Thursday, February 20, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Writing reconnects us with the energy of “love and all its manifestations.”  Join Deborah Keenan, Swati Avasthi, Dr. Tamara Gray, and Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew for an evening conversation about how the writing practice invites us into ever-deepening compassion.

The authors will share how the creative life tests and strengthens our compassion, how consideration of an audience—or not—contributes to our ability to be compassionate, the role of self-compassion when learning to write, and the need for exercising compassion in our artistic communities.  We’ll do a few writing exercises, so bring paper and pen.

COST:  $25.00


“For I know that the energy of the creative impulse comes from love and all its manifestations—admiration, compassion, glowing respect, gratitude, praise, tenderness, adoration, enthusiasm.”

—Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write



Writing instructor and spiritual director Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew is the author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir; Living Revision: Opening the Writer’s Art; and many other books, essays, and short memoirs.  Her work explores intersections between spiritual growth and the creative process.

Swati Avasthi

Swati Avasthi (SWA-thee Of-US-thee) started writing when she was five, but she took a serpentine career path (as domestic violence legal coordinator, law student,  theater director and stage manager) before she returned to writing. Her novels Split and Chasing Shadows have received many awards.  Swati teaches at Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and lives in Minneapolis with her two dogs, two kids, and one husband–though he’s worth two.

Tamara Gray SMALL

Dr. Tamara Gray is the founder, Executive Director and Chief Spirituality Officer of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences. Her work includes the daily nitty-gritty of project design as well as the support and mentorship of hundreds of women around the world. An educator, author, and translator, her publications range from culturally appropriate English-language curriculum programs to translations of sacred texts.


Deborah Keenan’s ten collections of poetry include Willow Room and Green Door: New and Selected Poems. She is the recipient of the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. She has retired from 30 years working in the MFA graduate program for the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University, and teaches privately and at The Loft.  She lives in beautiful, mysterious St. Paul.

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