Sheila’s Presentation About What She’s Learned from Writing, Istanbul, December 2019

I visited Istanbul for almost a month recently, and while I was there, I spent a morning with members of Writing It Real member Yesim Cimcoz’s Yazi Evi (Writing House–you can read Yesim’s essay on the project’s beginning and growth here.) She videotaped my presentation, done in the form of questions and answers. In the video below, you will see and hear me with my translator talking to a group of 20 people. Off-screen, Yesim asks me questions. Later, I answer questions from audience members and from those emailed in by other Yazi Evi members who were watching live-streaming.

I hope you will watch in perhaps 20-minute sessions as the presentation is long.  Like me, I think you’ll get used to hearing the translator and then my words. I so enjoyed talking with those I met in Turkey who are writing from personal experience, something that has come later to Turkey than to the US and something that everywhere requires courage and confidence.

In the video, I share what I’ve learned from writers Benda Miller (who named and popularized “the hermit crab essay”), the poets David Wagoner and Edward Hirsch, and the novelist and short fiction writer Ron Carlson. I have tried to integrate all my experiences to answer the very good questions asked of me.

Thank you to Yesim for the opportunity, to those who have taught me along the way, and the audience members who wanted to hear from me.

Please let me know in the comment section below about what might have struck you or affirmed your commitment to the process of writing.

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Sheila’s Presentation About What She’s Learned from Writing, Istanbul, December 2019 — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you all for your responses here. The presentation was uplifting and exhilarating . I grew from the opportunity to synthesize so much of what I’ve learned from writing and teaching writing and being around writers.

    The warmth of the people in the room, their appreciation, and the community we felt, even though we live half a world away was incredibly gratifying.

  2. I watched the entire video. Wow, I understand the difficulty with translation and the young woman translating for you was amazing. I’m sure you both were exhausted after the event. It is marvelous to learn of women’s writing groups across the globe. You have created a “tribe” of
    women writers who can learn from each other.

    I especially enjoyed hearing you discuss ways to help poetry flow.

  3. I was impressed with the breadth and specifics of this podcast. I think the fact that Sheila could keep track of her intent and answering of the questions with consistency and at a pace that could for many (like me) feel one was constantly interrupted. I appreciated that the beginning input was from the fabulous poet (and instructor) R. Wagner. It brought back many of the workshops I had taken in the past. Thank you for sharing this. I will be listening and watching it in bits and pieces as my slowish brain always needs to pause and contemplate.

  4. Oh my gosh! I just listen to part of this Sheila, where you say, “You fell like you just push the words around!” I just this morning wrote that as part of the essay you asked your members to write about writing and I actually wrote that before I listened to you saying that and WOW… I feel the comfort of not being different but maybe a little disappointed I’m not more unique. I love you spent time in Istanbul with Yesim Cimcoz’s Yazi Evi. She sounds like a wonderful woman who has brought writers together very much like you have. I absolutely love that she says Turkish people like to be to together and write and believed her business could work and it did.

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