“And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.” Pablo Neruda
“Happy Birthday to the Write Group, which has inspired me to unfold my poetic and writing soul.” Ermira Mitre
A blustery winter afternoon turned sunny and warm the minute I joined my writing buddies in the Write Group on Sunday for its 20th Year Birthday Party. And what a party it was! A huge, delicious cake, mini-muffins, Martha Moffett’s fabled deviled eggs, which quickly disappeared, and loads of good cheer. But most of all, there were words – beautiful, glorious, arresting, heart-rending, heart-warming words.
Over the afternoon, readers shared prose and poetry from the Write Group’s 2018 sampler, professionally put together by novelist and publishing guru Hank Quense. There were intriguing tales by Margaret Saraco and Martha Moffett; a haunting reflection by Judy Dunkley; humor amply supplied by Keith Biesiada, Nancy Taiani, and Joe del Priore; there was a lovely childhood moment captured by Jackie Stearns and a heartfelt wartime memoir scene penned by Sara Giere; and poetry shared by Ermira Mitre, Ron Bremner, and Elissa Goldman, and more.
Listening, I found myself marveling at the range of emotions touched – all the notes that were struck: Humor and wit, joy and sorrow, remembrance and longing. I found myself thinking how important it is that we come together as creators and writers. When we share our stories and poems with each other – our joys and our sadnesses, our memories and our experiences – we are all enriched. Somehow, we all become more human, more connected, more caring, more emboldened.
Writing is a joyous enterprise, but it can also be a struggle. It can be lonely and sometimes even disheartening. So I believe it’s very important that we come together from time to time to celebrate our work’s completion and unfolding. That’s why what the Write Group does – supporting writers through 30 different free writing events month after month after month – is so vital. Again and again, readers talked about how being part of the Write Group had enriched their writing and given them the support and courage to keep saying what they wanted and needed to say.
There are many ways we can nourish ourselves as writers: Through the daily act of devotion to the page, through reading, through attending workshops. But coming together to celebrate our successes and share our writing journeys is one of the most enlivening.
So, kudos to the lovely Harriet Halpern*and to all who keep the Write Group going and growing. Bravo, Write Group! Bravo, readers! Write on!
* This Sampler is dedicated to Harriet Halpern, a founding member and indomitable spirit behind the success of the Write Group. Her commitment to the Write Group, based on her philosophy that good writing matters, will always inspire us.