On March 10 from 3-4:30pm I'm going to be teaching a workshop on writing one's own psalms. The workshop is being offered as part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, and will be free and open to the public. Here's the official description of the class:
Writing Your Own Psalms
The psalms are a deep repository of praise, thanksgiving, grief, and exaltation, an ancient collection of poetry which also functions as prayer. In this class, each of us will become a psalmist. We'll explore what makes a psalm, read psalms both classical and contemporary, talk about the emotional tenor of the psalms and how they work both as poetry and as prayer, warm up our intellectual muscles with generative writing exercises, and enter into a safe space for creativity as we each write our own psalms. After sharing our psalms aloud and sharing our responses to each others' work, we'll close with a psalm of thanksgiving for our time together.
If you're interested in the intersection of poetry and psalms, and if you live in or near western Massachusetts, I hope you'll join us. The workshop will take place at Congregation Beth Israel - 53 Lois Street in North Adams, MA. If you're interested in signing up, please leave a comment to let me know. Edited to add: if you're on Facebook, you can reply "yes" at the event's Facebook page.
I'm also participating in the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers in another way; I'm delighted to announce that I will be participating in a panel discussion / group reading, along with Sokunthary Svay, Liz Goodman, and Hannah Fries. Here's the description of that event:
In the Beginning Was the Word: A reading and panel of women writers of faith
In her book The Nakedness of the Fathers, poet Alicia Ostriker writes, "By the time the spiritual imagination of women has expressed itself as fully and variously as that of men, to be sure, whatever humanity means by God, religion, holiness, and truth will be completely transformed." This multigenre reading and panel discussion will feature four Berkshire women writers -- with backgrounds in Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism -- whose work is influenced by their faith, either overtly or just beneath the surface. The participants will each give a short reading and speak about the intersection of their life in writing, their life in faith, and how the two intertwine.
The reading and panel discussion (also free and open to the public) will take place on Monday, March 16, at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, 4 Main Street, at 7pm. I hope to see you there!