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Community Meetings Writing the Journey Fall Writing Series

When:   Thursday, September 22, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where:   Cherry Hill Library
1100 Kings Highway North
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

This writing series will take place on the following Thursday evenings: September 22, October 6, October 20, November 3, November 17, December 1. You must register for the entire series.

Register for this six-week writing series.

Learn how to express and document your thoughts and feelings about your journey with breast cancer during this writing series for women affected by breast cancer. Whether you are newly diagnosed, have recently completed treatment, are years beyond or are living with metastatic breast cancer, this series offers you a safe and creative outlet for coping with your experience. No previous writing experience is necessary!

Each session will begin with some breathing and visualization exercises to center the group. Next, Alysa Cummings, a certified poetry therapist who was treated for breast cancer, will share poems and excerpts from memoirs written by women affected by breast cancer. These published pieces will provide a jumping off place for discussion of the evening’s theme: an aspect of the breast cancer experience followed by a prompt for your own personal writing and reflection. Themes will include but are not limited to diagnosis, finding community, managing powerful emotions, improving communication, body image, healing and recovery, and establishing new priorities.

Personal writing can then be shared with fellow group members sitting around the table, or not. Sharing your personal writing is not an expectation or a requirement! That's a decision each participant is invited to make for herself.

Some of the poets and memoir writers whose previously published work will be showcased during our 6-week writing series include Lucille Clifton, Julia Darling, Jane Kenyon, Deena Metzger, Jennie Nash, Meredith Norton, Mary Oliver, Alicia Ostriker, Katherine Russell Rich, Susan Strempek Shea and Joyce Wadler.

Following the series, you will have the opportunity to publish your original work as featured content on LBBC's blog. Ms. Cummings will have more information for those who are interested during the series.

About Our Speaker

Alysa Cummings is a breast cancer survivor, certified poetry therapist and founder of Pink Ribbon Poetry support group focusing on the power of writing to heal. She regularly publishes poetry therapy projects on the Oncolink website where she has been named Poet-in-Residence.

Ms. Cummings reviews cancer-themed books and media for Oncolink and has started two Oncolink blogs: Greetings from CancerLand and CancerLand Bookshelf. Her writing has appeared in MAMM magazine, in Barbara Delinsky’s book Uplift and most recently as a chapter in the book Writing Away the Demons.

In 2008 the National Association of Poetry Therapy gave Ms. Cummings their Public Service Award for her work with breast cancer survivors. She regularly volunteers for the American Cancer Society, for Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service and for Samaritan Hospice.

Location and Registration Information

Free on-site parking is available. For directions, visit the website of the Cherry Hill Public Library.

This program has a $25 registration fee. Register online by September 10 or call (610) 645-4567. The group is limited to 15 participants. Please bring a favorite pen, highlighter, and copybook or journal to the first session.