Writing Through the Seasons: The Healing Power of Nature

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November 19, 2022 @ 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


Writing Through the Seasons

Spirit & Shadow in Autumn

We can experience mixed feelings about the turn of year that begins November 1: the presence of the spirit world in the Celtic Feast of Samhaim (our Halloween), the coming dark days of winter in evidence around us, the final harvest and bounty of autumn that we celebrate at Thanksgiving.

For those of us with seasonal melancholy tuned to the late fall and winter, it can be even harder to harvest (and harness) shards of beauty in the natural world around us.

So, in this session we’ll tune in to the changed and changing colors and light of late autumn, notice the wonder of migratory birds, perhaps the shifts in our imagination and dreams to the “thin places” and presence of deceased friends and ancestors. We’ll play with some free-writing using the Japanese “haibun” form (a mix of prose with a haiku leap), to capture some whimsy or wisps of unconscious creativity.

Bring a notebook, sketchbook and any autumn memories that you cherish.

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.

Program Dates: 

  • Saturday, November 19th (rescheduled date)

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series

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.

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