The WingSpan Poetry Project brings weekly poetry classes to local shelters, offering the residents an opportunity to be creative and reflective in a safe and comfortable environment.
Poetry has a way of cultivating intimacy, almost immediately, even within a group of strangers. What we are finding is a rotation of many curious and bright women and men, who quickly go deep into the poems we read as a group, and into the writing of their own poems. The act of writing poetry becomes an act of empowerment, which is not only healing, but is able to name and express when often a reason eludes us. The intimacy that arises from a group reading of a poem, and a subsequent discussion, quickly gathers us into community, when trauma often makes us feel alone or silenced. Moreover, this generates empathy when perhaps isolation would be the easier thing.
The participants say that reading and writing poems helps them to unearth parts of themselves that are both stunning and tough to look at, and which endures on the page after we are gone. These intimate classes help to bring the participants closer in relationship to each other, forming stronger personal bonds, which we trust eases some of the trauma they are going through.
We have received a donation to establish a poetry library at one of the shelters. In the spring of 2014, with this donation, we will purchase over 75 books of poetry for an in- house lending library that will offer the women, and other residents of the shelter, a means to further explore contemporary and traditional poetry.
WingSpan Poetry Project is a Cut+Paste Society endeavor, conceived by Elizabeth Jacobson. Cut+Paste Society is a community of women writers and artists, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, whose goal is to bring together our experiences, skills, practices, and communities in order to work beyond our individual imaginations and spheres of influence.
For more information on this project please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you!
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