10-Week Spirit of the Written Word Writing Workshops
Forest Moon has been offering 10-week Spirit of the Written Word Writing Workshops since 2006 in both the spring and the fall. Forest Moon hosts workshops in Brattleboro, VT in collaboration with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Care Program and in Franklin County, MA in partnership with Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Oncology Department. Workshops also take place 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 Amherst Writers and Artists’ method, we write from prompts that inspire us; after we write we read our writing aloud. 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, 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. Read an article about the workshops which appeared in the April 2008 edition of HealthCare News of Western Massachusetts.
Forest Moon recently published and anthology of works written by participants of Spirit of the Written Word Workshops: These Words are True: writing our way through cancer.
8-Week Gentle Yoga Series For Cancer Patients
The 8-week gentle yoga series consists of stretching, breathing and deep relaxation. Each session lasts 1 1/2 hours. Stretches (yoga postures) make up about half of the time and are done mostly sitting on a chair or lying in prone and supine positions on provided mats on the floor.
Participants will be encouraged to work at their own capacities, to make adaptations as needed, and to decline to attempt to do any movement they are unable to do or which makes them uncomfortable. Pillows and supports will be offered for their comfort.
The goal of the series is to introduce participants to the relaxing and healing benefits of yoga with the hope they will be able to continue to practice on their own at home.