Voices of Wisdom
Free writing classes
for seniors 55+ All levels welcome
Class Schedules and Locations
August Tuesdays 7, 14, 21, 28 – 1-3 pm. Community Room, 1330 Calaveritas Road, San Andreas – parking behind the center. Limited parking, carpooling encouraged and park on Calaveritas. Coach: Monika Rose
September Tuesdays 4,11,18,25 – 1-3 pm. Community Room, 1330 Calaveritas Road, San Andreas. Limited parking – carpooling encouraged and park on Calaveritas.
Coach: Suzanne Murphy
October Wednesdays 3,10,17,24, 31 – 2-4 pm. Murphys Library, 480 Park Lane, Murphys. Coach: Sally Kaplan Oct 3 coach: Denella Kimura
November Tuesdays, 6,13,20,27 – 1-3 pm. Manzanita Arts Emporium, 1211 S. Main St., Suite 110, Angels Camp. Coach: Chrys Mollett
December Tuesdays, 4,11, 18 – 1-3 pm. Manzanita Arts Emporium in Angels Camp. Coach: Denella Kimura
To register for classes or for more information, call (209) 728-6171, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manzanita Writers Press continues the “Voices of Wisdom” series of free writing classes for Calaveras County’s senior residents. In relaxed cooperative workshop settings, expert teacher-guides lead four weekly sessions each month with engaging activities that help participants recall memories, learn the craft of memoir writing, and collect writing into print or eBook forms. This project has been made possible in part through a generous grant for publishing costs from the Calaveras Community Foundation Fund. Manzanita Writers Press hosts writers and materials and sponsors are needed to help fund the classes, so please contact us. 209-728-6171.
Origin of the Voices of Wisdom Project
The origin for this collection comes from an unusual source. When the 2015 Butte Fire devastated lives and properties, the Manzanita Writers Press, planting its new home at Manzanita Arts Emporium in Angels Camp, responded to the community’s need to make sense of how everything had changed for an entire region. That response came in the shape of writing that produced The Pieces chapbook collection, a collaboration of artists and writers, and then, in 2017, Out of the Fire, the published collection of writing and photography, reflecting on the event and its aftermath. The publications were a testament to the community’s spirit and regional pride, and they remain historical records.
Close on the heels of public celebrations and readings, the Manzanita editorial staff became acutely aware of a Calaveras population that also had stories to tell―about tragedies and recoveries, yes, but also about those experiences of living in this region―senior residents. To collect and publish these stories for the public would be an invaluable resource for the historical record, school curriculum, and the pleasure of reading.
After careful planning, and with a generous grant from the Calaveras Community Foundation, and ongoing support from Signal Service, as well as facility use at Oak Shadows, San Andreas Senior Center, Murphys Senior Center, and Manzanita Arts Emporium, Manzanita Writers Press offered weekly teaching sessions in various senior locations over a period of eight months. Seniors 55-plus, many of whom were taking on this kind of writing for the first time, had the support of peer writing groups and editing expertise. This publication is a collection of many of these seniors’ efforts, and although not all of the participants chose publication, many of them did, for the benefit of the community.
Every senior who has put pen to paper or finger to keyboard has told a story in his or her own way, and with the support and enthusiasm of writing partners and Manzanita editors, many of their stories have been recorded in this volume. These writers are courageous and their works are audacious, poignant, and unforgettable. Participation in the capacities of teacher and editor has been a most pleasurable experience. It is an honor to invite readers to open this book and enjoy an incomparable feast.
–Suzanne Murphy & Monika Rose
Founding Director of Manzanita Writers Press & Arts Emporium, editor, college professor and educator for many years with a Masters in English and emphasis in creative writing, poet and fiction writer, with her book, River by the Glass, and a novel in the oven, Monika has been involved with literature and writing in our region since 1984.
August classes will experiment with varied techniques used to dig deep into memory, including writing about specific memorable places in our lives and region, food/animal/nature journeys, mining reading materials, newspapers, journals, writing meaningful journal entries, and more.
Suzanne is Vice-President and Public Relations Director and editor at Manzanita Writers Press, and a writer, poet, educator for many years, who has been affiliated with the San Jose Writing Project. She has a collection of poetry nearing completion and offers her editing services to writers who come to Manzanita Writers Press for assistance. Suzanne leads the September writing classes in hang-onto-your-hat adventures in writing at the San Andreas location.
Co-producer and co-director of Backcountry Pictures, screenwriter, filmmaker, documentarian, novelist, and fiction/nonfiction writer with over 30 years experience in creating narrative and story, Sally is currently working on a novel nearing completion and has edited work by novelists and screenwriters. She has been involved in several award-winning film and writing projects and has taught at the Naropa Institute and other college programs. Sally is the October writing coach in Murphys.
Owner of Aeolian Harp Music at Manzanita Arts Emporium, music teacher, writer, poet, and Events Director on the Board of Directors at Manzanita Writers Press, Chrys has worked with writers and poets for years on various projects and her work has been published in several anthologies and collections. She is working on a nonfiction book based on historical figures from our region. She facilitates and organizes the Song Posse musicians’ group for writers, musicians, and listeners at the emporium in Downtown Angels Camp.
Denella Kimura has two poetry books, “Poetry Reading at the Panama Hotel” and “Waiting for Wings: A Child’s Journey.” She has published chapbooks, articles, devotionals, book reviews and drama. She moderates an Open Reading at Sonora Joe’s, and produces two radio programs, “Favorite Things” and “Coffee House Writers for KAAD-LP, 103.5 FM, Sonora. She lives in the foothills in Columbia, with her husband.
The experience of trying out some new ways of accessing the memories buried far below the surface can prove to be a surprising one. Whether using memorabilia, photos, mementos, media, or other concrete digging tools, the results are usually profound in the reveal. remembering the little things, especially from childhood. As guides, coaches provide the means and the encouragement, and the group members create the ends, producing delightful and insightful reading, worthy of publication anywhere. We are honored to explore journaling and fine-tuning adventures with this fine group of writers and memory-makers. The program and classes continue weekly throughout 2018 into 2019 with a series of classes and a second anthology of participants’ polished writing planned for 2019, thanks to the funding for the publication provided by a generous grant from the Calaveras Community Foundation.
Pat Kaunert as Mark Twain – one of our community’s respected writers, with his voice still channeled in spirit in Angels Camp and Calaveras County. Pat will be, in the flesh, the persona of Twain at the free Mark Twain Wild West Fest Oct 20th in Angels Camp. Be sure to mark your calendars for the old-timey, Goldrush era music and craft festival.
Almost as much fun as the gush of words pouring out of the mind experiencing a creative “flow” as it’s called, is the sharing afterwards with people who have lived in a time frame they all recognize, who share similar era sensibilities, remembering the little things, especially from childhood.
Images of writers in our region and reflections of their impact on our literary community.