Monday, September 16, 2019

Writing and Widowhood

a class with Esther Altshul Helfgott
 November  4, 11, 18, 25    
Greenwood Senior Center - 206-297-0875

 According to the dictionary, a widow is “a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.” Another definition refers to a widow as “empty.” Through writing exercises and discussion, we will explore the waves of grief that continue long after a love one’s death (even after remarriage). We will ask ourselves questions: Do I become a new person after my loved-one dies? Must I recreate myself? Can I still have fun? Writing has always helped me come back to myself. I’m hoping this class will help you too. In the meantime, make a list of words associated with the word “widow.” Here’s a start: widow’s peak, widow’s chamber, widow’s hand, and the flower, widow’s frill. 
Widow’s frill
Esther Altshul Helfgott is a nonfiction writer & poet with a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. She is the author of Listening to Mozart: Poems of Alzheimer’s (Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2014); Dear Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Diary & Poems (Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2013); The Homeless One: A Poem in Many Voices (Seattle: Kota Press, 2000). Her work appears in Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease, American Imago; BlackPast; Blue Lyre Review; Cirque, Floating Bridge Review, HistoryLink.org; Journal of Poetry Therapy; Raven Chronicles and elsewhere. She is the founder of Seattle's It's About Time Writers Reading Series, now in its 29th year, and is editor with Peggy Sturdivant and Katie Tynan of the forthcoming So, Dear Writer: An It's About Time Writers' Reading Series Anthology… (Yakima: Cave Moon Press, 2019)


Sunday, September 08, 2019

Writing to Heal

5 Wednesdays in Oct.
6:30-8:30 pm
$125. email me if interested 
eahelfgott@gmail.com
I don’t know what I would have done, all through those long years that my husband suffered from Alzheimer’s, had writing not been an integral part of my life. Writing provided me with a way to center myself, all the while Alzheimer’s threatened to unravel, unhinge and destroy. Writing continues to help me heal from life’s surprises and also helps me celebrate them.
Bring a notebook, a pencil or pen. Take a seat at my table. I’ll give you a prompt – a poem, say. Or a piece of conversation—and begin writing. In any form or style that comes to mind. Don’t worry about commas, semicolons, question marks or spaces. Just write - scribble, ramble - until I tell you to stop.  Then, if you want, you’ll read, or talk about, what you’ve written.
Writing elicits insight. It fosters self-understanding & personal growth.

Writing helps us remember ourselves in the past. It uncovers silences & secrets & helps us confront suffering & loss.

eahelfgott@gmail.com

Esther Altshul Helfgott is a non-fiction writer & poet with a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. She is the editor with Peggy Sturdivant and Katie Tynan of the forthcoming anthology So, Dear Writer… An It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series Anthology (Cave Moon Press, 2019). She is the author of Listening to Mozart: Poems of Alzheimer’s (Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2014; Dear Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Diary & Poems (Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2013); The Homeless One: A Poem in Many Voices (Seattle: Kota Press, 2000). Her work appears in American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human SciencesBeyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's DiseaseBlackPast: Remembered and Reclaimed; Blue Lyre ReviewCirque: A Literary Journal for Alaska and the Pacific NorthwestFloating Bridge Review; HistoryLink; Journal of Poetry Therapy;  Literary Mama;  Pontoon;  Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy ReviewRaven Chronicles, Ribbons; Seattle Star; & others. She is the founder of Seattle's It's About Time Writers’ Reading Series, now in its 29th year; and she, especially, loves the poetry pole her kids built her for Mothers’ Day. www.estherhelfgott.com  
From 2008 to 2015, Esther wrote the blog, Witnessing Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's View, for the Seattle P.I., her best example of writing to heal.