Free writing workshops

“A Word, a Picture, A Lesson: Using Writing Prompts to Get Unstuck”

Who: Led by Tomas Moniz

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Sisters Library, 110 North Cedar St.

Contact: or 541-595-0956

“Writing Your Memoir”

Who: Led by Lindsay Wong

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 22

Where: Sisters Library, 110 North Cedar St.

Contact: or 541-312-1032

“Somatic Poetry”

Who: Led by Michelle Peñaloza

When: 1 to 4 p.m. March 19

Where: Downtown Bend Library, 601 NW Wall St.

Contact: or 541-312-1032

Space is limited, registration required.

Deschutes Public Library and the Caldera arts center at Blue Lake, west of Sisters, have partnered to bring three adult writing workshops to the Central Oregon community for the first time.

Since 1996, Caldera has provided arts camps and programs to underserved urban and rural youth. The center also hosts artists from various disciplines for three and a half week creative residencies.

Now, Caldera will also offer free writing workshops for adults in January, February and March, led by writers completing residencies at Caldera. Two of the classes will be held at the Sisters library and one at the Downtown Bend library.

“Our artists in residence have worked with youth in the community for many years which has been a really strong program,” said Maesie Speer, facilities program manager at Caldera. “I noticed some of the writers had more background working with adults, and reached out to the library to let them know I would love to get these writers into the community.”

“Caldera brings such a variety of artists of all types to Central Oregon and the Library is thrilled to include workshops highlighting their talents,” said Liz Goodrich, community relations coordinator at DPL.

Goodrich noted that other writing workshops at the library have been popular offerings, with almost all of them filling up and generating waiting lists.

The workshop series kicks off Sunday with “A Word, a Picture, a Lesson: Using Writing Prompts to Get Unstuck” (see “If you go”). It will be led by Tomas Moniz the founder, editor and writer for the award-winning e-zine, book series and magazine Rad Dad.

Moniz says his class takes inspiration from authors Lynda Barry and Cheryl Strayed and uses the same feedback method employed by the Amherst Writers Workshop.

Lindsay Wong, whose writing has appeared in No Tokens, The Fiddlehead, Ricepaper Magazine and Apogee Journal, will lead the second workshop on Feb. 22. Titled “Writing your Memoir,” students will be introduced to different narrative techniques used in memoir writing and explore the relationship between narrative and exposition.

Participants will be asked to submit the opening pages of a memoir-in-progress or a short narrative essay a week prior to the class for instructor and peer feedback.

The third writing workshop, “Somatic Poetry,” is scheduled for March 19. Poet Michelle Peñaloza will helm the class, which is adapted from CA Conrad’s “(Soma)tic Poetry Rituals.” These practices are designed to help writers be mindful of the present moment and “reveal the creative viability of everything” around them. Peñaloza is the author of three chapbooks and her poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest, New England Review, Off Paper, Vinyl, The Collagist and Verse Daily.

Both Caldera’s Speer and DPL’s Goodrich hope to expand these joint offerings beyond the initial three workshops.

“The partnership is an exciting opportunity full of possibilities, and I’m looking forward to what we plan next,” Goodrich said.

Speer is also working with OSU-Cascades to bring another February event to the community. Titled “Art and Activism” it would feature another Caldera artist in residence, Dean Spade, an author, filmmaker and associate professor at the Seattle University School of Law. Spade founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a nonprofit collective that provides free legal aid to low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex or gender nonconforming. More details on that event will be released once they are finalized.

“One of Caldera’s core values is embracing difference — both the differences among people and different ways of doing things,” said Speer. “We hope these workshops will be a way for the community to tap into the spirit of Caldera.”