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Community Meetings Writing the Journey Spring Writing Series

When:   Tuesday, March 13, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

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

This writing series will take place on the following Tuesday evenings: March 13, March 27, April 10, April 24, May 8, May 22. You must register for the entire series.

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Learn how to express and document your thoughts and feelings about your journey with breast cancer during this six-part workshop 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—some written by women affected by breast cancer and some by well-known poets—as a way to trigger meaningful discussion and generate original writing. She will use photographs and objects to inspire participants to express themselves. Ms. Cummings will also provide participants with poetry frames that gently prompt even the most reluctant writer to tell their story.

Throughout the series, the poetry, conversation and writing will touch on various aspects of the breast cancer experience such as: finding community in shared experience, learning lessons from a health crisis, establishing new priorities and tuning into meaningful insights during the healing process.

Personal writing can be shared with fellow group members 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 whose previously published work will be showcased during our writing series include: Fanny Barry, Lucille Clifton, Nan Cohen, Billy Collins, Julia Darling, Jane Kenyon, Portia Nelson, Mary Oliver, Anne Sexton, Anne Silver and Jane Yolen.

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 Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice and The Center for Grief.

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 March 2 or call (610) 645-4567. Please bring a favorite pen, highlighter, and blank copybook or journal to the first session.

The group is limited to 15 participants. First time attendance after the second session (March 27) will not be permitted. The group will, therefore, be “closed” to those that have registered but not yet attended after the second session (March 27). Sorry, no refunds.

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