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LITerari.us magazine features the writing of the students of Laura Lentz’s LITerati.academy.

 

This Issue: The Universe & You

Body Story Write

Being connected to our bodies calls forth the natural resources of being alive on the planet. Our bodies are like an orchestra, constantly tuning for each day we are alive. When we listen deeply to our body, we are honoring and listening to the body’s language. Our bodies speak to us; they hold our stories, our secrets, and our memories. Every story you want to write is already alive in your cells.  And the body wants you to tell your stories, which are entwined in your hips, your knees, your teeth and your sternum. Your stories live in your heart and your lungs.

Writing through the body and about the body puts us in touch with something bigger than language – our own mortality. When we face that, our creativity becomes a rushing river.

 

Author Snowden says “this is a time to say yes to the grammar of the gut.”

 

In this 6-week course, I am inviting writers to tap into their body to create their deepest stories, while also learning literary and poetic techniques – dialogue, odes and attention to detail. Your body is a personal navigation system, an antique map, a GPS to the stories that want to find their way into your books,  essays or blogs.

Story is about connection. Your body is the vehicle to connect you to the creative life force, to the magic that is waiting to be mined.

Your body will break down, it will get disease, it will age, it will wilt. This is something we can trust will happen at some point, from injury or the natural aging process. You can also trust there is a wellspring of wisdom residing in your cells.  Our physical challenges, our illnesses and limitations are also a source of wisdom, creativity and grace.

Together, over six weeks, we will write our stories through guided exercises – foot by foot, hip by hip, heart by heart.We will allow our bodies to be the pen and the canvas. We will call the body back to the page and activate its pulse, breath and passion.

 

Author John Lee says “the call to write is a call that’s received in the body first.”

 

For hundreds of years poets and writers have described the creative process as a physical urgency, a sense that things will fly apart if they don’t get the pencil to the page in time. Memories are stored in our lungs, lower back, liver and hearts.  They live on our skin, our feet, our mouths and our sex organs.

 

Nancy Mellon, author of Body Eloquence, tells us that

“every organ embodies a purpose and has an influence that goes far beyond its biological function.  As every organ contributes to your life story, it embodies a specific theme, holding its important piece in the cosmos’ great mysteries.”

 

Dr. Rafael Campo, a doctor, professor and poet, teaches poetry to med students and to his patients, and is certain that writing our stories has the power to heal:

 

“Some of my colleagues in the biomedical world want to explain us entirely in terms of our genes and our physiology. I resist that.  I really still want to embody, in my own work, this ancient notion that language and how we tell the story of who we are—particularly of how we suffer—and how critically important that is as a definition of being human, of living as a human being.”

LEARN WRITING BY PRACTICING TECHNIQUE THRU WRITING PROMPTS


My students have loved our new curriculum, where we merge inspirational topics with poetic and literary techniques. We are expanding on that process in the next six-week series.

We will explore utilizing questions, odes, metaphor, dialogue and place by exploring technique a series of pre-writing exercises, while creating content in small writing segments – content that can be used in our books, essays and blogs.

This style of learning to write becomes a fun exploration by connecting us more deeply with our own stories through a unique kind of practice that up levels our writing and invites us to play, while also learning technique.

 

THE ALCHEMY INSIDE OUR WRITING COMMUNITY


I believe story saves lives and story will ultimately save our world. When we tell our same stories over and over, those stories gain in strength and wisdom, and like a beautiful strong plant, the roots of the stories going deeper with every retelling. Our stories become powerful mythologies, where the magic shines out of words and paragraphs, swirling around the reader like owls or fireflies, filled with symbology and magic.

Writers come to our writing community to be in the practice of creating new material each week, to write inside a developed curriculum designed to teach through contemporary poets and authors as inspiration to create your own unique story.

By participating in these live classes, you learn the art of writing by practicing, deeply listening, reading out loud and hearing what is good in your story reflected back to your by students.

 

SEVEN ONLINE CLASSES & ONE KAUAI CLASS


The writers who have participated in my classes for the last ten years are influenced every week by poetry.  Each week as part of the themed curriculum, I read carefully chosen poetry and excerpts out of memoirs to support the theme of each class.  Through this practice of creating and deeply listening, writers begin to bring poetic form into their work.

Each group is an intimate group of 8 to 10 writers who work closely together for six weeks, deeply bonding and supporting each other’s creative leaps. Writers who must miss a class may audit another live class on the schedule.

 

LEARN IN A SMALL, LIVE, INTIMATE ONLINE GROUP


Each week you will take the class with the same students,  writing together and sharing your stories in a 2 hour to 2 1/2 hour class. If you have to miss a week, you can audit the class with another live group on another day, or receive the class via Keynote.  Writers learn from the curriculum, but also from the feedback you receive from other writers, and hearing what works in the stories created by the writers in the community.

 

BECOME PART OF A LARGER ACTIVE WRITING COMMUNITY


Between 80 and 100 writers will be taking the same class as you, taught in small groups. Throughout the week, stories are shared in a private Facebook group just for writers taking this class. If you choose to participate, you will  receive additional feedback on your writing throughout the six week course.

 

CREATE CONTENT FOR A LARGER BODY OF WORK


Though writing is a practice, in this group you have the opportunity to create content if you are working on a book. Many of our students have gone on to publication through this process of writing every week, and many of our writers are authors often writing beside writers who are new to the practice. We all learn from each other’s work each week.

TOPICS EXPLORED IN THIS CLASS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:


Bodies Emerging We will revisit our Coming of Age bodies, and all the uncertainty and power that came with our bodies awakening at any time in our lives.

Bodies Breaking – At some time in our lives, something in our body breaks and breaks down and we are forced to slow down, stop, ask for help and slow way down. Maybe it’s cancer, arthritis, or simply aging.  There is an opening in any breaking. We must first break to become who we are meant to be.

Body Intuition – Our bodies have their own intuition that can save our life or the life of someone we love. We will explore body intuition in healing, in making life decisions, and which organs support our intuition.  In this class, we will write through several organs in our body where are intuition often shows up first.

Hunger & the Body (the stomach) – Our physical hunger – both literal and metaphorical –  drives many of our life decisions. In Chinese medicine the stomach is the catalyst. We will explore the all of hunger through the body, including how hunger assists us to make major changes in our lives.

The Skin, The Boundary Keeper – Our human skin is not just our boundary keeper, it’s the threshold through which we experience the world. It’s a guard that keeps watch on and around our body. It’s strategy is to enhance pleasure and avoid pain. It protects our boy and our souls.

Bountiful Healing: Bodies Celebrating – Bodies celebrate through sexuality, dance, walking, hiking and moving inside nature. Celebrating is an important gift to the body and is an important part of healing. In this class we will explore the moments in our lives when our bodies asked for celebration.

 

* Curriculum material is subject to change.

“Writing from the body give you opportunity to honor each subtle and bold sensation of life; to respond to the world and ourselves. Therefore everything is material for writing and listening to our lives and the grammar of our own lived experience. We don’t have to go on an exotic trip to excavate the inspiration for researching our lives. It is right in front of us, with us, and before us. It’s all in the prepositions. Our task is to listen and honor everything and see the beauty in small things as well as big things. This beauty may be dissonant, yet it holds the infinite in the palm of our hands. So I invite you to hold it gently, caress the deters of your own life and let the shape come forth.”   – Celeste Snowber, Embodied Enquiry

Writing Teacher: Laura Lentz


Laura Lentz is the author of  STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. Laura is a writing coach and developmental editor, teaching creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook helps writers write to every stage of their story inspired by the Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by poetry, mythology and segments from literature.

Laura creates the curriculum for the 6-week writing workshops also taught by Guest Teachers.

Her exploratory writing workshops include The Grace of the World, soon to become an anthology of the best of her student work publishing in 2021. The book of essays written during Covid is like a love letter to our beloved earth.

Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.

LauraLentz_sepia

Meet our Educators:


Every six-week class series, educators work with writers in small groups with Laura’s curriculum. These educators are part of the larger writing community and have worked closely with Laura to bring her content to a wider community. Writers, authors and teachers, Laura’s educators are trusted facilitators, ready to create content with you and invite you into our larger community of writers.

Meet Robin Gadient

Robin Gadient, teacher of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey has developed a following as both a writer and a teacher. Robin has been writing in Laura’s writing groups creating poetry and heart opening stories for several series. Sometimes the student becomes the teacher right before your eyes.  Robin graduated from UCSB with a BA in literature. Robin has the uncanny ability to hold space for all writers and respond in a way that creates the needed energy to create her community within a larger community.

NOTE: THIS SERIES IS SOLD OUT 

TO BE A WAIT LIST FOR A SATURDAY CLASS, EMAIL Laurawriter@me.com

Thursday Online –  

SOLD OUT

with Laura Lentz

– 6 weeks –

June 3, 10, 17, 24,
July 1, 8


4 pm PDT / 7 pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

$220

SUNDAY 

SOLD OUT

with Laura Lentz

– 6 weeks –

June 6, 13, 20, 27,
July 4, 11


10:30 am PT / 1:30 pm ET
Class is 2 1/2 Hours

$220

Monday Online –

SOLD OUT

with Laura Lentz

– 6 weeks –

June 7, 14, 21, 28,
July 5, 12


4 pm PDT / 7 pm EST
 Class is 2 1/2 hours

$220

Tuesday  – SOLD OUT

SOLD OUT

with Laura Lentz

– 6 weeks –

June 1, 8,  15, 22. 29,
July 6


4 pm PDT / 7 pm EST
 Class is 2 1/2 hours

$220

Wednesday Kauai & Online (& living room) 

SOLD OUT

with Laura Lentz 

– 6 weeks –

June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30,
July 7, 14


5:30 pm — 8:00 pm HST  / 8:30 pm – 11:00  p.m. PST
Class is 2 1/2 hours 

$220

Classes Taught by Robin Gadient:

Saturday – SOLD OUT
10:30 a.m. PST

ONLINE with Robin –

SOLD OUT

– 6 weeks –

June 5, 12, 19, 26,
July 3rd, July 10th

Class is 2 1/2 Hours

$220

Friday – SOLD OUT
11:00 a.m. PST

ONLINE with Robin – SOLD OUT

– 6 weeks –

June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2nd, 9th

Class is 2 1/2 Hours

$220


I’VE GROWN VERY HAIRY
—Yehuda Amichai

I’ve grown very hairy all over my body.
I’m afraid they’re going to start hunting me for my fur.

My shirt of many colors isn’t a sign of love:
it’s like an aerial photograph of a railroad station.

At night my body is wide open and awake under the blanket
like the blindfolded eyes of someone who’s about to be shot.

I live as a fugitive and a vagabond, I’ll die
hungry for more—

and I wanted to be quiet, like an ancient mound
whose cities were all destroyed,

and peaceful,
like a full cemetery.

(Poetry by Yehuda Amichai was translated from the Hebrew by Stephen Mitchell.)


THE BODY REMEMBERS
—Yusef Komunyakaa – 1947-

I stood on one foot for three minutes & didn’t tilt
the scales. Do you remember how quickly

we scrambled up an oak leaning out over the creek,
how easy to trust the water to break

our glorious leaps? The body remembers
every wish one lives for or doesn’t, or even horror.

Our dance was a rally in sunny leaves, then quick
as anything, Johnny Dickson was up opening

his arms wide in the tallest oak, waving
to the sky, & in the flick of an eye

he was a buffalo fish gigged, pleading
for help, voiceless. Bigger & stronger,

he knew every turn in the creek past his back door,
but now he was cooing like a brown dove

in a trap of twigs. A water-honed spear
of kindling jutted up, as if it were the point

of our folly & humbug on a Sunday afternoon, right?
Five of us carried him home through the thicket,

our feet cutting a new path, running in sleep
years later. We were young as condom-balloons

flowering crabapple trees in double bloom
& had a world of baleful hope & breath.

Does Johnny run fingers over the thick welt
on his belly, days we were still invincible?

Sometimes I spend half a day feeling for bones
in my body, humming a half-forgotten

ballad on a park bench a long ways from home.
The body remembers the berry bushes

heavy with sweetness shivering in a lonely woods,
but I doubt it knows words live longer

than clay & spit of flesh, as rock-bottom love.
Is it easier to remember pleasure

or does hurt ease truest hunger?
That summer, rocking back & forth, uprooting

what’s to come, the shadow of the tree
weighed as much as a man.

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