Dawn Thompson currently oversees Portland Women Writers and has had the honor to be a part of it since 2008. She believes writing our stories, whether they originate from our life experience or our imagination, is a sacred act that liberates, heals and transforms us. Dawn is passionate about how writing in community offers us the gift of becoming more intimate with ourself and more connected to one another. She considers herself a space holder for women to build lasting pathways through the written word among their hearts, minds, bodies and souls.
Dawn holds an M.A. in Creation Spirituality from Naropa University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon. She has worked as a staff member for Write Around Portland, facilitating workshops for adults in drug and alcohol recovery and for individuals experiencing homelessness, living with disabilities, metastatic cancer, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
Dawn currently holds writing workshops for women with a cancer diagnosis at OHSU. She also holds workshops for caregivers, elders in assisted living, hospice and other groups. Please click here for more information about setting up a workshop for a specific community.
Sarah Pemberton Kastrup, MA, is the founder of Write Now, an after-school writing enrichment program in Portland, OR. Write Now brings writing to children in a way that honors each child’s voice and imagination, builds confidence, and ignites a love of writing. Sarah also facilitates women’s writing groups and a “Life Brief” writing group for men and women which supports participants in getting clarity on what matters most and expanding the possibilities for how that might come into being.
Sarah is certified as an Amherst Writers & Artists workshop facilitator (amherstwriters.com) and is adjunct faculty at Portland State University, teaching ESL for International Special Programs. She is a certified NLP coach/practitioner (nlppacific.com).
Sarah is passionate about teaching and holding space for self-expression and self-discovery. She has a beautiful way of inviting one's voice, supporting, and encouraging.
Donnella Wood is a writer, Somatic Therapist, and Movement Educator with a specialty in pelvic floor health. For over 18 years she has worked with individuals who want to feel more at home in their body and find ease in movement. She believes the body has inherent intelligence. Her work focuses on helping people access and use that intelligence so they feel more present and connected to their bodies and lives.
Donnella is a facilitator for Write Around Portland. Three of her poems have been published in local publications.
Lorraine Anderson is a freelance writer, editor, and teacher with a longstanding interest in creating a culture grounded in a reciprocal relationship with nature. With an M.A. in creation spirituality from Naropa University, she has been a community college writing instructor and is certified as a yoga teacher.
Lorraine’s writing has appeared in The Soul Unearthed, Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World, and Orion magazine. She compiled the best-selling anthology Sisters of the Earth: Women's Prose and Poetry About Nature and, more recently, Earth & Eros: A Celebration in Words and Photographs. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon, and blogs at earth-and-eros.blogspot.com. For more information, see her website at ecoeditoronline.com.
Lisa Kagan is a writer, artist, educator and personal historian. Her business, Family Heirloom Arts, is dedicated to helping individuals and families celebrate their life stories through the creation of illustrated heirloom books. Family Heirloom Arts offers life storytelling worskhops and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lisa is also the founder of the Art of Motherhood program, designed especially for mothers of young children. The Art of Motherhood program focuses on supporting and nurturing mothers of young children to connect with themselves and a community of moms by engaging in the creative process of sharing their stories through art and writing. The Art of Motherhood program offers monthly workshops and quarterly retreats, as well as publication opportunities for mother artists and writers through the online Art of Motherhood Community Gallery. Lisa has self-published her own book of original work entitled Emergence, Poetry and Art by Lisa Kagan. For more information visit: www.FamilyHeirloomArts.com
Anne Richardson is a Board Certified Chaplain, Certified Spiritual Director, Certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator, and poet. She established Nurture Your Journey (www.nurtureyourjourney.net) in 2016. She worked in home hospice for over seven years, coming alongside those at the end of life and their loved ones, creating space for them to weave their stores and listen to their own narratives with sacred intention. Her training includes two years at the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center with one year focusing on spiritual issues of veterans with PTSD or Moral Injury. She has offered the presentation Sacred Medicine: Poetry as a Pathway to Deeper Healing at the All-State Palliative Care Conference and to the Association of Professional Chaplains, North Oregon Chapter. Her interest in grief and loss as it unfolds at all times in our lives, from birth to death, and reflecting on healthy ways to journey through grief is one of her many passions.
Birch Dwyer is a writer, artist and facilitator of writing circles. She delights in creating a space in which people feel safe enough to explore and be nourished by the wild edges of their writing.
Birch’s ability to hold space is rooted in her deep understanding of how words and images can heal and transform a life. She has worked extensively for Art for Recovery, the expressive arts program at UCSF Medical Center, and for Drawbridge, an arts program for homeless children. Her writing workshops have helped people dealing with life-threatening illnesses, women affected by drug addiction, and employees on corporate retreats. She holds an MFA in fiction from Saint Mary’s College, a BA in art from Stanford University, and is in the final phase of training at the Institute for Poetic Medicine to become a certified poetry therapist.
Pearl Waldorf offers individual psychotherapy and creativity supports in her private practice in SE Portland where she is inspired every day by her work. For her, pursuing a life in the “arts” means not being afraid to follow your passions. She supports her clients to clear the barriers to the expression of those passions and champions a deep integration of the creative process into all life’s endeavors. Pearl is a Graduate of the California Institute of Integral Studies. For more information about Pearl, visit her website at: www.pearlwaldorf.com
Michelle McAfee has a way of weaving unforgettable melodies into vivid stories with a devotion to uplifting the human spirit through the magic of music and storytelling.
Michelle co-created the artist collective “One Soul” which takes music and art into prisons, working extensively in New Folsom California State Prison. This collective helps connect the men behind bars with their own creative voice and facilitates a safe place to create and express through music and visual art.
Michelle has been a staff songwriter for publishers in Nashville and Los Angeles (Warner-Chappell, Sony/Maypop Music, Bluewater Music) where she learned the craft of popular song structure and the business of music.
Currently, Michelle is a performing artist with two albums “blending edgy pop and bluesy bluegrass with intriguing instrumental virtuosity”. She has opened shows for G Love & Special Sauce, Jewel and The Indigo Girls.
Michelle is based in Williams, Oregon three quarters of the year and McCarthy, Alaska in the summer where she teaches a songwriting workshop at The Wrangell Mountain Art Center.
Meg Weber Meg Weber is a writer, mother, and mental health therapist. Her writing waits for her with surprising patience while other elements of life demand time and attention. Her writing heart graciously fits herself among the clamor of her daughter, aging parents and seven siblings, and the clients she supports in her therapy practice. Writing is one more thing pulling her focus, but it is also the thing that allows her to show up in all the other areas of life with authentic integrity.
Meet Sara Blackthorne. She’s a writer who wants to see other writers succeed. She is hardcore into authenticity and integrity. And she loves to excavate your deepest stories. With over 15 years of experience, Sara brings a keen eye and a sense of universal truth to storytelling, writing, and art. Her work has been featured in online and print journals, and she is the host and producer of In Her Room, a podcast featuring women sharing all aspects of the writing life. Visit Sara at: www.sarablackthorne.com
Click Here to see the full listing of current workshops offered by Portland Women Writers