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April 29 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kathleen O’Toole


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Writing Through the Seasons

Breathe in All That’s Blooming

There’s a reason that the ancient Celts celebrated Bealtaine (Beltane: May 1, or Mayday) which falls halfway between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. For us in the northern hemisphere, the turn from late April to early May ushers in our weeks of greatest light. While we may be rejoicing in the light, and all that’s green and blooming around us, we may be weighed down by the violence in the world around us, and the lasting effect of a worldwide pandemic, including our own vulnerability, or the fate of our planet in the face of climate change.

In this 90-minute session, we’ll take stock of our own yearnings for hope and new life this time of year, name the hues, fragrances and shapes of all that is blooming and coming to life in the world around us. We’ll look at some poems & poetic practices that emphasize resilience and attention to small things: the increased activity of birds, insects, and other creatures that invite our hearts to sing.

No previous poetry writing experience required, just an openness to playing with words. Bring an open heart, and maybe a photo or sketch of something you’ve noticed this spring that gave you joy.

Kathleen O’Toole is a poet whose work with haiku and other short poetic forms is deeply rooted in attention to the natural world. These three workshops will guide participants through poetry forms and writing practices that invite us to explore the ways season changes bring special opportunities for healing and creativity. The ancient Celts celebrated cross-quarter days as moments of magic and openings to spirit and ritual; we’ll mark our own seasonal awareness.

Writing Through the Seasons: The Healing Power of Nature will be offered as a program series, spread over the seasons.

Suggested Donation: $10/session

About Kathleen O’Toole

Kathleen O'Toole

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole is the author of 4 books of poetry (find her at https://kathleenotoolepoetry.com). She has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. As evident in her longer work, she often seeks inspiration and consolation in nature. For more than thirty years she has been writing haiku as a spiritual practice of attention, and to deepen her experience of the natural world.