Writing Workshops Based on Sylvia Plath


In October, I will  be teaching a series of writing workshops hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, in conjunction with the exhibition “One Life: Sylvia Plath”.

There are three separate themes and the classes repeat (Friday class repeats on Saturday). Classes will be held at National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
800 G Street, NW, Washington, DC. All workshops are FREE.

Session 1: Strike a Prose: Inspiring Images

Join us for an exciting creative writing workshop. Using guided writing prompts, we will develop stories and poems inspired by the portraits, images, and artifacts in “One Life: Sylvia Plath”. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry prompts will be offered.
Open to writers of all levels ages 18 and up.

Dates: Friday, October 13, 2017, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM  or Saturday, October 14, 2017, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Session 2: Strike a Prose: Masks and Mirrors

Join us for a writing workshop celebrating the work of Sylvia Plath. Presented in connection with the exhibition “One Life: Sylvia Plath,” this workshop will focus on writing from the first-person perspective. We will write new work that explores the duality of our internal and external selves and examines the ways that we hide and reflect different aspects of ourselves.
Open to writers of all levels ages 18 and up.

Dates: Friday, October 20, 2017, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM or Saturday October 21, 2017, 
10:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

Session 3: Strike a Prose: Experiments in Form

Sylvia Plath was known for experimenting with poetic forms, breaking genre rules, and taking risks with her writing. Using Plath’s poems, portraits, and visual works from the exhibition “One Life: Sylvia Plath,” we will experiment with different forms and styles to develop new poems.
Open to writers of all levels ages 18 and up.

Dates: Friday, October 27, 2017, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM or  Saturday, October 28, 2017, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

Tasting 7 Whiskey Flavored Coffees

For coffee lovers who hate to choose between night drinking and day drinking, your prayers have been answered. Bourbon and whiskey-flavored coffee is the latest trend in specialty coffee, and it’s coming from both big liquor brands and small-batch roasters.

There are a few ways to get that warm flavor into the beans, ranging from infusion to barrel aging to old-fashioned artificial flavoring. While these coffees don’t contain alcohol, you certainly will smell like you’ve been hitting the bottle before breakfast. So drink with caution. Read the full article hereJackDaniels_Coffee


Professional Development Workshop for Artists on July 15

Quit Your Day Job! Create an Action Plan for Your Arts Career

Saturday, July 15, 2017
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Hera Hub DC, 5028 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest #100
Register Here.


Audience: Artists, writers, dancers, musicians

Are you ready to quit your day job? Maybe you just want to take a few months to focus on your art. In this workshop, you will learn how to create a transition plan, timeline, budget, and action steps that will move you toward your goal. Through writing exercises and discussion, you will determine what resources you need to take the leap. Whether you want to write a novel, create work for an exhibition, or go on tour with your band, you can design a strategy that will work for you. Come with your dream; leave with a plan.

Register Here.

Welcome to Miami

Miami Beach Coast, Florida

Meet the pioneers transforming Miami’s coffee industry.

Known for sun, fun, and rhythm, one thing Miami was not known for was specialty coffee. Until recently.

Since 2010, specialty coffee has spread across Miami. Through customer education and a focus on service and quality, a handful of pioneers have transformed the city’s coffee industry.


Jump-starting Miami’s specialty scene wasn’t the idea when Joel and Leticia Pollock dreamed of creating their own coffee company. Joel had worked in coffee in Portland, Oregon; Leticia had worked in Portland and her native Brazil. Together, they wanted to do coffee their way—they just didn’t know where. While vacationing in Miami, they saw their opportunity.

Read the full article at Fresh Cup.

The Best Coffees Coming Out of Alaska

coffee campingThere’s something exciting brewing in Alaska. While it’s not the first state you think of when specialty coffee comes to mind, the Last Frontier is not to be overlooked. The coffee culture of the Pacific Northwest made its way to Alaska in a big way.

The specialty coffee scene has spread from small coffee carts to cafes featuring locally roasted beans with bold flavor. Whether you’re in-state, or looking to try a new coffee at home, here are a few Alaskan specialty roasters to check out.

Read the full article.

2017 CityLit Festival

14th Annual Celebration of the Literary Arts in Baltimore

CityLit photo

Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A Full Day of Free Activities! Get more info here.

Saturday, April 29
10 am – 4 pm
University of Baltimore
William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center 11 W. Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

Featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie *
Appearing at the John and Frances Angelos Law Center

Other artists, sessions and activities include:

  • Novelists John Gregory and Carrie Brown and poet Molly McCully Brown
  • 90-minute Master Class ($10)
  • Writing Identity: Susan Muaddi Darraj, Mejdulene Shomali and Eman Quotah
  • Sociologists Stefanie DeLuca & Susan Clampet- Lundquist: Coming of Age in The Other America
  • Legends & Lore: Building a Paranormal / Urban Fantasy World, by HallowRead
  • Writer as Activist: Tariq Touré, Kevin Shird, Saida Agostini and Nancy Lewin
  • Writers Resist Baltimore: Voices United with Linda Joy Burke, Mejdulene B. Shomali, Rienne Jahnai Scott, Ann Bracken, Jamesha Caldwell, Joey Reisberg and Erica Blount Danois
  • A literary marketplace

…and more!

I’m hosting a panel:

Raising Our Voices: Womanist & Feminist Writers Speak
Andria Nacina Cole, Elizabeth Hazen, Hannah Sawyerr and Bilphena Yahwon, moderated by Willona Sloan
A reading and panel discussion featuring powerful womanist and feminist writers who will address issues of cultural identity, healing and self-love, and discuss their efforts to empower young women and girls in our community.

For more info or to register for a Critique Session or the Master Class, visit http://www.citylitproject.org
* Advance Registration Requested for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Free Tickets available on CityLit site and Eventbrite. General Seating. First come, first serve.

Newbie Writer? Fake It Till You…Learn More

In this guest post author Tracee Lydia Garner shares her best tips for new writers looking to get published. 

It’s NEVER too early to start building your following.

I know you have absolutely nothing to promote. That’s not quite true, at the end of the day all writers and authors alike enjoy learning about the journey and process. Because while our journeys are different, our goals are similar. By opening yourself and sharing even your basic writing journal entries, you can start to create a group of people that are just curious about how everyone is making their unique way “in”. YOU are the ultimate product and you can start to share your message through blogging, vlogging, and writing articles for other places. Start to build a following now and it won’t seem so daunting when you finally publish.

Continue reading

12 Ways to Brew Coffee at Home

chemexAre you the type of person who only drinks coffee as a matter of sheer survival, or do you enjoy the ritual of brewing a fresh pot? Do you want coffee brewing while you sleep or do you schedule 30 minutes for grinding, brewing, sipping and savoring as part of your morning routine?

We’re not here to judge. Whatever your coffee personality, there’s a brew method (or two) just for you. Brewing at home is a great way to save money and avoid coffee line rage. Whether you’re a down and dirty coffee drinker or you’re just sick of getting to work late every morning because of your coffee obsession, it might be time to shake up your routine. Here are 12 ways to brew coffee at home, based on your personality type.

Read the full article at Paste.

Coffee Education Programs for the Public: To Do or Not Do

This article looks at the challenges and benefits for coffee shops and roasters that want to host public education programs to boost customers’ coffee knowledge. 

barista cupping

At Counter Culture Coffee, education is an integral part of business. The Durham, North Carolina–based company has wholesale partners across the country, but no cafés of their own; providing resources to ensure proper brewing by clients and customers is critical to their growth and success.

The company’s Counter Intelligence Professional Development series caters to clients and staff, but they wanted an educational offering for curious customers, too. To reach casual coffee enthusiasts, the company began opening their training centers to the public.

For several years, Counter Culture has hosted coffee tastings open to the public every Friday morning at its eleven regional training centers. These cuppings, dubbed “Tastings at Ten,” provide an opportunity for outreach, consumer education, and product storytelling. Attendees learn more about coffee origins and have a platform to discuss various coffees with staff as they taste.

Counter Culture developed courses catering to coffee consumers in response to growing demand from home baristas. In the past, the public could join coffee pros in the same training classes, but the mix of enthusiasts and professionals just didn’t work. Wholesale clients had difficulty getting into classes, and it was clear that most home baristas didn’t have the same learning needs as professionals, or those with professional-grade equipment in their homes.

Read the full article at Fresh Cup.

Seven Social Media Trends for Business

SOCIAL-MEDIA1The only consistent rule with social media is that it’s always going to change. Even tried-and-true brands like Facebook continue to evolve. Here are some exciting new social media trends and tools that can help your business stay socially relevant.

1. Live Video Streams

Facebook Live, the live-stream, real-time video feature, offers an excellent way to take your engagement up a notch. Use it for live events like performances or speaker presentations; host a townhall and instantly respond to questions online; or give viewers a behind-the-scenes tour. Facebook Live is also great for demos, workshops, and man-on-the-street interviews. You can go live for up to 90-minutes. Get tips for going Live here.

Read the full blog post.