The 10th annual Power of Words conference — celebrating social and personal transformation through our spoken, written and sung words — brought together a large group of Goddard graduates as well as other writers, storytellers, musicians, artists, activists, educators and community leaders Oct. 11-13 at Pendle Hill Retreat Center near Philadelphia. The conference featured keynoters:
- Taina Asili, a graduate of the MA-TLA program, and social action-focused writer and singer with her band La Bande Rebele;
- Michelle Meyers, spoken word artist and founder of Yellow Rage;
- Deb Hensley, educator, writer, singer and facilitator, MA-TLA graduate, and founder of When Did We Stop Singing?; and
- Dick Allen, Connecticut Poet Laureate, beloved poet and teacher.
Among all the workshops on right livelihood, narrative medicine, social action and engaged spirituality; talking circles and big group sessions; informal meet-ups and wanderings in the woods, Goddard graduates who attended also included:
- Joanna Tebbs Young, a professional columnist and workshop facilitator;
- Amber Ellis, editor of the forthcoming TLA professional journal and facilitator of writing workshops;
- Miriam Gabriel, new blog curator for the TLA Network as well as a writer and spoken word artist;
- Scott Youmans, writer, divinity student, software designer and workshop facilitator; and
- Seema Reza, arts and writing program director for Walter Reed Military Medical Center and other facilities, specializing in helping wounded warriors re-make their lives.
Organized by the Transformative Language Arts Network, the conference was first held at Goddard College in 2013 as a project of the college. Past keynoters
have included Grace Paley, David Abram, Julia Alvarez, Gail Rosen, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Dovie Thomason, Gregory Orr, Lewis Mehl Madrona, Rick Jarow, and others. The 2014 conference happens Sept. 19-21 at Lake Doniphan Retreat Center in Kansas City, MO.