“...I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed.”
Diving into the Wreck, Adrienne Rich
Drawing from readings, spiritual traditions, songs, poems, performances, oral traditions, and more, this class will dive deep into our longings, our dreams, and our experiences to mine our past as we examine, question, and release habitual thoughts and patterns in order to emerge, shining and bright with the treasure of our deepest self.
In this six-week course, we will begin with a foundational question, “What is story?” How does story move past memory and moment to embody a universal truth through the personal experience? We will focus on inspiration, imagination, story development, and craft as well as spoken word performance considerations. The class will balance listening, reflecting, crafting, and sharing. Our intent is to deepen awareness of the power stories play in personal and universal transformation and to fall into expression of life’s pleasures and pains.
Week One: What is a Story?
In third grade we were told a story has a beginning, a middle and an end, characters, a setting, a problem and a solution. While a story may contain these elements it is not what a story truly is. There is more. What is the more? This question and seeking will guide our first week together as we try to understand the depth and possibility of story writing and performance.
Week Two: The Story Map — Finding the Tale
This week focuses on seeing the overarching themes in our life and the stories we have to share. We look at the overview of our experience in order to identify the specific stories that speak to our unique life.
Week Three: Embodying the Story
Stories live in words that create pictures in the mind of the listener and reader. This week we will focus on creating strong and striking images within our short story works that make us sit up and wonder as we utilize words to embody a story.
Week Four: Walk a Mile in Another’s Shoes
This week we look at our personal short stories through the eyes of “another.” What can we learn by seeing our experience through another person’s values and viewpoints? How can we deepen our experience by distancing ourselves from it? Compassion, understanding, perspective and transformation become available when we turn the prism of experience and see it through another lens.
Week Five: Witness and Wonder
In week five we practice voicing and witnessing the pieces of one another as we ask two simple questions: what did you notice and what did you wonder? These two reflective questions take us out of judgment and into our own curiosity.
Week Six: Sharing Our Work
In this final week we share the stories we have created and ask how these pieces have transformed our relationship to our creativity, identity, and beliefs? How does writing and the spoken word transform us? How can we bring this forward in our work in the future with one another?
This class is suited for writers and/or storytellers, healing arts professionals, clergy, teachers, and songwriters. No previous experience is needed.
This is an online course. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week reading, writing, and responding to each other on the discussion forums. We may schedule 1-2 group video / phone conferences.
Required Text: Your Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling by Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox. Tarcher Publisher, 1989
Regi Carpenter is an award winning storyteller, author, and performance coach. Regi has toured her solo shows internationally to China, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Mexico. Her new memoir “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Dinner: stories of a seared childhood” has just been published by Familius Publishing. Regi holds a BFA from Ithaca College where she currently teaches storytelling. Her performance piece Snap! won the 2012 Boston StorySlam. Snap! is a featured Listen story on The Moth website. She is currently working on a new book of stories for therapists to use with grieving clients.
See some of Regi’s videos here.
Visit Regi’s youtube channel here.
The Transformative Language Arts Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
1741 Valley Forge Road, #175, Worcester, PA 19490