Open Call: Power of Words 2012

The 9th Power of Words conference will be held October 26-29, 2012 at Pendle Hill near Philadelphia, PA.

Call for Proposals: Part of what makes the Power of Words an amazing conference is a palpable sense of connection and homecoming that comes from meeting others who are living their lives powerfully and authentically. We would love to have you come, and we would love even more if you’d consider submitting a proposal to have some of your work be shared there. The call for workshop and performance proposals is here, and we hope you’ll consider submitting one, helping us build that web of connection and depth.

From now until the end of January 2012, we will be accepting proposals for people interesting in offering their work to others at the conference. Once January ends our Proposal Selection Committee will spend time together reading them over, and we will announce accepted workshops in February.  As before, we will focus on four themes for workshops: Narrative Medicine / Healing Stories, Right Livelihood, Social Activism, and Engaged Spirituality. To read more about the details of these areas, please check out their descriptions on the conference page.

A difference this year is the option to submit a proposal for performance time during main sessions as well as workshops. Because the Network is committed to lifting each other up and highlighting the amazing gifts, talents, and skills that people possess, we wanted to open up some of the performance time as well: a limited number of slots during the main, all-conference sessions will be devoted to offerings submitted via the proposal process. We are excited about what will emerge!

The form for proposal submission is here, and we hope you both (a) consider proposing something yourself and (b) send this information to people you know who have something powerful to offer.

Keynoter: Jimmy Santiago Baca: Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry.  During a fateful conflict with another inmate, Jimmy was shaken by the voices of Neruda and Lorca, and made a choice that would alter his destiny. Instead of becoming a hardened criminal, he emerged from prison a writer. He went on to send out his poetry, earn a GED, write and publish, earning a Pushcart Prize, American Book Award, International Hispanic Heritage Award and many other honors. His publications include the memoir A Place to Stand, volumes of poetry and more. Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country. He also founded Ceder Tree, Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people of all walks of life the opportunity to become educated and to improve their lives.

Other Features: Deb Hensley, who founded “When Did We Stop Singing?” and is a founding member of the improvisational singing group Improvox, will be leading a workshop to help us return to our native voices, and also sharing her powerful performance on how we can connect with the natural world through the magic of birdsong. Kao Kue, Hmong spoken word artist who combines poetry and song, will perform her astonishing art.

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