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Pagoda Writers Circle

Encouragement and Inspiration

Current Year Future Events (2020)

All Meetings will be held at 1840 Lorraine Road, Reading, PA 19604. Networking and conversation at 12:45, workshop begins promptly at 1:00 pm. Just come in.


February 1, 2020

Rev. Sandra Fees

Sandra Fees on Painting a Picture with Words

If you’ve been searching for ways to make your writing more vivid and memorable, join in this workshop on “Images: Painting a Picture with Words.” Imagery has the power to charge your writing with freshness and intensity, whether through the stunning image of a sunset, a dancer, or a penguin. Participants will learn the various sources of images, types of images, and techniques for crafting them. There will be opportunities for conversation and a writing exercise.

Sandra Fees is the author of “The Temporary Vase of Hands” (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and her recent work appears in The Comstock Review, Sweet Tree Review, Quiddity, and elsewhere. She has served a term as Berks County Poet Laureate and is a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. Sandra earned an undergraduate degree at Shippensburg University, an M.A. at Syracuse University, and M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Lancaster Theological Seminary.


more to come...

April 11, 2019

Heather H. Thomas

Heather H. Thomas on Unanswerable Letter Poems

We will explore the now-rare practice of letter writing as a springboard to poetry. This exercise combines the strategy of direct address— Dear You—with prose style in poetic form. We will explore the emotionally charged contexts of loss, absence, rant, plea, apology, and manifesto. Springing from Emily Dickinson's "This is my letter to the World" (Poem 441), the unanswerable letter can be written as a poem addressed to a real or imagined person, or, as in Dickinson's example, to the world itself. Vortex Street contains two of these poems: "Letter My Father Never Sent Me" and "Letter My Grandmother Never Sent Me." Although it is not necessary, you are welcome to bring one or more old letters for interrogation and inspiration.

Heather H. Thomas is the author of Vortex Street and three other full-length poetry collections. Her honors include a Rita Dove Poetry Prize, a Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a term as Berks County Poet Laureate. For Heather, poetry is a practice of interrogation of self and world, tracking a path to discovery and healing. In her new book Vortex Street, life is subject to forces disrupting the flow—from the Schuylkill River to Aleppo, Syria. The poems contend with turbulence, loss, and renewal both personal and political. She was Professor of English and Professional Writing at Kutztown University for 25 years and currently teaches creative writing at Cedar Crest College and in community and private workshops. Heather earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Temple University.