Tuesday, May 30, 2023

RLA announces four-part poetry writing workshop

AARONSBURG — Local social justice nonprofit Ridgelines Language Arts announces “Poetry of the Senses” with Ananda Lima, a four-part on-line poetry writing workshop beginning Thursday, Dec. 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and meeting weekly on Thursdays through Dec. 23.

This event is part of Ridgelines’ newest program — Roots and Blooms — serving the creative needs of women in central Pennsylvania: old women, young women, trans women, cis women, queer women, wild women, quiet women — and all who love to listen to the words of women.

Roots and Blooms is a combination of in-person writing workshops with local teaching artists, on-line workshops with renowned authors and poets and public events including a seasonal salon beginning in the Spring of 2022 for women-identifying singers, writers, storytellers and their listeners.

The “Roots and Blooms Salon” aims to bring more of our region’s powerful women-identifying artists to the mic, and to create a public opportunity to highlight and celebrate women’s voices and feminist perspectives. Presented in the spirit of a variety show, the salon will be curated rather than having a traditional open-mic. Participants will sign up ahead of time and have the opportunity to take advantage of group-coaching led by Ridgelines teaching artists prior to performances.

Previous Roots and Blooms offerings throughout the fall included a public gathering at the Green Drake Gallery in Millheim on a chilly November evening to hear visiting poet Ananda Lima read from her book of poems, “Mother/land,” which delves into the intersection of motherhood and immigration.

Informal and intimate, the reading opened up into a lively conversation between audience members and Lima about her writing process and what inspired particular poems.

A few weeks earlier on a Sunday afternoon in October, women and those identifying as women aged 17 to 70 gathered among the trees, fields and sculptures of Rhoneymeade Arboretum in Centre Hall for “Witness as Study,” a creative writing workshop led by Ridgelines Teaching Artist Carolyne Meehan.

Meehan invited these writers to witness themselves, the world, and each other as they wrote and moved through the landscape. The workshop ended with the sharing of chocolate and stories — receiving the gifts of witnessing one another through listening and being heard.

For more information about Roots and Blooms offerings and to register for the “Poetry of the Senses” on-line poetry workshop with Lima, visit: www.ridgelineslanguagearts.org/events.

Ridgelines provides expert language arts instruction to those whose voices are under-heard in the ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania. Through classes, readings, publications, and radio podcasts, we empower new language artists and ensure that our region’s language arts run strong with many voices, experiences, and imaginations.