In these troubled times, the news reminds us daily that the difficult history we share is with us still and we all suffer as a result. The often unexamined legacies of the attempted genocide of indigenous people and the enslavement of Africans, in particular, continue to haunt our land. Through writing fiction, poetry or memoir, we can chart a path to help us move forward together.
This class invites writers from all cultural lineages to bring their stories to the table. Lessons and assignments are designed to fit each individual’s skill level and project—beginner, intermediate, or advanced; fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction. Each session focuses on a different aspect of story craft—narrative arc, sensory detail, dialogue, mature narrator. Participants also learn to critique in ways that are supportive, honest and helpful by practicing deep listening.
Writing can be a spiritual practice that teaches us to be fully present and alive to ourselves and the world. Take a journey inward, tap into your imagination, and find the deep truths and visions. In witnessing one another’s stories, let’s combine our energies to form a creative community of inspiration and compassion.
Laura Bowers Foreman and Ann Holmes Redding met 14 years ago and have been partners in teaching writing for nearly a decade. Their friendship began with sharing their personal stories and discovering common commitments both to writing and healing from ancestral and national historical harms. Together, Laura and Ann embody African, European, and indigenous heritages. Over the years they have jointly participated in a number of circles dedicated to healing and restorative justice.
Dubbed “the story doulas” by one student, Ann and Laura consciously support and coach each writer on the journey from inception to delivery of their work. They are experienced fellow travelers, helping students negotiate the sometimes unsettling information and emotions that may surface en route. They also confer with their students as they discern what vehicle—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or some combination—best suits the task at hand.
Laura Bowers Foreman offers her students all that she has gleaned from her twenty-five years as a writer. Her writing is informed by a passion for both the environment and social justice at every level, from the personal to the global. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Whitefish Review, About Place Journal, Nature in Legend and Story, Wildlife Conservation Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor. She also has contributed to the anthologies Memoirs in the Light of Day and The Sweet Breathing of Plants (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), among others.
Ann Holmes Redding brings 40+-years of teaching experience, wisdom, and compassion to her students. Creative expression as a medium for transformation stands at the center of her life work as a spiritual guide, speaker, and instructor. Her essays and articles have been published in the Fairacres Chronicle and The Living Pulpit, as well as in scholarly works. She is co-author Out of Darkness into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Qur’an with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources.