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

Writing Through the Seasons

Harvesting the Fullness of Summer

Among the Cross Quarter Days in the old Celtic Calendar is Lammas or the Feast of the First Fruits, celebrated in Ireland and England on August 2. For those of us not reared in rural areas, we are caught in the mixed emotions of enjoying the pleasures of summer fruitfulness − corn and tomatoes, road trips to nearby shores and mountains or more exotic locations. Yet we’re aware of the lessening of the light, the passing of time and the certainty in nature and our hearts of all we’re about to let go of.

 

With this in mind, in our time together, we will explore short poems, seasonal images and writing practices that allow us to breathe in what is nourishing to us this time of year, and harvest in our own hearts the connections we feel to what is happening in the natural world. Participants who sign up early may get the benefit of a few poetic teasers and some images to turn over the soil in preparation for our writing time together!

Find a comfy chair or a window seat and bring writing material.


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, beginning in Fall 2021.

Program Dates: 

  • Saturday, August 6th, 10-11:30am EST – POSTPONED

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.

This program has been postponed. Please check back for a future date.

with Kathleen O’Toole

Writing through the Seasons

Writing Through the Seasons

Breathe in All That’s Blooming

Just after Mayday (Beltane in the Celtic world), we’ll gather in words and verse the hues, fragrances and shapes of all that is blooming and coming to life in the world around us. A great time to capture the lengthening days and the increased activity of birds, insects, and other creatures, and play with words and images in ways that allow our hearts to sing. Sketchbooks and notebooks, recent walks or favorite flowers & images are great resources.

Find a comfy chair or a window seat and bring writing material.


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, beginning in Fall 2021.

Program Dates: 

  • Saturday, May 14th, 10:00-11:30am ET

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.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Kathleen O’Toole

Writing through the Seasons : The Healing Power of Nature

Writing Through the Seasons

Celtic Spring: Welcoming the Light

Halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, the Celts celebrated Imbolc (February 2), the feast of lambing and the first day of spring. Though we may read in the groundhog’s shadow the prospect of more winter ahead, early February is a good time to notice the lengthening light and hints of spring and new life ahead. We’ll use our windows, memories and imaginations to write in that spirit.

Find a comfy chair or a window seat and bring writing material.


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, beginning in Fall 2021.

Program Dates: 

  • Saturday, February 5th, 10:00-11:30am ET
  • Saturday, May 14th, 10:00-11:30am ET

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.

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 carla@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 and Shadow in Autumn

Between the fall equinox and Samhain (Halloween), we’ll tune into the changing colors and light of autumn, the migratory birds and shifts in our imagination and dreams that this season brings. Autumn can be a time of melancholy and letting go, or whimsy and ghost stories.

Bring a notebook, sketchbook and any autumn memories that are special to you.


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 will be offered as a program series, spread over the seasons, beginning in Fall 2021.

Program Dates: 

  • Saturday, October 9th, 10:00-11:30am ET
  • Saturday, February 5th, 10:00-11:30am ET
  • Saturday, May 14th, 10:00-11:30am ET

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.