Ruth Schwartz: Turn Your Hard-Won Wisdom into a Self-Help or Personal Growth Book

Saturday, July 20th: 10 am to 4 pm
$95 members/$110 others   Berkeley
Student Testimonials


Do you have wisdom to share with the world – about how you survived an illness, healed from heartbreak or abuse, became a better step-parent, found love later in life, or otherwise learned, grew and overcame obstacles?

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Ruth Schwartz: Writing Dangerously: Breaking Taboos, Taking Risks, Wrestling with Paradox

Saturday Nov. 2nd, 10 am to 4 pm
$95 members/$110 others     Berkeley
Student Testimonials

“I’m so glad I took the ‘Writing Dangerously’ class. I have been writing nonstop on formerly taboo topics ever since. Talking about it with others gave me the permission to tell my own stories.”—Recent Student

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Going Deeper – Taking Your Poetry & Prose to the Next Level

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others
(this class is not currently scheduled)

What does it take to create vivid, powerful poetry or prose that offers a transformative experience to our readers? How can we engage so deeply with our own material  that we, too, are changed in the writing of it? Poet Mary Oliver famously said, “I don’t ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depth of my seeing.” In this workshop with award-winning poet and memoirist Ruth L. Schwartz, you’ll spend the day exploring how to “see” more clearly and more deeply, both in your outer and our inner worlds. You’ll examine the ways in which this kind of seeing can both complicate and enrich your relationship to “truth” in your writing.

“We’ll work to expand our curiosity on every level, including our curiosity about language and form, as well as about our subject matter,” says Ruth.  “Finally, we will explore notions of beauty, and how the ability to see beauty in unlikely places can both deepen our relationship to our material – and more fully engage our readers. In the process, we’ll expand the range of (e)motion available to us, as writers and as human beings.”

Note: CEUs are available for licensed MFTs or LCSWs.

Ruth L. Schwartz is the author of four award-winning books of poems, including Edgewater, a 2001 National Poetry Series winner selected by Jane Hirshfield.  Her memoir, Death in Reverse, documents the year following her donation of a kidney to her former partner.  Her poems and essays have appeared frequently in The Sun (sometimes under a pseudonym, at the editors’ request), and she has received numerous literary fellowships, honors and prizes. Ruth is currently a Distinguished Visiting Writer in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Ashland University and also teaches privately.  In addition, she is a practicing hypnotherapist and shaman who honors and wrestles with pain, beauty and truth in all their disguises.

Approaching Difficult Material With Craft and Courage

5 Tuesdays, Oct. 12th-Nov. 9th, 7-9:30 p.m. Berkeley
$185 members/$215 others


Writing about physical illness, emotional pain, childhood trauma, addiction, and other difficult circumstances can present writers with some unique challenges, and also some unique opportunities.  How can we ensure that deeply personal writing will be compelling and even luminous for our readers? How can we avoid getting mired in emotional or linguistic ruts? That’s where both the craft and the courage come in!

“When we dive consciously and skillfully into personally difficult material, whatever the genre, we can deepen our ability to see and hold complexity, name truth, and, ultimately, connect with our readers – as well as with ourselves – more powerfully,” says instructor Ruth L. Schwartz.

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