letter to your 10 year old self.”
I have always had a sensitivity to harsh words. As a child I could not handle this, and the adults around me were mystified and could not handle ME. As an adult I have learned to use this awareness to honor the power of words to heal and help and to weigh my words very carefully. It has turned me into a poet.
Dear Laurie ten years old

Dear Laurie ten years old,
I know you feel sad

Because you get in trouble a lot
And sit in the principal’s office.

Because the other kids call you names.
Because when they do it feels
like you were hit in the gut
Hard
and it hurts bad
and the only way to get rid of
the pain is to hit them back.

Dear Laurie ten years old
I know you are feeling alone

Because your parents do not “get”
the fact that words can hurt
and tell you to “just ignore it”

Because your mother tells you that once when
she got teased it didn’t bother her
but that she just hit them with
an umbrella and they stopped
but that you should not do that

Because the teachers tell you
you just need to control yourself
and if you ignore it they will stop and
it will be happy ever after and the kids will all be your friends

Dear Laurie ten years old
I know you are feeling angry

Because the pediatrician tells your parents
that words should not hurt like that
and that you are too sensitive
and maybe in a girl it is a sign of
Attention Deficit Disorder and he
gives you a prescription

Because tells you it is a “smart pill” to make your “motor go slower” and the kids’ words
will stop hurting

Because you thought you were smart already and you like to read authors like James Michener and Isaac Asimov and you have written poems since you were seven

Because you think your “motor” runs just fine

Because the medicine does not help
but just gives you nightmares
and makes you scared to fall asleep
and makes you want to pull out your hair all the time
and the words still hurt.

Dear Laurie ten years old

I  am writing to tell you that words DO hurt
and you have a right to feel hurt
And that one day you will be in a place and
time where you are safe
and there may be words that hurt
but you will be strong
enough to find ways to deal with the pain
other than hitting back

Because you will come to know
that words have power
not only to hurt
but to heal
to change
to manifest
to transform
to love
to heal the world
and you will use words to work for a gentler world

And when you do you will call
yourself three words
That will heal you:

Activist
Teacher
Poet

20150626_203509Laurie Pollack by day works with computers weaving code using the words of the programming language Visual Basic.Net, but this is not where her heart lives. Her heart lives in writing poetry and creating art with painting and SoulCollage (R) (an intuitive collage art practice). 
She gives occasional local workshops in SoulCollage (R) and hosts several free Facebook events yearly challenging people explore their creativity in writing and the arts. In the latest, “April Fools! Break the Rules!”, participants were challenged to list 10 rules they follow in doing their art or writing then create a piece breaking at least 3 of them. She is thinking of expanding this idea into a longer online class.
She has self-published one book, PeaceWalk, in 2006 and is working on another. “The Box”, a poem set in Sime-Gen, the universe created by science fiction author Jacqueline Lichtenberg, was included in 2015 in an anthology of fan writings, “Fear and Courage: Fourteen Writers Explore Sime-Gen”.
Laurie likes to read her poems at events like desert peace walks and anti-war vigils, enjoys gardening, and shares a rowhouse near Philadelphia with Mary: her legal spouse of 2 years and life partner since 1995, and two cats, Maggie and Lucy, who rule and demand regular “tributes” of Fancy Feast.