Writing the Journey
When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ET
Cherry Hill Public Library
1100 Kings Hwy. N.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Writing the Journey, a 6-part workshop series for women affected by breast cancer, is a program to help you express and document in writing your thoughts and feelings about your breast cancer journey. 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!
Classes will take place on Wednesday evenings - September 3, September 17, October 1, October 15, October 29 and November 12.
What will this 6-part Workshop Series include?
Each session will begin with some soothing music followed by breathing and visualization exercises to center the group. Next, Ms. Cummings will share poetry and prose written by authors who have experienced breast cancer as a way to first trigger meaningful discussion and ultimately to generate original writing from the participants. These poems, essay and memoir excerpts, blog postings and articles will inspire participants to tell their own stories. Throughout the series, the conversation and writing will touch on various aspects of the breast cancer experience such as: finding community through shared experience, exploring opportunities for personal growth following a health crisis, reflecting on the cancer survivor’s relationship with her altered body, as well as tuning into meaningful insights during recovery from cancer treatment. Furthermore, to promote continuity between scheduled meetings, participants will receive additional writing prompts by email to explore on their own.
During this workshop series, personal writing can 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 writers whose previously published work will be showcased during our 6-part writing series include: Lisa Bonchek Adams, Alysa Cummings, Julia Darling, Barbara Ehrenreich, Caryn Mirriam Goldberg, Chia Martin, Alicia Ostriker, Bob Riter, Myra Schneider, Pat Schneider, Anne Silver and Debbie Woodbury.
About our Speaker
Alysa Cummings is a breast cancer survivor, certified poetry therapist (ret.) 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. Cummings published 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.
The program is $25 and we ask that you register online by August 27 at lbbc.org/events or by calling (855) 807-6386. The group is limited to 15 participants. Please bring a pen, highlighter and blank journal to the first session. Please note that first time attendance after the second session (September 17) will not be permitted. The group will, therefore, be “closed” to those that have registered, but have not yet attended, after the second session (September 17).