Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Writing with Girls in Dentention

on October 4, 2013

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a post for the blog, Family Guiding. This month, Family Guiding, is focusing on Girls in Juvenile Detention.

My article, “Orange: Writing Poetry with Girls in Juvenile Detention” can be read here.

Be sure to check out the other articles including this one about the benefits of yoga in the justice system.

I spent last winter and spring working in a post-graduate semester at Vermont College. The focus of the semester was to work on a memoir entitled, “Kids in Orange:  Voices from Juvenile Detention Poetry Workshop.”

The memoir is the story of finding and empowering voice during grief and loss. It’s told in short vignettes and chapters and integrates the teen’s poetry which has been published in four chapbooks as well as on their blog.

The day I turned in my last packet to my adviser, my Dad passed away. A few weeks later three boxes of Dad’s writing arrived on my doorstep.  Dad was a life-long writer and journalist. As I sat down and read through the files of Dad’s writing, I realized that just as the teen’s poetry had always been able to express who they were and how they moved through grief and loss, the box I held in my hands of my Dad’s writing also expressed who he was and how he expressed grief and loss, and it was then that I realized the story I had been telling, and was living through, is how writing through grief will heal us.

In the spring, I’ll be teaching an on-line class for teens through the Loft Literary Center. The class is based on what I learned writing my memoir about short and real writing. Here is a bit about the class:

Writing It Short and Real

Narrative flash is short, fast and fun. It’s easy to share with others, and most of all, narrative flash is the perfect way to express our voices and capture our real life experiences in a short snapshot. In this class, we will look at how to write short narrative through craft lessons including: structure, character, and brevity. The class includes writing on topics based on our real life experiences such as: truth and lies, first and lasts, and matters of the heart. We will share our writing with each other in order to discover how powerful our voices can be when writing about real life.

The class will run from March 3, 2014-March 3, 2014.  I will post the registration when it becomes available.


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