Living With Uncertainty

Insights from Poets, Memoirists, and Essayists

Tuesdays, April 2 and May 14, 6:30 to 8:30pm

At times of uncertainty and ambiguity, we yearn for words -- our own or others’ -- to aid in coping. The old adage that if something is unmentionable it is also unmanageable speaks to the belief that words can somehow help in managing (living with) impermanence and confusion.

In two experiential sessions, participants will be presented with words of poets, memoirists, and essayists as prompts for their own reflections.

There will be opportunities for individual and group interactions, writing, and shared learning. In Crow and Weasel, Barry Lopez through the voice of Badger asserts: “Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”

Local writers include:

April 2:
Norita Dittberner-Jax has been widely published in the small press. Her book of poems, What They Always Were, won the Minnesota Voices Competition and was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. She is one of the poets featured in Thirty-Three Minnesota Poets; her chapbook, Longing for Home, appeared in 2008. She lives and teaches in St. Paul.

Mary Easter, professor of dance and performing arts at Carleton College and author of a collection of poetry, Walking From Origins. She has a master's degree in music for dancers from Goddard College.


May 14:
Elizabeth Bourque Johnson is a nurse and educator retired from the English department at the University of Minnesota where she taught writing and literature. Her poetry has won various local and national awards, and she has written for Second Opinion, a journal of medical ethics. She developed and teaches a class called "Writing Through Grief" and speaks to various groups on the subject of grief and writing.

Tim Nolan is a lawyer based in Minneapolis whose poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, Poetry East, and many other magazines. His first book of poems, The Sound of It, was published by New Rivers Press in 2008, and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry. His second book of poems, And Then, was published in 2012.

Greg Watson's work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Seattle Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, and Poetry East. His poetry collections include Pale Light from a Distant Room, Things You Will Never See Again, The Distance Between Two Hands, and What Music Remains. He lives in Saint Paul.


Faciltator: Ted Bowman, poet, editor and grief educator will guide the sessions. Ted has been a community instructor in Family Education at the University of Minnesota since 1981 and an adjunct professor in Social Work at the University of Saint Thomas since 2006. He is co-editor of a volume of poems by Minnesota poets addressing themes of loss and renewal, The Wind Blows, The Ice Breaks, and is the author of two booklets addressing shattered dreams, Loss of Dreams: A Special Kind of Grief and Finding Hope When Dreams Have Shattered.


WHEN: Tuesdays, April 2 and May 14, 6:30-8:30 pm

COST: $30.00 per session