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Community Meetings Writing the Journey Fall Writing Series

When:   Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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

This writing series will take place on the following Tuesday evenings: October 9, October 23, October 30, November 13, November 27 and December 11. You must register for the entire series.

Writing the Journey, a six-part workshop series for women affected by breast cancer, is a program to help you express and document your thoughts and feelings about your journey with breast cancer. Whether you are newly diagnosed, have recently completed treatment, are years beyond or are living with metastatic breast cancer, this writing series offers you a safe and creative outlet for processing and 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, Ms. Cummings will share poems - some written by breast cancer survivors, some published by well-known poets - as a way to first trigger meaningful discussion and ultimately to generate original writing. She will also use photographs and memoir excerpts to inspire participants to express themselves. In addition, Ms. Cummings will 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, exploring powerful emotions, establishing new priorities and tuning into meaningful insights during the healing process. 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 whose previously published work will be showcased during our series include Maya Angelou, Judith Barrington, Ellen Bass, Wendell Berry, Elizabeth Carlson, Hannah Feneron, Pesha Gertler, Dorianne Laux, Jane Levin, Roseann Lloyd, Perie Longo, Sandra Lovegrove, River Malcolm, Irene McKinney, Robyn Sarah and Judith Strasser.

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. Read some published work from previous “Writing the Journey” participants

About Our Speaker

Alysa Cummings is a breast cancer survivor, certified poetry therapist and founder of Pink Ribbon Poetry, a support group focusing on the power of writing to heal. She regularly publishes poetry therapy projects on the Oncolink website where she has been the Poet-in-Residence since 2002. 

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 in a chapter of the book Writing Away the Demons. In addition, Alysa recently published a collection of her writing titled Greetings from CancerLand.

In 2008, the National Association of Poetry Therapy honored Ms. Cummings with their Public Service Award for her work with breast cancer survivors. She has volunteered for the American Cancer Society, 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 by September 28 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 (October 23) will not be permitted. The group will, therefore, be “closed” to those that have registered but not yet attended after the second session (October 23). Sorry, no refunds