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SCOSA Time To Tell Senior Writing & Poetry News

Stockton Center on Successful Aging

Program Calendars, News, Events & Writer Submissions

Creative Writing, Tapping the Source: Exploring Our Wounds, Trusting Our Wisdom Flyer
Instructor: Cynthia Graham  
Meeting Location: the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College

Date Time Instructor & Participant Meeting Notes ................................................

 4/26/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

Marilyn Weisman and Kit Lok report:  The class had about 11-12 attendees.
We had two newbies, a brother and sister, who both expressed how much they enjoyed the meeting. Many of the attendees had pieces to share, some were reworked while others were new. Quite good products. There was also a share from Meryl of an Erma Bombeck seminar she had attended. There were some other interesting shares....Belinda showed us a piece that she is displaying in Ventor and read a poem about her father which was excellent and made me want to go down and view the multi-media offering she has at the library there. She showed us on an I-pad a nice picture and she is immensely talented. As far as the next "assignment", some of the folks had not gotten all the "prompts" and some were going to use some of the older ones to develop pieces. As an alternative, I suggested that every story requires a "character", a "setting" and a "conflict". Using one of these I suggested that we develop a piece.  

A Poetry Corner, Audrey Piazza
Since retiring from full-time writing for the Link, here is a recent poem I wrote for the Creative Writing class I take—sponsored by SCOSA (Stockton Center on Successful Aging)—at the Noyes Museum in Galloway. Use the website to download a listing of the dates and times of the many free classes, art workshops, and events for older adults at different locations: www.stockton.edu/scosa.

Ode to a Whistling Tea Kettle

Daylight.
Morning Light. I awake to the
sound of the whistling tea kettle.
It calls me—with promise of a new day—
a good day, another chance to get it right.
What will it be?
The classic Irish Breakfast Tea,
or Lemon Lift, its refreshing flavor
of lemon and spice
is so nice.

Tea time—it’s afternoon now—
my clock strikes three.
I lift the lightweight metal kettle,
fill it with water, place it on the stove.
I wait for the whistle.
What will it be?
Green Tea with Honey to celebrate a pleasant day
or Organic African Nectar
to calm a dim/dreary one.
O Mighty Leaf, O Mighty Kettle.

Middle-of-the-night Time.
I arise, tiptoe into the kitchen
greet my polished white stove with dim night light,
pour water into my silver kettle.
I wait for the whistle.
What will it be?
Chamomile Mint—all natural, caffeine free
or Chamomile Citrus—a herbal infusion
to soothe a nighttime delusion.
O Mighty Kettle, how you help to settle.

 5/10/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

 Welcome Cynthia Graham, SCOSA's new Creative Writing Instructor.  See flyer for details on Tapping the Source: Exploring Our Wounds, Trusting Our Wisdom.  Many thanks to Jenna McCoy for her dedication to her art and her donation of time and expertise to the creative writing program.  We wish you well.

 7/12/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

Report by Kit Lok: There were 11 attendees at Noyes on Saturday – more than I had expected because of Northfield poetry event conflict. Workshop was held in the large concourse area as the air-con in the training room was not working. Everyone really liked the new area – Lily Lake and the museum gardens were all inspiringly visible through the large floor to ceiling glass windows. We have requested the same setup for future sessions.
1.5 hours were spent on all our homework and critique, some of which as usual deviated into into personal stories. Overall a good session. Cindi gave us a new writing prompt for next month “Making and writing about our scars” which will involve some embroidery. Cindi must have taken some effort and personal expense to purchase sewing hoops, colored threads, calico cloth and knitting yarn which were all prepared into 12 individual sets. She also had a spread of free poetry, writing books and magazines for our taking.

 8/9/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

 Report by Kit Lok: 11 attendees on Saturday. 9 shared their ‘scars’. It was a very interesting session, and most aptly fulfilled Cindi’s theme for the current writing workshop series Tapping the Source: Exploring our wounds, Trusting our wisdom.  Using the sewing hoop, calico fabric, wool, colored threads and needle provided by Cindi a month ago, we all embroidered moving renditions of our scars. Some also included old family photos, applique, watercolors, pastels, acrylic paints, dried flowers, colorful printed cards, and even a band-aid to embellished our creation. We read the accompanying piece of writing (mostly poetry) in the show and tell session, followed by group critique. For may of us the assignment helped to explore, crystallize and verbalize our feelings, thoughts and perspective on some long-held hurts or spiritual search. It was an enjoyable group healing of sorts (with none of the melancholia or meltdowns!). Kudos to Cindi.

 9/27/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

 

 10/25/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

 

 11/22/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

 

 12/20/14

10:30am - 12:30pm

 


Tour of Poetry for Seniors  Flyer
Location:   The Otto Bruyns Public Library of Northfield - Registration Required

Participants can look forward to a compelling lecture on poetry and reading from a visiting poet as well as a light luncheon, compliments of Ventura's Offshore Cafe.

Date Time Instructor & Participant Meeting Notes

1/11/14

11:00am - 1:00pm

Barbara Daniels will be speaking on the work involved in getting a book published as well as reading some of her remarkable work to the group.  Kit Lok reports that "It was really interesting and Barbara Daniels provided very useful guidelines and insights about getting published. 8 - 9 attendees who all received a signed copy of her 2008 book of poems Rose Fever. The venue is really nice and Aubrey even managed to arrange for a complimentary lunch from Ventura's Offshore Cafe, a local café. I am looking forward to the other events in the series."

 2/8/14

 

 11:00am - 1:00pm

Guest speaker Tom Chin will show a short film. We will discuss the portrayal of artists, specifically poets in film and pop culture.  Register

 3/8/14

 11:00am - 1:00pm

Kit Lok Reports; Poet David Worrell provided printouts of poems featured in the program. Accompanied by recorded music, he recited some of his own poems, and other poets' including Alfred Lord Tennyson. With Aubrey's help (as sound 'technician') he also shared recordings of readings from Philly's Poetry Slam and NYC hip-hop style poets whom I found the most interesting. We enjoyed a delicious lunch compliments of Ventura Café again. SCOSA Director, David Burdick provided input on SCOSA's ongoing educational community programs and future plans, particularly with regards to the Research Fellow for Poetry, and had the opportunity to chat with some participants.  (PS. personally, apart from a few of the recitations, I found it difficult to get into the poems with the distraction of background music. One participant echoed my thoughts when he commented that poetry already has its own rhythm and lyricism when read aloud.) Watch David’s performance in Dante Hall on YouTube.   

 4/5/14

 11:00am - 1:00pm

Kit lok Reports:  Eight participants, plus Aubrey, turned our backs to the beautiful Spring day outside to stay indoors for two hours for the love of poetry! Aubrey facilitated the session. She began by expressing her thanks and appreciation to SCOSA for initiating and organizing the Poetry Tour series and looked forward to its continuance. She told us that SCOSA has received a grant for an upcoming poetry event which would include invited well-known local/regional poets and some workshops. We then did little exercise involving drawing and writing. Aubrey shared with us the wonderful package of published poetry and graphic works she just received from The Seneca Review, which had accepted and published one of her illustrated poetry submissions. The Seneca Review 'collection' gave us all a lot of great new ideas on presenting poetry. We spent the second hour reading and critiquing each other's poetry as well as enjoyed another delicious lunch, compliments of Northfield's Ventura Café. Because there were just nine participants, everyone had a chance to read their work. We all gained a lot from the constructive approach of positive reinforcement and writing tips in the critique session. All too soon, it was time to head out into the welcoming embrace of a sunny South Jersey spring.

 5/24/14

 11:00am - 1:00pm

Kit Lok Reports:   Ten attendees enjoyed presenter Tom Chin's prepared talk about the romantic poets before the film and the short discussion after. BBC film premise: a well-known contemporary black British poet (whose name I have forgotten!) meets Lord Byron, Keats, Shelley and his wife Mary Shelley on the London tube one night when there was a power failure. So they are stuck with each other together with a working class bloke (who doesn't care for poetry). What ensues is a madcap battle of poetic wits as the poets challenge each other and debate the value of poetry and what has become of it in modern life, etc etc. The very thick British working class dialogue (except for Lord Byron's) was a bit hard to follow at times, but great overall fun. Complimentary lunch was delicious as usual.

6/14/14

11:00am - 1:00pm

Intergenerational Poetry Celebration: Readings from the Seniors Poetry Series mixed with readings from the High School Poetry Workshop Series. 

   11:00am - 1:00pm

 Gguest poet Penny Harter kicked off the 2014-2014 A Tour of Poetry series at the Otto Bruyns Public Library of Northfield with a workshop focused on writing both haiku and haibun. After presenting a number of haiku by both ancient and recent Japanese masters, followed by selections of her own haiku and other contemporary English language haiku poets, she led a discussion of what a good haiku should do and be, pointing out that most haiku written in Engish today are not in 5/7/5 syllable pattern. Then participants wrote some haiku and shared them. Next, Harter shared a number of examples of contemporary haibun, a related genre that combines blocks of poetic prose and haiku, and the group examined both the quality of the prose and the specific role of haiku in haibun. Participants then wrote a haibun and shared those as well. There were helpful handouts, including one on both on-line and print sources for submitting both of these genres for publication.

 8/9/14

 11:00am - 1:00pm

 On Saturday, August 9th , Bob Evans lead participants through an exploration of the uses of memory in an engaging creative writing workshop. Participants started by looking at epigrammatic quotations on the subject of the day, wrote briefly about one or more of these quotations, and discussed those that interested them most. Participants also read a selection of contemporary poems that employ memory as a subject matter and discussed how they might use memory--or the loss of memory--as a springboard into their own work. ?Finally, participants responded to writing exercises from Steve Kowit's In the Palm of the Hand: A Poet's Personal Workshop, writing pieces inspired by snapshot memories of their past, and the workshop concluded with an informal reading/workshop of the work created during the session.