Imagine Yourself a Place of Unsurpassed Beauty: The Power of Words Conference on the Coast of Maine

img_13241-cropped-belownav-cropped-photoDeb Hensley and Martin Swinger, the dynamic duo co-chairing the Power of Words conference, Aug. 12-14 at Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine, share this invitation to our 13th annual conference. Read on, and register by Nov. 15 to catch the super early bird rate. Find out more and register here.

Imagine yourself a place. Imagine a chair on a wide porch next to a beach where you bask in the afternoon sun. Imagine a morning walk through a grove of sunlit trees. Imagine joining brilliant vocal improvisation sessions under a bright moon, filling yourself with poetry, storytelling around a campfire and choosing from 25 workshops on the transformative 3058162_origpower of the written, spoken and sung word.

Imagine a loving community of people, healthy, delicious food, good coffee, lots of music, time for reflection and an after dinner frolic in the surf. Imagine Ferry Beach on the coast of Maine at the Power of Words Conference, August 12-14, 2016.

I don’t know which excites me more, this fabulous conference we’re putting together or the amazing place where we are holding it. With world renowned Vocal Improv Artist and Activist, Rhiannon, Award 8117810_origwinning Poet and Author Seema Reza, Afrilacian Storyteller Lyn Ford and Quaker Minister, author and educator Callid Keefe-Perry as our keynoters, this conference promises to embody spontaneity, humor, comfort and joy. And what could be more a more gorgeous location to gather singers, poets, authors, activists, and a host of other transformative language artists than a coastal paradise only 20 minutes from the Portland International Jetport?

Ferry Beach is a retreat community with 900 feet of beachfront in Saco, Maine offering respite away from the everyday world. It is a collection of meeting spaces, wide porches, an art and pottery studio, an outdoor chapel, a performance space, many gathering places and a wonderful dining hall.2459481_orig

It is a place of unsurpassed beauty where you will experience the joy of community, challenge assumptions, celebrate, reimagine, and commit your own language artistry to nothing less than global transformation. It is a place for renewal and rejuvenation where a small but mighty group of all ages and races, for one glorious weekend in August of 2016, will lovingly and boldly explore the Power of Words. I’ll be there! You?

See more about Ferry Beach right here.


10703615_783888298320051_5165464965787966679_nIn recent weeks, Deb Hensley, the TLAN Coordinator, realized she needed to step down from her coordinator position. An interim coordinator, Teri Grunthaner, started with us Oct. 20 (we’ll be sharing more about Teri soon). Here is Deb’s letter to TLAN members and friends. The TLAN is deeply grateful to Deb for her spark and work, compassion and vision.

Dear TLAN members–friends,artists, brilliant souls, lovers and spinners of words,

I’m writing to let you all know of my recent decision to step away from my position as the Coordinator of our lovely TLAN Network. A new set of personal needs and realities in my life (all good)  have been nudging me for some time now to reassess my professional priorities. The demands of my part time position as Pre-K Director for three counties in mid-coast Maine have been steadily growing. Iʼve been asked to take on more responsibility and increase my hours to close to full time. Add to that some emerging TLA opportunities in my music life, and I’ve had to come to this decision sooner than later.

While I dearly love this Network and have put my heart and soul into it this past year I recognize that I canʼt continue spread myself so thin. With two part time private non-profit jobs, my early childhood consulting, and my own TLA work, I have been  feeling like I wasn’t doing any of these jobs the justice due. So in an effort to defragment I have decided I must let the Network position go.

Please know this decision was not arrived at lightly. I have taken great delight and joy from my affiliation with all of you and it’s very difficult to let the work go as I so believe in it. Still, I know it’s for the best.

Going forward, I would be pleased to continue to participate in the Network in a volunteer capacity after things shake out for me and when the needs of the council become apparent. I will look forward to re-entering the world of the Network in a new role when the time is right.

Meanwhile, I am off to mend my nets and hopefully focus my efforts in a more singular fashion. It’s my great wish that there will be a great haul of goodness for us all.. Thank you for letting me keep my hand on the Network tiller for this past year. It’s been a true joy working with you all.

With gratitude,