Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A wordle from the Poplargrove Muse.

We're taking a breather for a few days while we summon the writing muse. Here's a little wordle we made from this blog. It seems to fit with our mission well.

Happy Holidays from the Poplar Grove Muse and Women Writing for (a) Change Bloomington

Monday, December 21, 2009

Marking the Solstice

Dec 21, 2009

The shortest day, the longest night.
I let go of the darkness and turn again to the light.

Tonight I look into my own darkness, mark its depth. “Be not afraid,” the angel of my inner-self whispers. I have been afraid. Afraid of bullies in the workplace, afraid of too many others’ opinions, afraid of letting go.

The darkest nights are cold and long, but often with the best views of the vast emptiness. Fear threatens emptiness, but it is not emptiness that I dread. Emptiness is a fertile bed, resting in winter, preparing for the spring planting of conscious choice.

I hold a spirit of thankfulness tonight for the emptiness. I am thankful for the courage to let go of what I really fear. I express gratitude for the creation of space. As I turn toward the light, I will watch the color rise across an open chamber.

--Stephanie, for the Poplar Grove Muse

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Thanks! Definitely NOT a Poem

Help everywhere: healing hands, ears that listen, hearts that receive me as I am.
The empty page, pendulum swing of desolation to dancing words, then laying that all aside.
Little white lights on a ceiling. A candle flame.
Food when I’m hungry. Coffee in the morning. The cup. The Spoon. The color of cream.
A touch on my shoulder. My pillow at night.
Reading glasses in every room. Cell phone silenced.
Marimbas in June.
A crack in the window. Fresh air rushing in.
Flowers on the table. Music to play. Fingers to play with.
Teen curfews honored.
Dogs underfoot, in my lap, on the bed --never far from my mind.
Good books to read.
Children running through.
Work that asks something of me and gives more back in return.
Mentors and partners all the people I love.
The mud, the stars, the sun, the moon. Lucky Charms on the countertop (at noon).
It was a good year.
Of comings and goings --standing still, stepping up, gathering in and letting go.
To my many families and circles of connection, I’m most grateful.
Bright Blessings to each of us. Another year ends.
Beginner beginning -- I begin again.

BLR for the Poplar Grove Muse 12/14/09

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Times!

Thanks to all who turned out at Rachel's Cafe on Saturday night to help us celebrate 5 years of Women Writing for(a)Change in Bloomington. We had quite a crowd to celebrate all the words and stories and poems (not to mention laughter and goodwill) that have been generated through the years.

We passed out our new anthology, ate some wonderful food served by Rachel herself, read poetry and listened to several alums of our programs read from the new book. Veda, pictured right, read her poem Where I'm from modeled from a poem by George Ella Lyon of the same name

As I laughed and listened, I couldn't help but fall in love with the community we have built. The women in our circles are remarkable in their diversity. We are young and old; gay and straight; black and white; amateurs and professionals. Our common love for words and storytelling and our newfound love for each other keeps us in each other's circles of care. I can't imagine a better group of people with whom to spend my time.

Pictured above are Beth, myself and Lauren, editors of the book and founder of Women Writing for (a) Change in Bloomington.

One of the most exciting parts of the evening was people's joy at the book that came out. Women milled about the party, new books in hand asking for signatures from each other. It was like yearbook signing in high school. I wished I had a witty quip to write under my name, but truthfully all I could think of to say was, "Thank you."

Pictured below is Steph as she steps off the dais after reading.
It is amazing how words create memories and intimacies between writers and readers. Between friends.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our book has arrived!

I raced to the Poplar Grove school house last Sunday to be one of the first people to see the book that we have put together celebrating 5 years of Women Writing for (a) Change in Bloomington. Women with Wings features many women from the Bloomington School and from the circles we hold at the Monroe County Corrections Center for incarcerated women.

One of the exciting things for me was how much a labor of our community the book became. In addition to all the contributions by all the fabulous writers and getting the opportunity to work with Lauren (my co-editor) and Beth (the owner of the school who gave gracious blessings to our project), our cover designer and cover artist were both writers from the community. Thanks to Kim Evans and Yvonne Wittmann! Rebekah, Wednesday night writer, helped us with the books and accounting. The publishers, Paul and Dee Burt from Pen and Publish, helped us bring this book to reality. The day it was set to arrive from the printers fellow writers Kim and Greta tag teamed staying at the schoolhouse to make sure UPS didn't send it back to the warehouse. David and Joan Foor White from New Leaf; New Life very generously donated money so that each women from the corrections center who had a piece in the book could have one of her own . Deb Morrow, also from New Leaf; New Life helped me track down all the women from the jail so that I could write them and thank them for their contribution and send them the book. Rachael, of Rachel's cafe, is catering a fabulous party for us in celebration of our 5th anniversary. Beth's husband Dan is going to play piano for us at the party. Friends are stepping forward to buy books. The list of support in this town is endless.

I feel so proud to be part of such an amazing community where writing and arts are part of everyone's life and where people care for each other and hold each other up to celebrate. Thanks Bloomington. Thanks Women Writing for (a) Change. Happy 5th Birthday to the Bloomington School. I look forward to many more years of writing in community with some of the finest women and men I know.

Please drop me a line if you would like to purchase a book. They are $15 plus tax and any money we make over and above the cost of the book will help us pay for scholarships for girls and women.

Write me at: