is the author of the novel Catch a Dream, a poetry CD Longing for Home, the full-length poetry collection Ceremonies of the Spirit, and two chapbooks,
transparencies of light and Elegy for Newtown. Her craft book Heart on the Page: A Portable Writing Workshop is slated for 2019 publication and her novel Falling South for late 2019 or early 2020.
Her poetry and prose appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies, both in print and on-line.
During a time when Wendy's partner was severely depressed, writing became a powerfully cathartic way to express her emotional turmoil. Writing her heart onto the page was a source of deep self-awareness and intuitive guidance. Her women's poetry group were her circle of support when her partner took his life. She began to perform poetry by memorizing it and acting it out dramatically in order to create an intimate connection with her audience.
The idea of writing circles came to her after the devastating loss of her son, also from suicide. Wendy wrote her way toward healing after living through shattering grief. Writing became her spiritual practice and teaching a way to pass along her process. Dreaming of how to combine her passion for words with a desire to be of service, she wrote:
"I could facilitate writing groups
for people who have suffered or are suffering.
I could help people access
their deepest thoughts and fears because I have
been through it all. I was still on the quest for answers and I
found them everywhere--even in the heart of a stranger as we leaned closer in
empathy. Everyone has a story. Everyone has grief somewhere in their family story, and finds courage to go on, keeping
their raft afloat on the sea of life."
Wendy has facilitated writing workshops since 1994, including at Cornerstone's support groups, the Women & Spirituality conference at MSU Mankato, All About the Journey healing center, The Aliveness Project, Unity Minneapolis, El Colegio High School, and Celebrate Yourself and Fabric (formerly Jacob's Well) women's retreats. Wendy received 2008 and 2009 McKnight grants through COMPAS Community Art Program to teach writing workshops for youth in crisis. The project at SafeZone and Face to Face Academy developed into an art installation showcasing their recorded writings. When it was noted that students' reading scores improved, she was hired as Face to Face's writing instructor.
In 2012 she was awarded a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant to teach writing workshops in twelve non-profit arts and human service organizations. She continues to teach at Pathways: A Healing Center, in Mn prisons, and in community spaces such as public libraries, yoga studios, churches, and cafes.
She was awarded a Saint Louis Park Arts & Culture grant to facilitate a writing group that exhibited their writings in local businesses and community centers.
Wendy has taught memoir at MCTC and Minneapolis community ed. programs.
In addition, Wendy has managed shelters for the homeless and visited incarcerated teens. She is trained as a hospice volunteer and as a facilitator of Monologue Life Stories. Wendy studied Indigenous healing, ceremony, and spiritual traditions with Earthwalks for Health and lived in Mexico and Israel. She has collected wisdom teachings from these cultures, as well as written memoirs of her adventures.
Wendy's passion is to lead writing workshops for those who may not think of themselves as writers but have a story to tell. Her teaching method encourages dedicated writers to develop and sustain a writing practice and guides their story-telling skills by offering feedback and craft tips. Wendy believes in the power of words to transform our lives and our world. She believes that writing fulfills the soul's longing for connection and meaning and her motto is The shortest bridge between us is a story.
photo by Nazara Matos