Tami Mohamed Brown and MJ Gabrielsen first met in 2015 at Write On’s first-ever Writing and Yoga Retreat with James Mihaley. When they enrolled in the retreat, they expected to enjoy the peninsula’s beauty and mystique. What they didn’t anticipate were the effects of practicing yoga and writing in the outdoors: on historic farms, sandy beaches, sculpture gardens, and along wooded trails. This month, Tami and MJ return to Write On, this time as artists-in-residence. While here, they will offer the workshop “This Is Not a Newspaper Blackout Poem” on Saturday, April 22.
A resident of the Chicago area, MJ said, “When I met Tami she was writing mostly short fiction and prose, I was writing primarily poetry. Her readings spoke to my interest in narrative expression. We kept in touch and after another year we decided to work on our response to what’s happening in our country, in the media and let our work speak to others. “
Tami added, “As a prose writer, I was intrigued by the images and beauty that MJ conveyed in her poetry from prompts of the every day. We both wanted to find ways to respond to the current “every day” of the last year, and decided to explore ways in which writing can do that.”
The two noted that James Mihaely had described the calming effect that yoga has on the mind: it allows us to interact gracefully with anyone we encounter, to write something beautiful—the power to find stillness.
Tami and MJ have made lasting relationships as a result of the Writing and Yoga retreat. They have remained in contact with their instructor and are grateful for his talents and mentoring. The two writers look forward to spending time working on their individual writing projects and collaborating with each other on their workshop and connecting with more of the Door County writing community.