Heart on the Page: A Portable Writing Workshopis an inspirational guide for writers and writing instructors who teach in institutions, non-profit organizations, and healing centers. It begins with Wendy Brown-Baez’s own search for healing and interweaves stories of her workshop experiences with practical advice on how to inspire writers who may not think of themselves as writers but have a story to tell. Specific poems and prompts used to access intuitive guidance are interwoven with suggestions on how to engage participants with physical or emotional health challenges.
Writing and sharing stories activates the ability to find meaning after trauma, loss, or transition. The book is a valuable resource for staff or volunteers who wish to incorporate therapeutic writing for healing, self-awareness and creative expression with clients and for their own self-care.
“It was in reading Heart on the Page that I finally and fully understood Wendy’s teaching. Her approach to writing…(is) rooted in life, and loss and, importantly, the will to find a path back to light. For Wendy, rebuilding happened through words. She wrote her way back, not just to surviving, but to vibrancy. She developed a writing practice, which is to say, she developed a practice of turning pain into art.” —from Foreword by Jennifer Bowen-Hicks, founder and artistic director of MPWW
I have an entire book shelf filled with tomes on workshop ideas and techniques, including how to's. I turn to them for a little help when planning to do something new. I have been leading writing workshops for ages 5 to 95 for over 20 years. NONE OF THOSE BOOKS HAD THE IMPACT ON ME LIKE THIS ONE. The others were and will continue to be helpful, but this one got me so excited and energized, I immediately planned (basically stole my outline from the book) a four part community grief workshop using the author's prompts, some of her suggested poems and a few of others. I shared the outline with my community and had 8 people sign up within the first 24 hours. This book is simply brilliant. --Debbi Brody
Heart on the Pageis part memoir, part self-guided writer's workshop. As author Brown-Baez explains, she's seen and lived the healing power of the written word, which has led her on a journey to help others do the same.
"Often we do not recognize the power of our own voice, the impact our words have on the rest..."
Brown-Baez started writing as a means of therapy, working through some difficulties in marriage, and later grief. She describes her experiences in an honest, heartfelt way, sharing the interesting evidence that writing creates faster healing. When she'd experienced it for herself, she decided to take things a step further and began hosting writing workshops, often as a volunteer coordinator hosting with the aid of grants. Overall, I found her book really insightful, and look forward to working my way through her writing prompts to aid in my own personal journaling. I know those who read and utilize her book will enjoy her guidance and connect with her backstory. -- Amanda Ciejko
An Excellent Resource for Teaching “Healing” Writing Classes
The author writes in great detail about the various kinds of classes she has facilitated at a wide range of places. These include prisons, schools for at-risk students, healing and spiritual centers, women victims of violence, and many more. This book is designed for the person “facilitating” these writing classes, giving ideas and suggestions what to do and not do in order to do it right. Stories show how when individuals share their stories out loud in the classroom, it is about the power of the word to create transformation and change in the individual writer. The classes show how it’s grounding and validating to not feel alone. The book’s prompts and stories will make you want to sit down and write your own stories.
-- Connie Anderson, author, editor, and leader of women's writers group
"In order to move deeper into the intuitive imagination, to dive for the story that haunts us and will not let go or the story that is our transformative healing story, we need to silence the critic and pay attention to the innate storyteller."