Poets discuss their experiences participating in the “Seeking Your Voice” writing workshop and in “The Mother Dispossessed” project:
Srividya Kannan Ramachandran feels that the workshop has improved her writing and helped her develop a better appreciation for poetry. She believes that this nurturing group of people made working on “The Mother Dispossessed” project fun and deeply moving at the same time.
Elisabeth Frischauf – A member of the workshop for many years, she credits the group with unearthing her own voice, as well as developing a refined sensibility for other poets’ works through the study of past and contemporary poets.
Lisa J. Cihlar enjoyed guest teaching in Patricia Brody’s Poetry class. The students were delightful. And it was a revelation to revisit some of her older poems and still like them.
Jane Schulman – Fifteen years ago, Jane returned to writing poetry after a long hiatus and fortuitously came upon a poetry-writing workshop for women called “Translating Silences” at Barnard College. The workshop was taught by Charlotte Mandel, an independent literary scholar and poet, and explored craft, the writing of contemporary poets, and “sources of poetry within the self”. In 2009, two of Charlotte’s students, Eva Oppenheim and Patricia Brody, began to lead the Workshop, changing the title to Seeking Your Voice: Poetry Workshop. They continued the practice of spending ½ hour at the beginning of the Workshop exploring intriguing poets’ work — ranging from Emily Dickinson to Lucille Clifton to Simin Behbahani. Subsequent poems written by Workshop participants often showed the influence of these poets, in form or themes. “Seeking Your Voice” provides a place to share new and revising poems in a supportive, yet challenging setting that builds a strong community of writers and readers.
Alexandria Mitchell joined the workshop in November 2016 and has found it to be both educational and peaceful as the poets discuss different writers and styles.