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Community Meetings Writing the Journey

When:   Tuesday, March 25, 2014
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Where:   Cherry Hill Public Library
1100 Kings Hwy. N.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Tuesday evenings

March 11 & 25, April 8 & 22, May 6 & 20, 2014

Registration is now closed for this program.

Writing the Journey is a 6-part workshop series designed 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 treatment, 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 breathing and visualization exercises to center the group. Next, the series instructor, Alysa Cummings, will share poems — some written by breast cancer survivors, some published by well-known poets — as a way of triggering meaningful discussion and, ultimately, of generating original writing. She will also use graphics, poetry frames and memoir excerpts to inspire participants to express themselves.

Ms. Cummings will provide participants with gentle prompts that motivate 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 the power of gratitude, reflecting on the doctor–patient relationship, becoming aware of meaningful insights during recovery from cancer treatment and the power of humor to heal.

Personal writing can be shared with fellow group members; though, 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 writers whose published works will be showcased during our 6-part writing series include: Carol Battaglia, Sharon Bray, Micah Chatterton, Sandra Cisneros, Kelly Corrigan, Alysa Cummings, Cortney Davis, Eve Ensler , Jane Hirschfield, Li-Young Lee, Micki Myers, Tommie Ortega, Emilie Osborn, Joe Paris, Kyle Potvin, Pat Riviere-Seel, Lynn Mason Shapiro, William Stafford, Jamie Steckelberg, David Allen Sullivan, Joyce Sutphen, F. Richard Thomas, David Watts, George Young.

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 as a chapter in the book "Writing Away the Demons." In 2012 Ms. Cummingspublished a collection of her Oncolink writing in a book titled “Greetings from CancerLand: Writing the Journey to Recovery.”

The National Association of Poetry Therapy gave Ms. Cummings their Public Service Award in 2008 in honor of her work with breast cancer survivors.

Location and Registration Information

For directions, visit the Cherry Hill Public Library.