Monthly Archives: August 2020

Online Writing Workshops for September

 Yoga and Memoir Workshop: Write, Heal, Transform Join me and yoga instructor Jessica Merritt via Zoom from 6:30-8:30pm Thursdays in September for 4 weeks (September 3, 10, 17, & 24). Get all the benefits of a home practice with the support of professional instructors Jessica Merritt and Lisa Hase-Jackson and fellow yogi/writers. Participants will be led through a 30 minute yoga series followed by memoir writing exercises and instruction. Stay centered AND start or make progress on your memoir this September and feel good doing it. The cost for this class is $199. Email to register.

Advanced Poetry Workshop: a six-week advanced poetry workshop and study group from September 8 to October 13 which will meet on Tuesdays from 8:30pm – 10:30pm Eastern via Zoom with email and Google doc supplements. Each week we will discuss select chapters from “Why Poetry” by Matthew Zapruder, “Madness, Rack and Honey” by Mary Ruefle, and “The Flexible Lyric” by Ellen Bryant Voigt, particularly in terms of whether or not they affect our relationship with poetry, our sense of craft, or our revision process. Some weeks we will focus on generating new work and other weeks we will focus on works-in-progress and/or revision. Participants will be expected to have their own copies of the books. Some supplemental material may be provided. The cost for this class is $120. Email to register.


Years Go By by Haley Sui


19. 6 years, and sometimes I can’t see anything except the radiation machines that clank against each other, metal shrieks ringing in my ear. 6 years, and I still cry myself to sleep at night. 6 years, and there’s always someone, somewhere, saying PTSD isn’t real. Just get over it.

18. It’s been 5 years. They say I’m safe now. They say it’s over.

18. Legal age. I can vote now. Does the world want me to change it? Do I, even have that right?

17. Oh my god! They took me! Ivy-bound.

17. Applying for college. Will Harvard take me? But they’re so good. Should I even mention the cancer?

16. My friend Vanessa said the scar on my chest looked like I got heart surgery. I was so scared. What if she found out?

16. I can’t tell anybody, right? What if they treat me differently? I don’t want all my friends to be friends with me out of pity.

15. My hair’s so short; I wear a cap everyday to school. Mom talked to the teachers, so they let me wear it in class too. I’m so embarrassed.

15. New school. New faces. Will I be okay? Why did I leave Hunter?

14. Chemo ends in March. They make me ring a nice bell to show I finished treatment. It’s shiny. Does that mean it’s over? Can I go back to my life?

14. I can’t walk in a straight line. My flute lies on the ground, abandoned. My paintings drape over the basement table. Mom and Dad shove my baking tools in an empty drawer.

13. Everyone wants me to say something. But I don’t want to say anything. My throat hurts. Do I have a voice? I think Grandma is asking me something, but I can’t hear her.

13. The surgery is tomorrow. I’m scared of this hospital. This place is weird and looks too bright. My eyes are angry. There are purple butterflies on the walls.

13. I ask Mom why my head hurts so much. Because she’s my Mom. She has all the answers. She looks at me, sad. She doesn’t have an answer.

13. My head hurts. Ow. This really hurts.

13. Jack of all trades. That’s what Grandma calls me. She says she’s proud of me because I can play piano and flute and I can bake yummy stuff and my art is really pretty and I do really good in school.

12. It takes 3 hours to travel to school every day. There’s so much work. It’s ok, though. Mom says it’s the best middle school. Mom knows everything.

11. I got into Hunter! Finally, wow, this took so long.



8. Little brother doesn’t want to go to kindergarten. He’s crying by the window. I go and calm him down.

7. Grandma says I’m her favorite because I can do so many things.




3. I can’t sleep without Mommy. I piddle paddle to her room. Mommy and Daddy are talking, loud but whispering, quiet but angry. I fall asleep outside with my blankie.



Haley Sui is a sophomore at Harvard University, studying Creative Writing and Neuroscience. She is an active member in her college’s acapella group and dance club, as well as a fervent writer for the university’s science newsletter. When she’s not studying or working on club projects, Haley enjoys listening to lofi music and writing personal memoirs. 


Roots by Cole Westervelt

My roots have always seemed unclear.
I have always made myself out to be someone hard to love
and rocked it with style and a grin.

What kind of woman perceives herself as difficult
and hones it, makes it her own?

The same kind of girl who has been put down
one too many times in her fragile youth.
The girl who has been left fighting for her identity,
the option, the choice to be unlovable.

If all I have is a man who decides on my joy,
who would I be,
if not someone who was uprooted?

Dear Relationship Expert by Victoria Cybulski

We had a fight yesterday. It started with the normal flurry,
which snowballed into a blizzard; it’s January.

The cold began to set in.  A few valentines went out and the arrow pierced.
Red hearts danced around the bruises with the unbridled innocence of Cupid. It must be February.

I longed for spring with the usual “I’m sorry.” He countered with a bitter March.
It was in like a lion and out like a lamb, and that lasted for a little while.

April showers left us soppy, wet, gasping. Almost drowning.
Can I save it with another I’m sorry?

The sun came out and he brought flowers. It must be
May, June, or July.

August left us to swelter, grumpy and ravenous. Hatred sprung from the lack of central air and communication. I’ll turn a fan on and blow out the boiling rebuttal.

The leaves started to change and the breeze blew a little colder.
The sweater weather of September left me lingering for a warm embrace.

October, November, and December leave me not wanting to remember. No warm embrace ever came and the cold shoulder grew to be a cold body, just a vessel. How I long for the sunshine.

Victoria Cybulski and is currently an undergraduate student at Rocky Mountain College majoring in Communications Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She is from the small town of Custer, Montana where she found her passion for poetry while in high school.

Michaelangelo by Austin Smith

I never thought it would be the last
time I saw him.

I never thought to pet his head.

     I never thought to set him on our bridge and set a cherry tomato in his line
of view, in case he needed a bite or two before his journey.

By the way, he’s named after the ninja.

The only thing I’ve learned about turtles is
they hold no loyalty.


Whenever at my grandfather’s cabin,
I take a wander on my own.

The small, light, walking type
down to our little pond to sit on the bridge.

The patch of sunlight over it is a dream.
     A dream of the years’ old, bright red paint glittering.

One day I saw a deep,
deep green, softball sized circle gliding
toward my dangling boy feet.

I bolted up cement stairs
to tell Grandpa of the circle.

He nabbed Mikey just for me.


We fell in love over a pile of aspen leaves
but I told him I wasn’t hungry.

He met aspen the same day he met me.

I didn’t realize he was planning an escape with each little
bite from the elevated bridge.

He’ll be a ninja when he grows up, I’d say,
after I teach him how to hyahh!

I trotted back down from snack time
to check on him with goldfish in hand

and found an empty bridge frowning.


Austin Smith is a freshman at Rocky Mountain College in his hometown, Billings, Montana.