Workshop Descriptions & Bios

Writing & Mind Mapping the Memory – Georgia Popoff
     Memoir is part memory, part reflection, and part hindsight. This workshop will incorporate generative prompts and processes to lead to new work, or new avenues of focus, along with peer critique workshopping. Mind mapping, strategic planning, effective timelines, and select prompts will fuel imaginations, to be used immediately and adding to the tool box when direction and/or inspiration are needed. The critique process of the second session will afford participants the opportunity to “beta test” work in progress in a collaborative, cooperative dialogue. We will also develop a list of shared and recommended resources to add to our tool box as we move forward in bringing our lives to the page.

Plunging into the Poetry Pool – Judith Prest
            Saturday – “Getting Our Feet Wet” with Found Poetry
In this session we will make poems working with “found language” –Word lists, word bowl, magazines, newspapers, books. Working with “found words” helps get us out of our “regular” thinking patterns, invites us to use words we might not have thought of otherwise, and almost always results in fresh and new work!
          Sunday: “Diving Deep” – How Do We hold Our Wounds AND Our Wonder?
We will write to explore this question, with an emphasis on how “wounds’ or illness can become our teachers, helping us to grow, learn and discover our own resilience. This writing session will be an exercise in examining “the gifts we didn’t ask for.” We will first look at poetry and quotes from a variety of sources. Then we will write using the quotes and poems as prompts as well as what comes up when we consider the question “How do you hold your wounds and your wonder?”
The Sacred Vessel:the Extraordinary Power of Emptiness – Deborah Singletary
“We turn clay to make a vessel, but it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the vessel depends."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lao Tzu
     With a wealth of natural materials, found objects and treasured items we create a vessel in the powerful symbol of the circle,  a symbol of the womb. Your vessel represents your uniqueness and your sacred self. To be sacred is to be whole. Not defined by your money or job title.  To be sacred is to accept that you are born not only through your mother, but by your mother’s mother and from the Source that birthed the first woman.
     Rather than chasing our good we are going to accept that our good is at hand, that everything we need we have. As sacred women we are going to create a vessel as a symbol of asking, waiting, and receiving. Art is medicine for the mind, body and the emotions. Making art transforms the materials at hand affecting the body’s chemistry, the physical body and life itself.
     The workshop concludes with a ceremony honoring our sacred selves.



    A writer, community poet, artist educator, and spoken word producer Georgia is a teacher in schools and community settings, and poet-in-residence to several NY State school districts. She is an editorial and professional development consultant to writers, schools, and community-based organizations, and has presented at conferences nationally and abroad.
     Georgia’s work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies and web publications. Author of two poetry collections, Coaxing Nectar From Longing (Hale Mary Press, 1997) and The Doom Weaver (Main Street Rag Publications, 2008), she is co-author along with Quraysh Ali Lansana of Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 2011).        
     A former board member of the Association of Teaching Artists, Georgia is currently on the staff of Syracuse NY’s Downtown Writer’s Center. Additionally she has published critical writing in The Comstock Review, NY Foundation for the Arts Chalkboard, and the Teaching Artist Journal, among others. In the mid-90’s, Georgia was active in the Poetry Slam movement, competing in the National Poetry Slam 1994 and 1995, and has produced literary readings and spoken word events for more than 15 years.


   Judith is a poet, mixed media artist, photographer and creativity coach. She has master’s degree in social work, and certificates in Creativity Coaching and Expressive Arts. Judith has four books published – Sailing on Spirit Wind, Late Day Light, and Elemental Connections by Spirit Wind Books. Her chapbook, After, will be in print by mid-May from Finishing Line Press.

                    www.spiritwindstudio.net                           Judith@spiritwindstudio.net

     Utilizing her passion for art in her work as an interfaith minister, Deborah has created process art workshops to help people to pierce the veil separating us from our true selves. She believes that people tap into their minds and hearts through their fingers and hands.
     She has facilitated workshops at the New York Open Center, Neighborhood Women’s Collective, 
The Wellness Center at the Riverside Church, Mama Foundation for the Arts,  Crafts Student League,  YWCA NYC; Community Connections for Youth, Bronx, NY, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, and FortGreen Senior Citizen’s Center, Brooklyn, NY
       A contemporary urban folk artist, Deborah’s artwork has appeared in The New Yorker and New Woman magazines, Painting from the Source, (HarperCollins), Making What Your Means Can’t Buy (Vision Carriers Press) and Art’s Buoyant Felicity: An Anthology – Art/Creativity/Healing (Evolutionary Girls) and Brooklyn on My Mind (Schiffer) .She was included in The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s major show, “Black New York Artists of the 20th Century.” Deborah has served as an astrological consultant for people going through undesirable or unwelcome changes. She founded Vision Carriers in 1986 as a way of organizing her life missions and purposes. www.visioncarriers.com