Writing together

Just finishing up a series of POP workshops for the Learning Curve with eight amazing women who inspired!

*March 7th, The Alzheimer’s Education Conference, Journaling for Self-Care and Clarity
*March 22, Oakland, CA with Marianna Neil, The Sculpture Speaks to benefit Owl & Panther [details to follow]
*April 6th, Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center in Phoenix with artist Aida Algosaibi-Stoklos about The Sculpture Speaks to benefit Owl & Panther

Consider joining me for these free workshops at the Library:
*March 17: Build a Better Tucson, intergenerational, at Woods Memorial from 2-3pm
*April 14, Publishing, Golf Links, 9-11am
*April 19, Your Family/Tu Familia, intergenerational, Nanini, 4-5pm
*August 16, Build a Better Tucson, intergenerational, Columbus, 4:15-5:30pm

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Collaborative Library/Museum Poem

Exquisite Corps Poems

written in the Dress Matters gallery

at Tucson Museum of Art, 11/12/17

by a Pima County Public Library writing workshop

First lines  from an Owl & Panther poem inspired by the same art


After Nick Cave’s Soundsuit, 2006

Year flashes in lightening and sparkle dark flowers

Flowers galore, sparkly, beaded, all exquisite

Exquisite fits

Fits of euphoria, drama, sparkle surrounds the unseen figure,

walking on feet guided by swirling stars

Stars dazzle with their absurd excess

Excess is sensuous bright colors, delightful

Delightful in color but not in shape, oh well, what is?



After Angela Ellsworth’s Seer Bonnet XIX (Flora Ann), 2011

Pretty, spiky, dangerous, scary – makes me want to Touch.

Touch, don’t touch, touch, don’t touch – beauty is on the fingers of the beholder

Beholder of millions of shiny beads and pins

Pins, 24,182 pearl corsage pins fill a shoe box

Box upon box of carefully pinned pearls;

Pearls of beauty, pearls of wisdom

Wisdom pinned sharp as steel

Steel strength flows in ribbons

Ribbons and pins, dangerous daggers



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The Sculpture Speaks: A Refugee’s Story of Survival

Excited about the new book with Marianna Neil and art by Aida Algosaibi-Stoklos. 11/18 we’ll be at Southside Presbyterian to celebrate John Fife’s 50th ordination anniversary with the book! On 11/20 we’ll have a chance to show the original art from the book and talk about the impact the sculpture and book had on our lives at Theology Uncorked, 6:30 at St. Frances Cabrini Parish, 3201 E. Presidio Road, in the Parish Hall. Please join us if you can!


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Summer & Fall at the Library

Marge-Pellegrino-May-2017_description-sizeJune, July, and August I’ll be serving as the Writer-in-Residence! Tuesdays at Woods, Thursday at Nanini. Call either branch for an appointment.

And I’m excited about these upcoming workshops!

* Haiku / Senryu on 6/14 at Arivaca and 6/15 at Woods Library

* Build a Better Tucson  6/21 Joel D. Valdez Main Library and 7/12 at Mission Library, 3 to 4pm, all ages

* My family / Your Family, Mi Familia / Tu Familia, 7/1 at Woods Library, all ages!

* Writing from Image Thursday, July 13, 2-4pm, Nanini Library, teens and adults

* Surrealistic Found Poems at MegaMania!!, 3- 4pm, July 15, Pima Community College – Downtown Campus CC254, teens

* Don’t Fear the Blank Page Wednesday, July 19 at 11am, Oro Valley Public Library, call for registration and appointment

* I Remember, July 22, 12-2pm Eckstrom-Columbus Library

* Writing in the Garden, 7/29, 8-9:30am, Pio Decimo Garden

*Journaling in the Garden, 8/5, 8-10am Tucson Village Farm

*One Seed, Found Poems, 8/9, 4:30-5:30pm, El Rio

*Dreaming! 8/19, 2-3pm, Woods Memorial Library

*One Seed, Found Poems, 8/22, 3:30-4:30, Flowing Wells Library

*Gratitude, 9/9, 1-2pm Quincy Douglas Library

*One Seed, Found Poems, 9/12, Noon-1pm, Main Library

*One Seed, Found Poems, 9/15, 4-5pm, Mission Library

*One Seed, Found Poems, 9/20, 2-3pm, River Library

*Writing for Children, Sept 26, 10:30am-12:30pm. Suggested pre-work and registration will be available through the Dusenberry-River Library

*Feature Writing, October 7, Suggested pre-work and registration will be available through Kirk-Bear Canyon

*Writing from Image, October 11, 1-3pm, Himmel Park Library

*Publishing, Nov. 4, 10:30am-12:30pm, Murphy-Wilmot Library

* Publishing, Nov. 9, 4-6pm, Quincy Douglas

*Art Inspired Writing, Nov. 12, 2-4pm at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, with a field trip to Tucson Museum of Art



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Process Over Product starts next week!

Process-over-Product writing grew from a collaboration of expressive arts and anthropology. In these five workshops, you’ll experience a variety of prompts that ask you to observe in thick description, devise questions you’ll work to answer, revisit your writing to better understand what you’ve been telling yourself all along. The POP springboards will produce writing that will explore and build confidence in your ideas and thoughts, serve as ammunition to act, and generate pages which can provide material for more polished work–although more polished work is not required to reap the benefits of POP writing. There will be homework and opportunities to share.

When: Tuesdays, Mar 7 – Apr 4, 9:30am-12:30pm

Where: St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church (Palo Verde Room)

Cost: $150.00 for 5 session(s)

To register or find out more check: https://www.thelearningcurvetucson.com/classes/pop-writing/

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Missing You


Missing You: Honoring Loss and Resilience in South Tucson

Read more from Readings & Workshops Blog
A blog from: The Staff of Poets & Writers
Posted by RW Blogger on 11.28.16

Teaching artist Marge Pellegrino recently led a series of P&W–supported writiimg_1671sng workshops for the YWCA’s La Escuelita’s summer program. Pellegrino has written about grief and resilience for children. Since 1999, she has directed programming for the Owl & Panther expressive arts project that serves refugees impacted by torture, trauma, and traumatic dislocation. Her book Journey of Dreams (Frances Lincoln Press, 2009) is a Smithsonian Notable Book, Southwest Best Book, and Judy Goddard Award winner for excellence in young adult literature. Her book Too Nice (Magination Press, 2002) is available in five languages.

Missing You Workshop Cohort

missyoucohort-544x306The neighborhood surrounding the House of Neighborly Service’s La Escuelita knows loss. Many of the youth who participate in the YWCA’s La Escuelita summer camp have family members who have died too young. Some have relatives who have been incarcerated. Some youth come from mixed-status or undocumented families who are separated from loved ones by deportation.

The series of five P&W–supported “Missing You” writing workshops invited neighborhood youth from five to seventeen years of age to explore new ways to hold memories and reach out to those they love. They played with writers’ tools to create a small body of work that tapped spatial and linguistic intelligences. They let their illustrations fuel a “simile portrait.” They felt the cadence in their “I Miss/I Remember” list poems. They composed letters to the people they love and imagined how the voice of that person might sound in an answer. Some of the participants were particularly engaged when they stitched together narratives that captured details of a time they spent together with the person they miss.

One morning they wrote about the metaphorical trash in their lives on scraps of colored paper. They ripped the paper up, put the small pieces in a blender with water, “transforming trash into treasure,” and created a beautiful handmade paper cover for their book, which held their own story of resilience. Their last exploration held up gratitude. They wrote about things they valued about a brother, a tio, abuela, or the mother who loved them, in order to feel how gratitude can lift their spirits, like the last line of a great poem.

Each workshop ended in sharing within the cohort—a time when their words traveled on sound, when they could see others respond to what they had kept tucked in their hearts. A time when the writing and sharing could break through the isolation caused by a buildup of grief and separation. Hearing the others’ stories let them know they weren’t alone with these feelings.

The series culminated in a shy and proud reading for the community elders.

Photo: La Escuelita “Missing You” workshop with Marge Pellegrino.
Support for Readings & Workshops events in Tucson is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from the Poets & Writers Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

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Upcoming 2016 Library Workshops!

May 27, Gratitude, Green Valley, 2pm, kids of all ages
June 2, Four Fabulous Found Poems, Main, 10am to noon, teens
June 8th, Gratitude, 1pm, at Arivaca Community Center, all ages
June 14, I Remember, 11am- noon, Wilmot Library for adults & teens
August 25, Gratitude, Martha Cooper, 3:30 pm, all ages
Sept. 16, Write On!, Golf Links, 10am-noon, adults
Nov. 10, Starting that Story, Woods Library, 4pm, all ages
Nov. 19, Gratitude, Main, 2-4pm, adults

Dec. 2, Fabulous Found Poems, 11-12:30pm, for Eckstrom-Columbus’ adult “Make and Take” program

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Two Opportunities to Write in November

Nov. 10th, HAIKU! at Martha Cooper Library, 3:30-4:30 pm, all ages, freeDSCN4304


MASNoora_SelfPortrait-3-615x459Nov 12, Write On! in Tucson Museum of Art’s Museum as Sanctuary Gallery 10-NoonPutting words on the page supports resilience and mindfulness. Bring along your curiosity and favorite pen and notebook for this creative writing exploration inspired by the ground-breaking Museum as Sanctuary show at the Tucson Museum of Art featuring work by Owl & Panther expressive arts participants. No writing experience necessary. This two-hour workshop is facilitated by teaching artist/writer Marge Pellegrino, programing director of the Owl & Panther Project. The $25 cost for the two-hour workshop includes entrance into the museum. Register on line at https://www.tucsonmuseumofart.org/event/write-on

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Five Week Journaling workshop starting Oct. 6th.

The Healing Art of Journaling

I’ve always known that writers work with magic. What else could account for words that kept me turning pages and devouring stories? They had to be magic if they could create a poem with the power to make me weep, or an article that could get me off my chair and inspire me to jump into something new. Now that I am a writer, I understand that putting pen to paper or cutting out words and moving them around really is magic. For me, the process of writing holds that enchantment and the power to transform. Join me for five Tuesday mornings to ignite your neon words, center yourself, and discover on the page. Generate material for poetry, memoir, and essay while you feed your craft and find inspiration through a variety of prompts and techniques that offer self-illumination, validation, and the power to heal.


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Library Programs for Fall! Come out and write with me…

Sept 10
FOUND POEMS, Woods Memorial Library, 3pm, all ages

Sept 21
 ALTERED BOOKS, Dewhirst-Catalina Library, 10:30am-12:30pm adults and teens

Oct 15
I REMEMBER, Quincie Douglas Library, 3-4 pm, all ages

Nov 10
HAIKU, Martha Cooper, 3:30-4:30 pm, all ages

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