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posted: 2/27/2013 1:42 PM

Poetry workshop 'Writing from the Soul' March 9

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  • Charles Reynard.

    Charles Reynard.
    Courtesy of NWCC

  • Judith Valente

    Judith Valente
    Courtesy of NWCC

Submitted by Northwest Cultural Council

The Northwest Cultural Council announces a Second Saturday Poetry Workshop to be held from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, March 9, led by Judith Valente and Charles Reynard. Saturday's topic will be "Writing from the Soul."

Judith Valente is the author of the poetry collection "Discovering Moons" (Virtual Artists Collection/Chicago, 2009) and the chapbook, "Inventing An Alphabet," selected by Mary Oliver for the 2005 Aldrich Poetry Prize. She is an on-air correspondent for the national PBS-TV program, "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly." She recently completed a memoir about her experiences as a regular visitor to a Benedictine monastery in Atchison Kansas, due out next year from Sorin Books/South Bend, Ind.

Charles Reynard is the author of the chapbook, "The Utility of Heartbreak" (Pike Staff Press, 2010). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including AfterHours, I-70 Review and Legal Studies Forum. He is co-editor with his wife, Judith Valente, of "Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul," an award-winning anthology of poems and reflections on finding the sacred in the everyday. He serves as a Circuit Court judge in Bloomington, and is currently assigned to family court.

How do we manage to write about the sacred and transcendent without sounding overtly religious? Many contemporary poets including Mary Oliver, Marie Howe, Billy Collins and Naomi Shihab Nye have done so successfully by grounding the sacred in the ordinary. We'll look at how poets make concrete the sacred and invite the sacred into ordinary aspects of daily life and then challenge ourselves to write about the moments, events or people in our lives who have led us to the transcendent.

Participants are encouraged to bring 15 copies of their own work to share with the group. Workshops take place at the Palatine Public Library, 700 N. North Court, Palatine, on the second Saturday of each month. All poets and writers are invited to attend. The cost is $15. Please R.S.V.P. to (847) 991-7966 or email

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