“When the Dying Has Begun”: Death, Grief and Poetry

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg


This narrative of TLA in the field focuses on John Willison, a student attending writing workshops for people with serious illness that I lead for Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing in Kansas City. John, suffering from late-stage cancer, writes about his own dying through writing workshops, and then reflects on the intersection of writing and grief as well as the poems he's written about these subjects. In looking at how poetry can help people navigate and share the realities of dying, death and grief, both John and I seek to show applications for TLA in the field and in our lives (as well as beyond our lives). In some ways, this is a hybrid submission, part narrative and part creative writing.


Writing Workshops, Death, Dying, Grief, Poetry

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Chrysalis is a project of the Transformative Language Arts Network.