Taking it on the Road-Recap


I was asked to speak at Women’s Day Conference about writing poetry as a healing expression. It was wonderful! Here is what I learned.

I didn’t speak as much as I listened

As much as I like to talk about myself, it was more important to get to know my group. We only had a 45 minute block, so I kept introductions short, but personal. Since “In the Pink” was the theme, I asked each woman to say her name and what shade of pink would best describe her. The results were lovely.

We connected quickly.

Making connections is an essential piece of teaching creative writing (or teaching anything for that matter). The short and simple introduction activity connected the theme to the women and the women to each other.

Listening and drawing activity.

Next, we engaged our senses. I read a poem aloud. The themes of the poem, journey, loss and rebirth, also connected to the theme of the conference. I asked the women to listen, not discuss, the poem. Then, I asked them to pick up the colored pencils and paper and draw what they felt the poem communicated. The results were beautiful! We taped the emotive drawings on a nearby wall to illustrate the connective nature of experience. We discussed and processed those pictures.

Fast writing

Next, I read a series of poems and asked the women to fast write their responses to writing prompts. This writing was timed and not edited. It is essential to write without thinking at times. This activity alone may have created a piece of writing that would have been otherwise blocked.

Revision, too

At some point, all writers revise. I asked the women to go back to one of their fast writes and revise it. This was a little harder, but the women complied.


Feedback is helpful when writing, but it needs to be productive. So, we discussed how to give feedback with positive, specific and constructive advice. I asked each woman to trade the revised piece of writing and give feedback.


No matter what type of workshop, closure is always needed. I ended with a poem that I wrote called “Beauty”. The purpose was to communicate my acceptance of their work as beautiful, meaningful contributions to this community of writers.

Feel free to use any of these activities that I have created. Happy writing!

Beauty does not live
On the surface
It’s birth from
Deep silence.

Utter humility
It takes special eyes
To see beauty
Eyes have seen
the opposite
Eyes have shed
Unwanted tears
For beauty lost
In the world

Beauty does not live
On the surface
It is hidden
In the soul
Of a broken man
Who has surrendered all
To his Spirit

Beauty lives
In this knowledge
That nothing created
Is beautiful
That only love
In purest form
Is beautiful
And all that the heart has
Is beauty

Thanks for listening,



3 thoughts on “Taking it on the Road-Recap

  1. “Since “In the Pink” was the theme, I asked each woman to say her name and what shade of pink would best describe her. The results were lovely.” I love the way you connected to the theme. What a great vocabulary-building exercise for poets.


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