Summer Hardinge & Lisa Colburn offered a session on May 26.

Summer has always loved words and foolin’ around with them. As a child in the mountains of southwest Virginia, she relished the oral tradition of telling stories and listened to tales and poetry of the region and of family. Books and all those stories kept her company while she played in the woods and fields. Though she’s grown up a bit since then, her love of words and wordplay continues. As an actor, singer, and teacher of English and creative writing for 21 years, books and words have been her center. 

Her love for writing sparked as she participated in the Amherst Writers & Artists 2013 training workshop and retreat. She found the experience one of the most exciting and formative in her life. The AWA training led her to form groups of my own and seek out other writers. In workshops, she loves talking to people of all ages about writing and craft, listening to others’ words, trying on new forms, and being part of a strong writers’ community. Writing continues to ground her.

Whether teaching YogaRhythmics® classes, leading creative writing retreats, or facilitating AWA or Journal to the Self® workshops, Lisa’s goal has been the same: to hold up a mirror to the dancer, the writer, the creator, and say, “look how beautiful you are.”

Lisa first encountered the AWA method on a weekend women’s retreat in Capon Springs, WV. Until then, she hadn’t realized how liberating, joyful, spontaneous, and transformative a writing workshop could be. She found herself writing fiction and poetry, two genres she had never considered before. She found herself listening raptly to other writers, who shared rich stories of the places and people of their origins. In her imagination she smelled bread baking in a wood-fired oven, scuffed through leaves in the autumn woods, and journeyed to far-flung lands, all on the wings of others’ words. She wanted more.

And so, after more than 20 years in the publishing business as an editor for a variety of nonprofits, corporations, and publishers, she took the plunge and began the AWA training at founder Pat Schneider’s home in Amherst, MA. In 2012 she became a certified facilitator, and since then she has led many weekly workshops, one-day retreats, and weekend retreats in the Washington, DC, metro area.

Participants gathered virtually May 26 to write with Lisa Colburn and Summer Hardinge.

Jump to Remington Restivo’s piece.

Jump to Kristin W. Davis’ piece.

Jump to Andreina Castejon’s piece.

Jump to Lisa Colburn’s piece.

Cascade Poem by Remington Restivo

Keep what’s true in front of you
The negative spaces, the positive spaces, the silhouette and the shadows
Giving it a body and a figure

Start talking about roots
Meander into the art of pruning 
Keep what’s true in front of you

Developing leaves change the dimension
Cascading spent flowers lay a rug
The negative spaces, the positive spaces, the silhouette and the shadows

The man had been an arborist
Lover of Nature
Giving it a body and a figure

Two Haiku by Kristin W. Davis

Hydrangea bloom bends its stem

as birdsong rises,

like prayer from a head bowed down.

Fervent purple saturates

its tender petal,

cupping all the rain it can.

Blooming Avocado by Andreina Castejon

Growing plants from an avocado seed has a technique to it. When the seed is taken out of the avocado you must make sure it is not scratched therefore a knife can’t be used to attach to the seed. For that reason, it is good to scoop it out with a spoon and then wash away the remaining remnants of the vegetable around it. After washing the seed, it is recommended to either put it in a damp paper towel inside a zip lock bag under room temperature or put large toothpicks around the seed on top of a water container just so that the water reaches the bottom of the seed. After a few weeks have passed you would see a root grow underneath and/or its plant grow on top so that you can enjoy seeing your avocado plant continue blooming while also placing it in a pot with soil.    

 Cascade Poem by Lisa Colburn

These things are true

Today the sky is flannel gray

and the birds remind me there is so much more to life than this

Somewhere in India monks call each other to prayer

In Greece a fisherman hauls his catch

These things are true

In France ancient olive trees bear witness to generations

A reporter in China paces her cell

Today the sky is flannel gray

In Texas parents wail for murdered children

I search for a deeper truth transcending time and space

and the birds remind me there is so much more to life than this

Thank you for joining us for 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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