Laura Shapiro loves digital storytelling and will be offering an intensive workshop in this exciting format on the weekend of April 28-30th at CILK119. She has found that the short movies people create convey personal and profound messages and offer a medium that is extremely accessible.
Laura trained in digital storytelling at StoryCenter, a pioneering organization that promotes digital storytelling and has helped nearly a thousand organizations, and more than 15,000 individuals, share their stories. This vital initiative and the amazing videos that it nurtures, supported Laura’s growing conviction that digital storytelling could be an effective tool for expression and communication. Laura especially appreciates that the medium helps communities to speak to their concerns. People’s stories change the world.
The workshop that Laura will offer will help participants tell their stories and find their voices in this concise, selective art form, using images and sound to offer personal narratives. Workshop participants will identify transformative stories that they want to tell, create scripts, learn simple editing on iMovie, and begin the process of composing their own digital stories. The workshop will start at 7pm on Friday evening April 28th and will run from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, April 29th and 30th.
An educator, Laura has worked with the New York public city schools and NYC Outward Bound Schools to implement the Expeditionary Learning model, a project-based learning approach. Her digital storytelling clients include: United Hospice of Rockland; Veritas Public School, Queens; Expeditionary School for Community Leaders, Brooklyn; Dr. Albert Pfadt, NYC; and Women’s Digital Storytelling Retreats. She enjoys working with people from diverse backgrounds and helping individuals identify the stories that are important to them. Check out her workshop at: http://www.cuppapulp.com/…/digital-story-intensive-with-la…/
While ice will soon form on the Hudson, River River brings a swirl of literary events to Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space at CILK119 in December. Cuppa Pulp, a major sponsor of River River along with Seranam Literary Arts, offers a physical space to anchor the budding nonprofit. We hope you will enjoy the wellspring of literary events made possible by this partnership this month and for many months to come!
We’ll begin on December 3 with Saturday Morning write!, a 3-week series of free salons designed to encourage generation of new work. Facilitators Donna Miele or Anu Amaran will offer a prompt in a supportive group atmosphere. Writers take this wherever their creativity leads them, and we end by sharing our work fresh off the page. The write! salons are River River’s signature offering, and have sailed through a variety of wonderful venues, including Art Cafe, Johnnycakes, and Didier Dumas of Nyack. We are honored and excited to continue hosting salons at Cuppa Pulp.
December 17 brings a triple-splash that includes write!, then a Drop-in Poetry Revision Workshop with Anu Amaran, and finally, the much-loved holiday season Lodestar Reading, featuring local author Mary Beth Keane, who will read from her novel, Fever. Fever was named one of the best books of 2013 by the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR Books, and Library Journal.
The tide is coming in! Check out our calendar and ride the great swell of River River offerings over to CILK119 this December.
Sylke Jackson: Did you write when you were a child? If not, when and how did you start writing?
Diana Goetsch: No. Sports were my main thing as a kid. I once wrote a report on Saturn copied directly from the encyclopedia. “This is great!” I remember telling myself, as I copied what someone else wrote into my notebook, feeling totally like an author. I was seven.
It was at a party where an inventor presented an exhibition on making houses explode. Yes, and the toilet watered the plants. And there was a maze that never ended.
It wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a psychotropically induced hallucination. It was Duncan Bell’s Inventions showcase—half open house, half science museum exhibit, a swinging soiree where people can sail off on the Kayakamaran (or at least check out the construction of the double-hulled vessel) or munch nibbles while the grand master explains how everything works.
Are there any memoirs that you have found particularly moving? Why?
I’d have to say that “fictional” memoir—or more accurately, an autobiographically-based work of fiction—was my first embrace of the genre, with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series. My best friend Freyda and I devoured these in grade school, and then acted them out by playing “Pioneers” in our suburban backyards. Those books appealed to our imaginations, our fascination in fourth grade with American history and crafts, and our deep appreciation of Laura’s struggle to be a “good girl” when she longed for the kind of adventure only boys were allowed to have. We also were deeply moved by the independence of her family, their resourcefulness, and envious of their wanderlust.
JACKSON: How did you get started writing memoir?
ASH: I started in 1999 in a hospital bed days after the stillbirth of my first and only child, Victoria Helen. Up to that point, I’d written thousands of articles as a journalist, a few published plays, and a few unpublished novels, all in third person.
After my daughter died, I reflexively started writing to process the experience. I reached for the notebook that my thoughtful husband had placed on my bedside table and jotted down images, aromas, snippets of conversation, and sensations. At that point I was still too grief-stricken and ill to string together sentences.
Later, when my emotions had just begun to settle and realign themselves with my new view of the world, I wrote about the horrendous separation my daughter and I had experienced.
A confluence of flavors delighted the local palate at the Kitchen Table and Bar on the spring evening of April 14th. We feasted on thought-provoking verse and spicy strings with an Italian flair, grâce à the Table and CILK119, co-sponsors of the event.
Diana Goestch on Free-Writing, Ego & Working with Emotion
Interview by Sylke Jackson
Diana Goetsch returns to Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space at CILK119 to teach the third installment of the Free-Writing Intensive on Saturday, February 6.
Sylke Jackson: You have mentioned ego and the need to get it out of the way in previous interviews. Recently you’ve come out as a transitioning woman. Do you have any thoughts about how our concepts of ourselves can hold us back or free us to access imagination and perhaps power in our writing?
Diana Goetsch: William Packard, one of my root teachers, used to say that, while writers aren’t better than anyone else, they do need to know themselves better than most. I agree—in the sense that the more you understand yourself, the more you can put the egotistical urge to “self-express” to rest, and fix your attention on your subject. I’ve always felt the freedom and license to write on any subject under the sun, and now that I’m out to myself and others as a trans woman, I feel even better equipped to do just that.
The thing about Anthony LoPinto is, he loves food, he loves people, and he loves the planet. You can feel this warmth in everything about him—from his conversation to his consommé. We talked together Monday morning about his holiday chocolates and upcoming wine and extravagantly-delicious food pairing scheduled for December 19th at CILK119.
“Yes, we’ll be serving last year’s squash soup,” Anthony laughs. “A participant of the tasting for fall of 2014 took some of the seeds from the hubbard squash I cooked, and in the spring, gave me a seedling. I planted it in my garden and the fruit it bore will be mixed with honey dumpling for this year’s tasting.” The community connections apparent in the sourcing of the squash belie the profound intentionality that is behind Anthony’s delectable creations. A circle of loving care for the planet is completed with the meals he creates. And then of course there are new seeds to sow.