aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Write Around Portland teaches people the value of words

Over the weekend, I went to a housewarming party that was also a fundraiser for Write Around Portland. “Write Around Portland runs volunteer-facilitated writing workshops for people affected by HIV/AIDS, survivors of domestic violence, people in recovery from drug/alcohol addiction, people in prison, seniors in foster care, veterans living with PTSD, people with physical or mental disabilities, teen parents, low income adults and people who might not have access to the power of writing and community because of income, isolation or other barriers. We organize readings where participants share their writing with the greater community. We also publish anthologies of participants' writings.”

Since so many of these are folks who live on some sort of margin, they also provide writing journals, pens, bus tickets, food, and childcare.

Three people who had been through workshops spoke at this party: a vet with PTSD, a guy who had been horribly burned and had a face like a patchwork quilt, and an older African American woman. But the things that they read were universal – and beautiful. And then our hostess, a professor at Reed, talked about how writing saved her life. She had been a troubled teen, so troubled her mom sent her to a foster home. But an English teacher thought her poems were beautiful. Her eyes teared up as she talked about how she had been a girl who came from the wrong side of the tracks, and now, thanks to writing, she was a professor at one of the most prestigious private universities in the United States.

Want to know more about the organization? Click here.

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Tags: writing

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