Dawn Thompson 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.
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 and significant life milestones through the creation of illustrated heirloom books and custom art. Family Heirloom Arts offers life storytelling workshops and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lisa specializes in supporting people to honor their life passages through the art and writing process, with a focus on exploring the power of resilience as a source of inspiration and personal growth. Lisa is also the founder of the Art of Motherhood program, which provides opportunities for mothers to connect with themselves and a community of other moms by engaging in the creative process of sharing their stories. Lisa has self-published her own book of original work entitled Emergence, Poetry and Art by Lisa Kagan. For more information visit: 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 believes that magic is afoot when women write together. She delights in creating a space in which women feel safe enough to explore the wild edges of their writing, and supported enough to give voice to those words and be nourished by the gifts of community. She hopes that after attending one of her circles you will feel more empowered, connected and alive.
Over the last fifteen years, Birch has led workshops in a variety of settings, including those for women whose lives are affected by life threatening illnesses, addiction, eating disorders, and homelessness. In Oregon, she leads circles at Transition Projects, Open School and the University of Oregon. Before moving to Portland, she led the writing and art groups at UCSF Medical Center’s Art for Recovery Program, and for Drawbridge, an expressive arts program for homeless children. Birch received her certification in poetry therapy from the Institute for Poetic Medicine, her MFA in fiction from Saint Mary’s College, and her BA in art from Stanford University.
Ash Good was born in Paradise, California, and raised in a small Oregon mill town. As a poet, priestess, threshold crossing guide and somatic instructor, she serves life-force at the intersection of story telling, ritual & mindful movement. Ash delights in the co-creation of writing/reading spaces, deeply believing that as we offer our stories to the page and raise our voices, the delights and traumas of our pasts are subject to the alchemy of our creativity and courage. Telling stories frees our pain and multiplies our joy. Her own poetry is concerned with identity, family, honesty, voice, rhythm and healing found in the marrow of the mundane. She is the author of several books including These things will never happen quite like that again (LettersAt3amPress 2017), co-founder of First Matter Press and creator of High Priestesses of Poetry. Ash is 200-Hour Yoga Teacher certified through Sola School of Living Arts and has also studied Integrative Movement Therapy. Her somatic training has instilled a responsibility and sensitivity to the importance of inclusive, culturally respectful and trauma-informed spaces that nurture transformation. Ash hosts regular new and full moon meditation/writing circles for women to commune in sacred space. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
For more about Ash’s practices and books or to subscribe to her moon love letters please visit www.ashgood.com