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Benjamin Garcia's Workshop Documents

Anna Leahy's Workshop Documents

Writing on the Door:
Health & Healing Conference
May 13-15, 2022

Friday - Sunday, May 13 - 15, 2022

Our first-ever Health & Healing Conference

An experience that welcomes all who are interested in paths of health and healing, this conference offers something for everyone.

Click below to learn more about workshop offerings including navigating trauma, holistic support, writing to heal, neurodivergence, word medicine, and much more.

"But I'm Not a Writer!" - we have a special Conference Workshop Track for you. Click on the FULL SCHEDULE to learn more.

Friday, May 13: Panel Discussions, Writing Workshops, & Reception | Amythyst Kiah Concert at Door Community Auditorium

Saturday, May 14: Panel Discussion, Writing Workshops, Talk & Songs, & Reception

Sunday May 15: Forest Bathing & Yoga (Optional Add-Ons)

Sessions will be held at various locations throughout Fish Creek and at our Writing Center in Juddville.

In Parternship With

30th Ann Logo

Supported By

Full Schedule:
Health & Healing Conference 2022

🌻Indicates programs for people who might not think of themselves as "writers"

Friday, May 13

8:00 - 8:45 am

Registration, Check-in, Coffee

Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek


9:00 - 10:15 am


with John Paul Brammer, Benjamin Garcia, and Jackie Polzin

Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek


10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Morning Workshop Options

Option 1: Delving Into Sensation with Jackie Polzin at Peninsula School of Art, 3900 County Road F., Fish Creek

Option 2: Word Medicine: Trauma Informed Approaches to Writing About Addiction, Family Trauma, and Mental Illness with Benjamin Garcia, at Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek


12:00 - 1:30 pm



1:30 - 2:45 pm

🌻Health Care Professionals Who Write at Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek


3:00 - 4:30 pm

Afternoon Workshops

🌻Option 1: Every Poem Is a House Made for Dancing with Chris Martin at Peninsula School of Art, 3900 County Road F, Fish Creek

Option 2: Balancing Humor and Sadness with John Paul Brammer at Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek

🌻Option 3: Writing to Heal with Laurin Bellg at Write On, Door County, 4210 Juddville Road, Fish Creek


5:00 - 6:30 pm

Reception at Write On, 4210 Juddville Rd., Fish Creek


7:00 pm

Amythyst Kiah  concert, Door Community Auditorium*, 3926 Highway 42, Fish Creek

Saturday, May 14

 8:00 - 8:45 am

Registration/Check-in: Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek


9:00 - 10:15 am

🌻Reading and Conversation

with Faith Adiele, Anna Leahy and Phillip B. Williams at Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek


10:30 am - noon

Morning Workshop Options

🌻Option 1: Change Your Life, Change the World with Faith Adiele at Peninsula School of Art, 3900 County Road F, Fish Creek

Option 2: The Body's Voice: A Somatic Journey into Poetry on Grief with Phillip B. Williams at Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek

🌻Option 3: Navigating Grief: Solace Cards with Lisa Iverson (10:30 - 11:15 am) AND Life Doula Support for Serious Illness with Marggie Hatala Moertl (11:15 am - noon) at Write On, Door County, 4210 Juddville Rd., Fish Creek


Noon - 1:30 pm



Afternoon Workshop Options

Option 1

🌻The Wanting Way: How Neurodivergent Writers Bring Us Back to the Path of Joy with Chris Martin and two nonspeaking autistic writers, Adam Wolfond and Imane Boukaila 1:30 - 2:45 pm at Door Community Auditorium, 3926 Highway 42, Fish Creek

🌻Understanding Illness: Metaphors and Meanings Beyond Medicine with Anna Leahy  3 - 4:30 pm at Gibraltar Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St., Fish Creek

Option 2

🌻Self-Care Energizer with Beth Coleman and Susan Gould 1:30 - 4:30 pm

at Write On, Door County, 4210 Juddville Rd., Fish Creek

4:45 - 6:30 pm

Concluding Comments/Community Share/Reception

 at Write On, Door County, 4210 Juddville Rd., Fish Creek

Sunday, May 15 all events at Write On, 4210 Juddville Rd., Fish Creek

8:00 - 8:45 am


9:00 am - noon

🌻 Forest Bathing with Jane Burress/Doorway to Nature

10:00 - 11:30 am

🌻Yoga with Kathy Navis/Junction Center Yoga



Conference Workshop Descriptions


Friday Morning: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Delving Into Sensation with Jackie Polzin

We are sensory beings, wired to experience the world through sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Drawing on the work of others, we will explore the senses as essential tools in mindfulness and in writing. Discover the practice of delving into sensation to find strength in uncertainty and learn the power of choosing curiosity as a path to joy. This session includes guided meditation, exercises in sensory awareness, and time to write.


Word Medicine: Trauma Informed Approaches to Writing About Addiction, Family Trauma, and Mental Illness with Benjamin Garcia

Addressing topics like addiction and family trauma in our writing can offer another venue for processing painful experiences. However, writing about issues close to our own lives can carry the risk of hurt or even re-traumatization. Not to mention that presenting this work to the public can leave us feeling vulnerable and judged. In this workshop, we will focus on techniques for prioritizing our wellbeing as we navigate difficult subject matter. We will look to the work of various poets for alternative ways of exploring issues we may not be ready to address directly. 


Friday Afternoon: 1:30 - 2:45 PM

🌻Medical Professionals Who Write

Join us for a panel discussion of current and former health care workers who have found a creative outlet in writing.

Friday Afternoon: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

🌻Balancing Humor and Sadness with John Paul Brammer

When is the right time to make a joke? When is the right time to be serious? Brammer's memoir-in-essays ¡Hola Papi! engages in the Mexican tradition of turning grief into laughter. In this session, we will discuss how to balance tone in a way that's both bold and delicate while also exploring how Latin American writers have historically specialized in dark humor.

Every Poem Is a House Made for Dancing with Chris Martin

This generative workshop will focus on the formal characteristics and possibilities of the poem; what we might call the architexture. By delving into the etymology of poem-making, we will re-imagine ways to build, shape, dance, party, and heal. At stake in this process will be modes of poetic hospitality, making the poem an invitation and a habitation both.

🌻Writing to Heal with Laurin Bellg

Through a series of prompted free-writers, participants will explore accessing subconscious spaces to excavate their deepest feelings about a particular situation or condition, be it physical, spiritual, or psychological. Bringing these thoughts forward and contemplating them with curiosity rather than judgment can provide surprising insights, facilitate healing and often result in beautiful works of prose or poetry. Writing to heal is a powerful process for acquiring understanding, solutions, and even resolution of a variety of life's complexities, providing a valuable tool for working through the inevitable complications encountered along the human journey.


Saturday Morning: 10:30 AM - 12 PM

🌻Change Your Life, Change the World with  Faith Adiele

Research has shown that writing your story can transform your life. History suggests that perhaps it can even change the world. Yet committing ourselves to writing--just like committing to social engagement or spiritual practice--takes time and faith. This workshop blends guided meditation, writing prompts, short reading and class discussion to re-inspire and renew those of us who need both. New writers will leave with a notebook full of story-buds and a plan; experienced writers can apply these techniques to revisions of book blueprinting. Please bring a notebook/pen in addition to your laptop/table for in-class assignments. 


The Body's Voice: A Somatic Journey into Poetry on Grief Phillip B. Williams

Grief is an intense feeling of sadness that spans from death of a person to death of a circumstance. We may feel grief after a friendship ends, or when we experience changes in our health and body that change who we once were. In this generative workshop, you will write through several types of loss, paying close attention to how your heart, breath, muscles, and other parts of the body feel as you writer. What does absence mean to you? How does it feel inside you? How can you transfer those feelings onto the page while knowing when to stop? And what does your body tell you about how grief lives within you? Much of the work you create will remain private as you delve into your thoughts about grief and loss, though you may share if you so choose. We will end with an exercise or two exploring gratitude for what we do have and the abundance of daily living.

Saturday Morning: 10:30 - 11:30 AM

🌻Life Doula Support for Serious Illness with Marggie Hatala Moertl 

The role of a non-medical Life Doula is to offer holistic support to clients in their loved ones. How this is shared with clients rises from the unique needs of each situation, and where their own creative self leads. Marggie Hatala Moertl will share her experiences with clients facing serious illness and explain her work in more depth. She will talk about each person's needs for life review and to find closure as serious illness causes us to realize our own mortality. As an author and inner life coach, Marggie naturally includes a variety of writing exercises. These are often combined with body/mind/spirit exercises to help open the client or loved ones to their deepest self. In this session, the group will participate in a writing session designed to demonstrate one of these very meaningful exercises.  

Saturday Morning: 11:45 am - 12:30 pm

🌻Navigating Grief: Solace Cards with Lisa Iverson 

Navigating grief, especially that of losing a child, can be unbearable most days. Six months after the devastating loss of her son to suicide in 2019, Lisa began to create Solace Cards to help others experiencing similar situations. Her personal mission, and the mission of the cards, is to bring healing, comfort, love, and joy to those who are struggling. Lisa will introduce participants to her Solace Cards and discuss their evolution, as well as ways in which others can heal and find joy.

Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 PM - 4 PM

🌻Self-Care Energizer with Beth Coleman and Susan Gould

Self-care is an intentional set of practices to promote your own physical, mental, and emotional health. Spend some time examining your current self-care habits and developing your personal vision for a healthy, creative lifestyle. This session will include a quick check-in on what drains or fuels you, a meditative labyrinth walk to center and balance, a journaling exercise to jumpstart your self-care practice, and a vision board that represents your best hopes for well-being. You will leave focused and energized with a better understanding of what self-care means to you.

Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 - 2:45 PM

🌻The Wanting Way: How Neurodivergent Writers Bring Us Back to the Path of Joy

In this conversation, poet and editor Chris Martin speaks with two nonspeaking autistic writers, Adam Wolfond and Imane Boukaila, about nomadic pathmaking and the joys of titled thinking. They will discuss how neurodivergence allows for reorientation, moving away from the endless extractions and transactions of the "troubled abled" world and toward the dancing rally of more-than-human life, which is offering us other ways to want, to listen, and to sing. At the heart of this conversation will be an account of pace and place, slowing down and exuberantly gaming the space.

Saturday Afternoon: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

Understanding Illness: Metaphors and Meanings Beyond Medicine with Anna Leahy

By examining examples of both poems and essays, this session will explore how we tell the truth about illness, our own and as caregivers. We'll consider metaphors like the battle, the marathon, the silver bullet, and the handful of spoons. Prompts based on published poems and essays will help us generate individualized ways to put into words not only the physical qualities of illness but the effects on our daily lives.



Sunday Morning: 9AM - 12 PM

🌻Forest Bathing with Jane Burress/Doorway to Nature*

"Be present in nature, and discover what nature has to present you." Refresh your mind, body, and soul with a slow guided walk in nature, accompanied by a certified nature and forest therapy guide. A standard sequence of invitations (activities you choose to participate in or not), help awaken your senses, encourage you to slow down, be present, and connect with your surroundings. This is a 2 ½ to 3 hour walk covering less than a mile. Refreshments and conversation complete the walk. Doorway to Nature LLC is here to promote wellness, harmony, community, and environmental stewardship by partnering with nature and connecting you with nature's offerings. 

Registration for this session is $60. To register, please click the button below or call 920.868.1457.

🌻Yoga for Creatives with Kathy Navis*

A 90-minute yoga session with Kathy Navis to encourage and inspire your creative energy. Cost for this session is $30. You do not need to be registered for the Health and Healing Conference to register for this session. To register, please click the button below or call 920.868.1457.

*indicates add-on experience



Faith Adiele was born to a Nigerian father and a Nordic-American mother, and the PBS film My Journey Home documents her travels abroad to find her father and siblings, while the audio and e-book, The Nigerian-Nordic Girl's Guide to Lady Problems, establishes her tri-cultural POV. Her account of flunking out of Harvard and ordaining as the first black Buddhist nun of Thailand, Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton), received the PEN Open Book Award for Memoir. A popular speaker, storyteller, teacher/mentor and emcee, Adiele has presented at universities, churches and community centers around the world; worked as a diversity trainer and community activist; and taught memoir and travel writing in Bali, Chautauqua, Finland, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Switzerland. Her writings on travel and culture have been widely anthologized.

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Laurin Bellg is the award-winning author of Near Death in the ICU, a thought-provoking collection of patient's anomalous experiences during extreme illness and trauma. Working as a critical care physician and writer over the past twenty years, she has helped patients process complex feelings around health crises by encouraging them to share their experiences and write about them as a path to healing. Laurin is presently a creative writing candidate in Fairleigh Dickinson University's MFA program, pursuing a dual-genre degree in both fiction and creative nonfiction. Her current book project is a collection of stories highlighting the importance of the patient-provider relationship within an increasingly mechanized landscape of modern medicine.

John paul brammer

John Paul Brammer grew up in rural Oklahoma with aspirations of writing and making art. He started in journalism writing for The Guardian, NBC News, and Teen Vogue. He then moved to Condé Nast as a writer while running my popular LGBTQ and Latino advice column, ¡Hola Papi!. From there, he worked with the Trevor Project to consult on their editorial content. He currently self-publish my column at Substack and have a memoir of the same name set to be published under Simon & Schuster's flagship imprint in June of 2021. He writes and illustrates for outlets like The Washington Post, Guernica, Catapult, and many more. He is also presently working with Netflix on The Most, a small team that creates content, consults on projects, and builds community based on the company's LGBTQ material.


Benjamin Garcia's first collection,Thrown in the Throat, was selected by Kazim Ali for the 2019 National Poetry Series (Milkweed Editions, August 2020). He works as a Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Educator throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Gould Susan

Susan Gould is dedicated to helping others achieve creative solutions and insights by leading groups in nonprofit organizational development or serving as a personal growth coach through customized workshops and retreats. Susan has worked in a variety of educational settings from high school to higher education, has a Master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in adult education, and is a certified IIN Health Coach and trained SoulCollage®️ Facilitator.


Marggie Hatala Moertl is a former Hospice RN, Life Doula as well as an Inner Life Coach. She is the author of two non-fiction books written to lead the reader to explore their own mortality and to embrace their life more fully. Sally: A Memoir outlines Marggie's mother's hospice journey and is filled with her honest journal entries during this time. Life As A Prayer, leads the reader through Marggie's care of patients as a Hospice RN. Each chapter explores a spiritual value that is common at end of life. There are reflections and questions for the reader to then explore in contemplative writing exercises.


Anna Leahy is the author of the poetry collections What Happened Was, Aperture and Constituents of Matter and the nonfiction book Tumor.  Her work has appeared in Aeon, Atlanta Review, The Atlantic, Bennington Review, Scientific American, and elsewhere. Her essays have won top awards from Mississippi Review, Los Angeles Review, Ninth Letter, and Dogwood. She edits the international TAB Journal and directs the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chapman University. | @AMLeahy on Twitter


Chris Martin is the author of The Falling Down Dance (Coffee House, 2015), winner of the 2016 Midwest Independent Booksellers Choice Award; Becoming Weather (Coffee House, 2011); and American Music (Copper Canyon, 2007), chosen by C.D. Wright for the Hayden Carruth Award. He has been a writer-in-residence at the Minnesota History Center's Gale Library, a Bartos fellow at United World College, a reader-in-residence at the South Minneapolis Society Library, and the recipient of a 2017 NEA grant for poetry.

In 2015, Martin cofounded Unrestricted Interest, a consultancy and writing program dedicated to transforming the lives of kids and adults on the autism spectrum through poetry and song. He also coedits Unrestricted Editions, dedicated to transforming poetry and song though the voices of those with autism. He has taught at the Loft Literary Center, the University of Iowa, Hamline University, and Carleton College.

After cofounding one of the first online poetry journals and working as an editor at Futurepoem books, Martin now coedits Society Editions, a publishing concern at the intersection of politics and poetics. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, the poet Mary Austin Speaker, and their two children.


Jackie Polzin lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and children. Brood, her first novel, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and shortlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.


Phillip B. Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois and earned his MFA from Washington University, where he was  a Chancellor's Graduate fellow. He is the author of the poetry collection Thief in the Interior (2016), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Lambda Literary Award, as well as the chapbooks Burn (2013) and Bruised Gospels (2011).

A Cave Canem graduate, Williams is the recipient of a Whiting Award and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship. He is coeditor of the online journal Vinyl and teaches at Bennington College.

Beth Coleman is committed to helping others deepen and integrate life's experiences on all levels-physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  Through her gardening design business "The Garden Lady," she helps ground clients and spaces in the cycles of life; and as a Veriditas-trained labyrinth facilitator, Reiki practitioner, and graduate of The Christine Center's 3-yr. program "Spiritual Deepening For Global Transformation" she facilitates cultivating daily practices that nurture well-being and compassion.

Lisa Adelle Iverson is an author, intuitive energy healer, massage therapist, and reflexologist. She is also an empath and medium, bringing insight to many situations. When she realized that working on one person at a time in her sacred healing room was no longer enough, she expanded her Solace Cards to bring healing to more people. Lisa is a sister, wife, mother of two boys (one an angel, the other an earthling), and a grandmother.