Encouragement and Inspiration
We meet one Saturday a month at 1:00 pm. Come early for networking and conversation.
Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Many inspirations provide the spark that ignites us into language, but one that sometimes overlooked is—language itself! Yes! Reading provides the occasion to set us spinning into our memories, meditations, imaginations. Just as listening to music can set composers off into fresh harmonic journeys, or tasting a delicious recipe can spur a good chef into his or her never-tasted before concoctions, in this workshop, we’ll use selected literary texts as the fuel for our own creative compositions.
Philip Terman is the author of five books of poetry, including Our Portion: New and Selected Poems, The Torah Garden, and Rabbis of the Air. Poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry Magazine, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Sun Magazine, 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, and The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. As well, his poems have appeared on the PBS show The Writer’s Almanac and on Poetry Daily. A selection of his poems, My Dear Friend Kafka, has been translated into Arabic and published by Nimwa Press in Damascus, Syria, and his poems have provided the text for several orchestral arrangements. He’s a professor of English at Clarion University, where he directs the Spoken Art Reading Series, co-directs the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, and is the coordinator of The Bridge Literary Arts Center in Franklin, PA.
Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm
A deeper look at the creation of haiku poetry and the discovery of the haiku aesthetic. Inspiration for a poem may exist in close observation of words and images found all around at any particular moment. The essence of a poem is the creation of a connection between the poet and the reader, an agreement that beauty is born in the recognition of truth. Participants will be encouraged to create their own haiku, inspired by words and photographs in magazines or other printed materials.
Jean LeBlanc is an Assistant Professor of English at Sussex County Community College and executive editor of the Paulinskill Poetry Project. A member of the Writers’ Roundtable, she is active in the vibrant local poetry scene in northwestern New Jersey, often appearing as a featured reader. Her poetry has appeared in many journals, and her collections include At Any Moment (Backwaters Press, 2010) and A Field Guide to the Spirits (Aqueduct Press, 2015). Her haiku publications include The Haiku Aesthetic: Short Form Poetry as a Study in Craft (Cyberwit.net, 2013).
Susanna Lee is a writer and enjoys participating in poetry readings, and she has appeared as a featured reader for "Thursdays Are For Poetry" in Teaneck, NJ. Her poetry has been published online in the White Shoe Irregular, and in print in the Red Wheelbarrow #9 anthology, and will appear in an upcoming anthology by the Paulinskill Poetry Project. Her self-published book of poetry, Sunrise Mountain (Rose Mason Press, 2015), is available from the HPL Consortium.
Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Telling Your Story is a workshop that focuses on writing from personal experience in prose and poetry. Sandra will weave readings from her poetry collection, “The Temporary Vase of Hands,” with a discussion of the stories and experiences that inspired them. Chris will offer creative tools he employs in writing memoir and read an excerpt from one of his books, "Tremulous Prism: Our Journey in Dementia." Sandra will lead the group in a writing exercise based on our own stories.
Sandra Fees is a Unitarian Universalist minister who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University and a master’s degree from Syracuse University, where she studied creative writing. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and is enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program. Formerly a poetry editor of the Harrisburg Review, she has had poems published in numerous journals. She has been named Berks County Poet Laureate for 2016-18. Her first poetry collection, The Temporary Vase of Hands, is being published by Finishing Line Press in 2017.
Christopher Keith, a former karate instructor and composition teacher, has published Introduction to Asian Long Staff Fighting, a martial arts DVD and workbook; Headhunter: The Blues Odyssey of J.D. Nicholson, the oral history of an influential West Coast blues piano player; Tremulous Prism: Our Journey in Dementia, a memoir of care-giving; and Posh Corps: Peace Corps Philippines, a memoir. He is now at work on Tennessee Alley, a collection of fiction. Previously, he studied creative writing with Raymond Carver at Syracuse University in the 1980s and earned an M.A. from the Writing Program.
Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm
James Chan will relate personal stories of his life-long experience as a “spare room tycoon” (a phrase he coined with writer Thomas Hine) in starting and sustaining 34 years of an ongoing independent life based on luck, pluck and perseverance.
James Chan was born Wah-Kong Chan in Canton, China and grew up in Hong Kong. He received his B.A. from the University of Hong Kong in 1970. After arriving in America in 1971 James received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 1983 James founded Asia Marketing and Management in Philadelphia. He is the author of “Spare Room Tycoon,” a book on 40 real life stories of people who turned their passions into successful businesses. James also authored the DVD “Secrets of Business Success in China” published by Malvern press and is a keynote speaker for many trade and professional associations.
Dori and Nadine will be sharing their experience with self-publishing children’s picture books, why we do it and how. Dori will discuss her publishing company and Nadine will discuss submitting manuscripts to agents and publishers. They will also have some writing exercises as well.
Nadine is a wiener dog lover. So much so that she wrote two books about dachshunds. A third book is currently in the illustration phase. She is an elementary librarian for the Reading School District, a member of SCBWI, and a committee member for the state awards Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award.
Dori is a retired elementary school teacher and reading specialist. She worked for many years in the Fleetwood and Wilson School Districts primary as a first grade teacher and a reading specialist. She also served as a writing consultant for the West Chester Writing and Literature Project and is a fellow of the National Writing Project. Dream Big Press is Dori’s self-publishing company. In 2013, she published Pearl of Richmond School which is an historical fiction children's book about a third grade student, Pearl, set in a one-room school in the early 1900's in this area. A sequel entitled Pearl and the Schoolyard Prank was released in January, 2015. In 2014, Dori published The Easter Bunny Brother, a comical tale of two bunnies who both want to be the Easter Bunny. This book was followed by The Bunny Brother's First Thanksgiving in 2015 and A Bunny Brothers' Christmas this year.