Three seasonal workshops took place in 2021/2022, as Calliope explored ways to return Back to Life — back our existence as community through pandemic times, but also how the pandemic seemed to have blessed us with a strong reconnect to nature and the connectedness with all living things.
Calliope welcomed Abena Beloved Green to direct workshop participants through the development of spoken word. In our first workshop, she instructed on and explored the beginning stages of creative writing through different lenses, writing to and as nature. Individuals were encouraged to explore their relationship with nature through the pandemic, and how we engage with it, and how it has affected us. Participants created first drafts of their pieces striving to sound impactful, and focusing on exploring what they wanted to say.
During the second session during KWF’s Winter Writers’ Retreat, an additional 15 people joined in -person, as we continued with the themes and prompts from the first workshop. This workshop included the prompt to write a five-line letter to a friend about an interaction that happened between themselves and nature through the pandemic. Participants were encouraged to engage and explore with other writers reciting their works aloud for others to observe. The goal was to move their written work from paper to the stage.
And finally, what we are so pleased to share with you here, is the third workshop which included participants who focused on developing and perfecting the performance aspect of spoken word. Those who had attended all three workshops had the opportunity to have their pieces recorded. Participants were guided through exercises that encouraged finding the voice of their poems, involving volume, tone, word emphasis, and speed exploration.