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Kathleen McClung: Writing as Healing – Putting One Bead after Another

mcclungnew22 1 Saturday, April 15, 10am-4pm  Berkeley
$130 members/$145 non-members

Testimonials for Kathleen

“Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.” —Brenda Ueland

In this workshop, you will view and create writing as an act of quietly putting one bead on after another. “The healing that emerges from a writing practice may be slow and subdued, but definitely powerful,” says Kathleen McClung.

“We’ll discuss excerpts from Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives and in particular, we’ll focus on, and practice, the qualities of a healing narrative.

“We’ll look at examples from published memoirs by Alice Sebold, Joan Didion, Mark Doty and others who have consciously used the writing of their artistic works to help them heal from painful personal experiences. And we’ll talk about the role of contemplation, discipline, and ritual in shaping creative work that is genuinely transformational.”

Participants will have opportunities to write and share short pieces in class and will learn about additional books and resources. While not a therapy group, the class is intended for both new and experienced writers who value writing as self-exploration and fine art and who want to begin or deepen their own writing practice. Within a supportive setting, class participants will be encouraged to take risks with their work and to share the gifts of self-discovery and transformation with a larger community.

Kathleen McClung has mentored hundreds of writers at Skyline College, The Writing Salon, and other colleges, and she has taught/advised student teachers in the credential program at Mills College. She has also edited books at small presses including UCSF Nursing Press, Food First Books, and Westview Press. She serves as a reviewer for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, sponsored by the Stanford University Libraries, sponsor/judge for the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and coordinator of Women on Writing community events. Her memoir, poetry, and fiction have been published in the Healing Muse, Bloodroot, Unsplendid, Poets 11, Spirituality & Health, A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens, and elsewhere. In 2012 Kathleen won the Rita Dove Poetry Award, and Naomi Shihab Nye selected her work as the winner of the national poetry competition sponsored by the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Almost the Rowboat, in January 2013.


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