What started out as a way to engage older adults through literature and creative expression at Senior Planet Montgomery quickly turned into an hour of connecting with seniors around the country—members of Senior Planet that would eventually feel like a second family.
Originally known as a bi-weekly “Creative Writing Workshop”, this hour of coming together eventually became a regular cohort, or club, of talented members who either desired inspiration for current projects or who were eager to become better writers.
At the beginning
Our early programs revolved around helping seniors get their groove back; learning how to use writing blocks to trigger sparks in creativity and a deeper exploration of self and environment. Seniors were then introduced to introspection, the ability to not only look deeply at outward organic relationships but the happenings that were taking place inwardly.
From there, programs shifted to teaching members about how to craft new literature and work they could be proud of; exploring the basics of creative writing and journalism, poetic forms, and how to use figurative language and literary devices to shake up and strengthen new work.
Here are a few examples:
Rita Raina, a frequent flyer of the Creative Writing Club and dedicated participant of many Senior Planet Montgomery offerings wrote this poem after attending a program:
In This Diseased Covid Election Year:
It was the Covid times,
And the world was falling apart,
Humans were trapped in their cages,
And the birds were wondering Why?
Some said, it was nature’s revenge for having ravaged her,
Some thought it was the mad king, stealing their freedoms and rights away.
But all was chaos,
And no one was listening up,
‘Cause all were talking together,
Yapping their fears out.
An upheaval of the sorts we had never seen,
Though they say, the world was always so.
I sit and wait to see, where and how it will end,
For the moment I can only tell you,
Life was struggling to live.
Janet Handler, a newer participant to the Creative Writing Club wrote this haiku:
“Rage is in New York
Rage is everywhere around
Rage can be healthy.”
Janet says “I enjoyed expressing my thoughts. Who dares to teach must never cease to learn!”
What’s it about?
Creative Writing Club is not just a time to write and play, but to assess greater phenomena in our world and explore ways to transform communities through storytelling, essentially being the change we’d always hope to see.
The most exciting element of these programs is the humility and openness of our staff and our members. We come together to discuss real issues and we work together to overcome them and create work that is a greater representation of the strides we’ve made together.
Imagine feeling frustrated with the state of a piece of fiction or poem, joining this program, and leaving feeling reinvigorated because you learned how to make your piece better or how to work through common blocks—it’s such an amazing thing to experience and witness and I think that’s what makes this programming so special.
Want to join? Senior Planet Montgomery holds Creative Writing Club twice a month: visit https://seniorplanet.org/locations/montgomery-county/local-events/ for an upcoming program.
NaBeela Washington is Program Assistant for Senior Planet Montgomery, fellow poet, and founding editor of Lucky Jefferson.
Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash