A Generous Poet’s Triumph over Pain

Poet Rhea Carman will lead a workshop Saturday, April 14.  Recently, she was willing to discuss what her workshop participants can look forward to:
KWG: As a poet, one of your themes is contending with pain and utilizing poetry to help deal with pain.  How did this become a focus for you? Did you discover the healing power of poetry through another poet?
Rhea Carman: In 2011, I was diagnosed with MS. I have always turned to poetry to deal with my emotions and a means of processing my thoughts and feelings. However, the MS brought on a different type of pain and anguish. It was not only emotional pain, but physical and mental pain as well. I continued to write how I was feeling and found that as I write about what I am going through I find strength to keep pushing through it and the pain seems to go away because I have been honest.
KWG:  When you facilitate a poetry workshop, is there one or a few concepts or skills which you hope your students walk away with?
Rhea Carman: When I facilitate a workshop, I want people to walk away with inspiration to write their personal stories and an understanding that it will not always come out perfect and beautiful but the important part is that they get it out. The process of writing is therapeutic.
KWG: When is the last time you participated in a meaningful poetry workshop as a student? What did you get out of that workshop?
Rhea Carman:  I participated in a writing workshop with Dr. Marilyn Kallet in January of this year. I learned the power of vulnerability in my poetry but I also I learned new ways to bring that vulnerability to the page and write the way that I am viewing the world.
KWG:  What would you say to a Guild member who is dubious of the healing power of poetry and is, therefore, reluctant to attend your workshop?
Rhea Carman:  If you are hesitant about attending the workshop, I understand. I did not realize this amazing gift of healing that I had in my possession until I tapped into it.. However, I hope that my testimony of how I have been able to continue on days that I have been stricken with pain after writing poetry for 30 minutes to an hour, will hopefully inspire you to try and find a new way to use your writing to connect to the world and bring a new level to your vulnerability in your writing.
KWG: Beyond any financial consideration, what do you gain from facilitating workshops such as the one on April 14th?
Rhea Carman:  I do the workshop for those that need something new. There are a lot of people that have not yet learned how to process their illnesses, situations, and mental struggles. I want to touch those people to find a way of healing themselves.
WORKSHOP: “How to Heal Pain with Your Pen”
TIME AND DATE: 10:00am until noon Saturday April 14, 2018
LOCATION:  201 Third Avenue, Central United Methodist Church (4th and Gill Neighborhood)
WORKSHOP FEES:  KWG members $30, KWG student members $15, and non-members $50.  Buy tickets here