Welcome to Forest Moon’s “Writing Our Way Through Cancer” Blog! The blog is made possible by a grant from the Redducs Foundation. Most of the blog postings are written by members of Spirit of the Written Word workshops, sponsored by Forest Moon, that have been meeting since 2006 in Franklin County, Massachusetts, and in Brattleboro, Vermont, and at weekend-long retreats.
The basis of the workshops is the belief that everyone is a writer. Everyone has a unique voice, with stories that deserve to be told and heard. Using the Amherst Writers and Artists’ method, we write from prompts that inspire us; after we write we read our writing out loud. Treating all work as fiction, we comment about “what sticks with us” about the writing. Everything is confidential and voluntary.
Many of our prompts come from poems by authors such as Mary Oliver, Rumi, Wendell Berry, Billy Collins and many others. We bring in objects from home, we listen to music, we respond to writing from other people living with cancer. Sometimes we write from phrases like “I remember…” or “I am…” or “The truth is….”
Writing in the safety of the workshop setting with other people affected by cancer can be deeply healing. As we write our truths and share our stories, it helps us to cope with and transform the challenging emotions of the cancer experience. With tears and laughter we write together and feel less alone.
Spirit of the Written Word meets weekly for ten weeks in the spring and the fall. Since its beginning, it has been supported by a variety of funders: the VT/NH Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Rays of Hope, the Thomas Thompson Trust, Redducs Foundation, the Brattleboro (VT) Country Club’s Ladies Golf Association, and the Board of Organized Work and Women’s Health Initiative at Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC), Greenfield MA. Workshops are offered in partnership with Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Oncology Department and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Care Program. We are grateful for the support and vision of Vicki Sutton, Oncology Social Worker at BFMC, and at BMH Kelly McCue, Breast Program Administrator and Nurse Navigator, and Agnes Mikijaniec, Clinical Coordinator, Oncology. Facilities have been provided at no or reduced cost by Deerfield Academy, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH), Stone Law Offices, Marlboro Graduate Center, and Shelburne Falls Yoga Studio.
We dedicate and offer these selections of our writings in honor and memory of those who have received a cancer diagnosis, their family members, friends and health care providers. We hope that our words will be healing and ring true for you, too.
Pam Roberts, Facilitator, Spirit of the Written Word
www.spiritofthewrittenword.com • email@example.com • 413-625-2402