Dawn Thompson oversees Portland Women Writers and has had the honor to be a part of it since 2008. She is also the co-founder of Touchstone Retreats. 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.
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.
Dawn currently holds writing workshops for individuals healing from cancer through the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU and through Legacy Cancer Center. 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. Lisa offers art and writing workshops and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lisa is the co-founder of the Touchstone Retreats program and a facilitator through Portland Women Writers. Lisa believes in the transformative nature of the creative process to heal, empower, challenge, inform, and awaken the human spirit.
Anne Richardson, MA is a Board Certified Chaplain, Certified Spiritual Director, Certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator, Certified Reiki I & II, published writer and award winning poet. She serves on the board of NW Association of Death Education & Bereavement Support. Her years working in hospice deepened her understanding of life transitions, grief, and loss. This sparked her passion for creating intentional space for people to listen to their own stories and inner voice. She established Nurture Your Journey, LLC in 2016 with a vision to provide that space. Anne offers her expertise in a variety of professional settings as well as meeting with individuals in spiritual direction, workshop and retreat settings. She is also available to facilitate labyrinth events.
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 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 facilitates a weekly circle at Transition Projects, and had led circles at The University of Oregon, The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Open School, and The Center for Earth Regenerative Studies. 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. Her poetry has been published in VoiceCatcher, The Clackamas Literary Review, and Windfall.
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.
Ash's 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.