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................................................


10:30am - 12:30pm

 Jenna featured in Press of Atlantic City Article


10:30am - 12:30pm

Kit Lok Reports: group met on Saturday Feb 1 - the SCOSA workshops classes have garnered such a strong following, 10 of the ladies showed up on a very cold SJ Saturday to share their writings and help each other with constructive critique, despite Jenna's absence. Among the attendees were two elderly ladies (more senior then the rest of us Seniors!) - one who is recovering from her second stroke. She shared a short piece on her stroke experiences and recovery and received a warm round of applause from the group.


10:30am - 12:30pm

Kit Lok Reports:  Hi wordsmiths,
Only 6 attended Saturday session. Perhaps the rest of you opted to enjoy the lovely weather before we get blasted with more forecasted cold and snow next week.
As the Stockton classroom has internet connection and a projector, Jenna was able to showed us some great online writing resources (like Brainpickings.org), videos and also projected our submitted writings on the screen for discussion and suggested revisions, which was really neat. Jenna also brought on poet Billy Collins' presentation on TED.
TED is an online program which invites speakers to present "Ideas worth spreading", so you will get to hear some outstanding speeches.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
1. Isabel Allende "Tales of Passion". http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/204 Isabel was one of 4 women selected to carry the flag round the stadium during the Winter Olympics in Italy. She used that as a starting point to talk about the role of women - their marginalization, VAW, women's rights, and to present her feminist viewpoint in a speech that is full of humor, verbal imagery, stories and the personal.
2. "My Stroke of Insight" by an academia/scientist Jill Bolte Taylor. In a very engaging and powerfully moving speech she talked about the experience of her stroke 8 years ago and about the right and left brain. http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229
3. An astounding 2006 presentation by academic/doctor/researcher/ Hans Rosling. It may help to wait a few minutes for the whole presentation to download before clicking on it.
"You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, Hans Gosling, debunks myths about the so-called "developing world" using extraordinary animation software developed by his Gapminder Foundation. The Trendalyzer software (recently acquired by Google) turns complex global trends into lively animations, making decades of data pop. Asian countries, as colorful bubbles, float across the grid -- toward better national health and wealth. Animated bell curves representing national income distribution squish and flatten. In Rosling's hands, global trends -- life expectancy, child mortality, poverty rates -- become clear, intuitive and even playful."
ENJOY and have a great week. Kit


10:30am - 12:30pm

Kit Lok Reports:   In Jenna's absence, Meryl Baer and I (both have been with the SCOSA writing series for some time) co-facilitated the 2-hour session. As about half were new students, we started the session with introductions around the room. One lady came from as far as Manahawkin, another from Corbin City. Others were from Mays Landing, Ventnor, as well as the regular students from Galloway, Absecon, etc. There was also a high school student (!) who was rather shy, but we got her to share her views. More than half of the class shared their writing including Steve*, and all received positive feedback and suggestions from the group. Meryl requested the Noyes receptionist to make photocopies of the latest class assignment from Jenna. We also gave the new students Jenna's email so they too can post their homework to her. Additionally, we told them about the two online resources provided by Jenna in the previous class (namely, brainpickings.org and TED Talks). The group discussed possible dates for Jenna's proposed make-up class, which I will coordinate and update in due course if confirmed. Overall, we had a good session and several of the new students commented that they are looking forward to the rest of the series.  
*Meryl commented that it was interesting and a nice change to hear a male voice (writing) after all the sharing from the ladies. We all concurred, so perhaps we could encourage a couple more males to join the class.


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

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.


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.


10:30am - 12:30pm



10:30am - 12:30pm



10:30am - 12:30pm



10:30am - 12:30pm



10:30am - 12:30pm



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


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."



 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


 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.   


 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.


 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.


11:00am - 1:00pm

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