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So Much Is In Bud: Cultivating Hope in an Age of Fear

April 22 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Readings and an Invitation to Spirited Writing


Jennifer Browdy, Ellen Meeropol and Jana Laiz


We have only begun to know

the power that is in us if we would join

our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must

complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.

                      –Denise Levertov

It’s easy to feel paralyzed and fearful in the face of the realities of climate change and other threats to our planet. But as Levertov said, so much is possible if we join together “in the communion of struggle.”

Authors Jana Laiz, Ellen Meeropol and Jennifer Browdy will share short excerpts from their environmental writing and offer lively prompts to inspire our writing together from a deep place of hope for the future.

Register here


Unfurling: Reflections on the Spring-times of our Lives with Jennifer Browdy

Step back into one precious springtime when you were young and all the world beckoned you to unfurl into your life. We will write our way back to the young person we were in that time, and reach out a hand to her, reflecting on what hard-won wisdom we might have to share with her now, gleaned from our subsequent years of experience out in the world.


Jennifer Browdy

Jennifer Browdy, a professor of comparative literature and media studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and founder of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, has edited three anthologies of women’s writing from around the world, and is the author of a memoir, What I Forgot…And Why I Remembered: A Journey to Environmental Awareness and Activism Through Purposeful Memoir and a writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion. A passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, she blogs regularly at Transition Times and other media outlets.

Writing beyond fact into fiction with Ellen Meeropol 

Fiction has the capacity to invite us into a compelling situation, one where something important is at stake. Using visual prompts, we will move beyond the headlines and warring slogans to imagine characters and short scenes reflecting our world at risk and our hopes for the future.

Ellen Meeropol

Ellen Meeropol

Ellen Meeropol is the author of three novels, Kinship of Clover, On Hurricane Island, and House Arrest, and the dramatic production “Carry it Forward” starring Eve Ensler, Angela Davis, and Cotter Smith. Ellen’s short fiction and essay publications include Guernica, Bridges, The Writer, The Cleaver, Necessary Fiction, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, and The Writers Chronicle. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. She is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild and its current president.


Letters to the World with Jana Laiz

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me–
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

–Emily Dickinson

Nature was important to Emily Dickinson because it showed a world that did not judge but asked only to be noticed, acknowledged and treated with profound dignity and respect. Jana Laiz will guide participants in writing a letter to the natural world, out of our deep love for her. It can be a love letter, a letter of apology, a letter of gratitude for her abundance, a song, poem or anything else that exemplifies our deep connection and respect for our Mother Earth and the natural world that gives us life.

Jana Laiz

Jana Laiz

Jana Laiz is the author of the triple award-winning novel, Weeping Under This Same Moon; the eco-fairytale novel The Twelfth Stone, a Book of the Year Award nominee; and co-author of A Free Woman On God’s Earth, about Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman. The writer-in-residence at Herman Melville’s beloved home Arrowhead, she is a teacher, a writer, an editor, a mom, an animal lover, a musician and a dreamer. She is passionate about our beautiful planet and endeavors to make a difference in the world and to work with others who feel the same.


Register here. 


April 22
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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South Berkshire Friends Meeting
280 State Road
Great Barrington, MA
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