Monday, January 23, 2012

Two-Day Writing Retreat and Healing Poetry in Alexandria

Two interesting events in two different parts of Virginia, one co-organized by the fabulous and fabulously smart Angela Winter (who shared with us her yummy, not-to-be-missed vegan chutneys here):

A Winter Writing Retreat with Pat MacEnulty and Angela Winter
February 18-19, 2012
Saturday 10 am to Sunday 3 pm

Join us for a Winter Writing Retreat at the beautiful Sevenoaks Retreat Center in the foothills of Virginia:  Rejuvenate your writing process, relax with other writers, and explore the process and craft of transformative writing.

You will come away from this two-day retreat with tools to help you commit to your writing and continue to develop your writing process. To enhance our writing, we will also explore mind-body practices to help us settle into our physical bodies, tap into the fullness of the present moment, and open our hearts and voices to the flow of words.

This retreat is appropriate for all levels of writers, and this is also a great professional development opportunity for teachers.

Pat MacEnulty is the author of six books, including four novels, a memoir, and a short story collection, as well as a self-help book, and numerous interviews and essays. She has facilitated retreats in New York City, San Miguel de Allende, Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, and at Sevenoaks Retreat Center.

Angela Winter is a singer, writer, consultant, and former associate publisher of The Sun Magazine. In this retreat, she will blend her experience as a wellness educator with her unique background in voice, sound, and transformational energy work to help participants open their expressive voice and replenish their whole being.


Morrison House Presents: Mary Azoy, Licensed Professional Counselor & Poetry Therapist:  “Poetry and Creative Play: Writing as an Expressive Coping Strategy”

~Part of a Salon-Style Series Celebrating Culture through Arts, Literature, and History Discussions

DESCRIPTION:  Mary Azoy, Certified Poetry Therapist, will explore the value of poetry therapy as a powerful tool for coping with life’s challenges and enhancing your creative potential. The evening’s presentation will incorporate experiential exercises (both fun and low risk!) as well as plenty of time for discussion and sharing among all those who attend. Bring your favorite pen and writing pad!

WHEN:  Tuesday, February 7, 6 to 8pm

WHERE:   Morrison House, 116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

INFO/SPONSORS:   Morrison House: / Phone: 703-838-8000  & Torpedo Factory Art Center Website:

ADMISSION:     Free admission (Food and drink available for purchase)

Old Town Alexandria, VA – "Morrison House Presents" is a salon-style discussion series exploring Alexandria’s heritage and culture through talks with artists, authors, and archaeologists from Alexandria and the nationally acclaimed Torpedo Factory Art Center. The stylish yet comfortable setting of the Morrison House salon provides an ideal backdrop for members of the public to participate in an open and lively conversation with artists and other experts.
“Poetry and Creative Play: Writing as an Expressive Coping Strategy”:  Discovering or renewing your creative energy can make the difference between thriving and burnout, especially during these stressful times. Through participation in poetry exercises that are both low-risk and eye-opening you’ll have fun – and gain powerful tools that can help you cope more effectively with life’s challenges in your professional or personal life .Just bring something to write on and with – and a playful attitude!

Mary is a Licensed Professional Counselor (VA) and Certified Poetry Therapist who has been active in the mental health field for more than 20 years. She currently is a clinician in private practice and with Granato Counseling Services in Vienna, Virginia.  Mary also works as a presenter and workshop facilitator with the DOD’s Yellow Ribbon Program that assists military families in coping with deployments and reintegration.  As former Director of Community Education and Crisis Response at CrisisLink, Mary developed an expertise in crisis response, suicide prevention, and grief and trauma, working directly with victims of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and others impacted by sudden and traumatic loss.  She has also served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University. Mary graduated from Princeton University and has advanced degrees in psychological services from Marymount University and anthropology from University of Virginia. As a Certified Poetry Therapist, she has conducted expressive therapy workshops both domestically and abroad.  Mary is a former writer for National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian, and is a published poet. 

More about the Series
This series of monthly talks is sponsored by the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, the Alexandria Archaeological Commission, and the Morrison House Hotel. The talks take place on the first Tuesday of each month. Cocktails will be available for purchase through The Grille at Morrison House Hotel, and dinner reservations can be made for guests who would like to continue their experience following the event.

About Morrison House
The Morrison House, a Kimpton Hotel, is an elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria.  Named an outstanding hotel on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008 Gold List, the hotel exhibits the romance of Europe and the charm of Early America through its decorative federalist-style reproductions. The architecture blends into the historic surrounding of Alexandria, while its warmly lit rooms, soft music, and outstanding cuisine define an experience that is graceful and effortless. The AAA Four Diamond property also features The Grille, an intimate restaurant that serves a menu of relaxed American fine dining.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.