Poetry As Memoir: An Autobiographical Poetry Writing Workshop by Steven Reigns

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Saturday, April 13, 3-5 pm, at BCC. Reality is more interesting than fiction. The act of autobiographical writing leads to deep self-reflection, a chance to examine the themes, emotions, and moments in one’s life. Participants will craft enjoyable, perplexing, humorous, nostalgic, and sometimes
troubling life experiences into poetry. There will be a chance, but no requirement, to read your poem to the group. No creative writing experience needed. Free to BCC members. Space is limited. RSVP to Education@bcc-la.org

Steven Reigns has taught writing for over a decade, with a focus on the LGBT community. He is giving a twohour workshop at BCC in honor of the important work of Aaron Belkin (a past Herman Humanitarian Award recipient and leader in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”). Steven teaches in community centers,public schools, colleges, libraries, wellness retreats, and senior living centers. He is the author of six chapbooks and two poetry collections, including Inheritance, a praised collection for its honesty and autobiographical writings. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and a Masters in Clinical Psychology.

“I was thankful to have Jean Young as an elementary school teacher,” Steven said in a 2011 interview when he was asked about his first poem. “In the sixth grade she taught our Language Arts class using this progressive curriculum that involved creative writing and peer review. I wrote poems in that class that were submitted to a national elementary school journal that got published. One poem was about the Missouri artist George Bingham, the other was, when I look back, surprisingly complex for my age about a swan, lake, and the clouds.”

“I loved writing poetry, loved having my work in print, the attention it got me. I felt special for the first time—as if I had something to contribute, that I had a talent or gift. I loved the identity as a poet but middle school was around the corner and I soon found myself teased for it, as well as my gayness. It was at that time I distanced myself from both things thinking it would bring me happiness and acceptance. The irony is that now they are the two things that have brought me the most happiness.”

Poetry as Memoir

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