Marion Denard offered a session on May 6.

Marion Peters Denard is a creativity advocate who empowers people to unlock their authentic creative voice through writing. Marion founded Writer’s Room, a creative writing studio in Jacksonville, Oregon, in 2013. She earned her master’s degree at Dartmouth College, with an emphasis on short fiction and poetry. In 2008, Marion attended her first Amherst Writers & Artists workshop in Portland, Oregon. She was hooked by the creative magic she witnessed and experienced through AWA. In 2011, she trained to become a certified Amherst Writers and Artists facilitator.

Marion is passionate about safe families and has worked to end domestic violence, sexual violence, and child abuse. She currently volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children living in the foster care system.

Marion’s writing appears in River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative NonfictionCleaver MagazineAdannaArc Poetry MagazinePeregrine, and online at visitantlit. She is currently at work on a novel for children about the power of story.

When not writing or facilitating workshops, Marion runs, reads, and drives her children to horseback riding and soccer practice. She lives in charming, historic Jacksonville, Oregon, with her family and their rambunctiously loving dog, Tango.


by Lara Bridger

I’ll be 50 soon
In the middle of my age

The weight of my bones
In the center of life’s arc

Like a too big kid on a swing
I walk back a few steps to start,

Lean in, weighting the sling
With the rock of my body

Push, sway, dig my heels in,
(Ignore the moaning chains),

Until gravity kindly lifts its thumb
and I am 5. I fly,

My feet kicking the clouds
Heart racing right behind,

Moving too fast to read bills
Or schedule my mammogram.

Only sky, then grass, then sky.
There goes my stomach

Giddy as a balloon
Only now my doughy middle

Is not a metaphor.
I exit the playground

In shoes as soft as marshmallows,
the air a jangle of squeals.

Nodding at the lithe runners
And their sweaty sex,

I huff and trot home,
Just a few blocks ahead of death.

God, I am not ready yet.
I used to fall weightlessly.

I used to always return
To the arms of my mother.


by Mercedes Miranda

i am a brutally soft woman
my gentleness is ferocious
my kindness will punch your face
my breasts can poke a hole
in a cheap sweater
        that’s what a brutally soft woman thinks of herself.

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!

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