"Everyone has a unique story to share with the world," begins the course description for an upcoming Writers’ Center workshop Writing from Within (April 24).
Jerri Lynn Fields
My unique story includes a journey leading me to my new position as executive director of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, stepping in after eight years of Dare Thompson’s tremendous leadership at the Center and in the community. For the past five years I had the extraordinary experience of working with an international movement to end violence against women and girls. Through that work I witnessed the power of words and the arts to empower communities and make change. One of the many reasons I joined the Writers’ Center is that I believe words have the power to change individuals, communities and the world. As a child I was a voracious reader; I learned about parts of the world outside of my small, rural Midwest town through reading. It gave me the capacity to imagine that some day I could travel the world. Ultimately I did just that, working with women and girls to build safe communities throughout the United States and the world, from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Iceland and Kenya, to name a few.
Now I have the great opportunity to make a difference right here where I live, in Westchester County. In just a short period of time at the Writers’ Center I see firsthand the importance of its mission: to advance the art and craft of writing by encouraging writers and readers at all levels to participate in and enjoy the literary arts. I have been astounded by the number of community members, instructors and workshop participants who have made a point to stop in and welcome me, and to share with me how important the Writers’ Center is to them. For many, the Writers’ Center is a kind of home — a safe place to explore the art of writing and to appreciate the written word by attending readings and events with authors and poets. (Join us on March 18 at the Center for a special reading of Finding Home, featuring Richard Blanco and Terese Svoboda!) I have found a new home at the Writers’ Center. I am looking forward to continuing its great history in the community and exploring with you how, through writing and reading, we can expand and grow to address the many opportunities around us.
For further information call the Writers’ Center at (914) 332-5953 or visit online at www.writerscenter.org.