Join Elizabeth Austen, poet, teacher, and former Washington State poet laureate, and Kari Hilwig, palliative care social worker, for a quiet evening of poetry that explores grief, illness, and spiritual and psychological healing. Elizabeth will read her works and discuss the ways in which poetry has been a path to self-care for those who work with the seriously ill and those who have been affected directly by illness and loss. Bring poetry to share, either your own personal writing or those of poets who have been a healing presence for you. Or, just come to listen.The second part of the evening will be a chance to explore writing poetry as a way to provide self-care and the processing of grief. Elizabeth Austen will guide the group through a writing exercise and there will be a chance to share poems written in the group.Come for the reading or writing, or come for both.
As Washington State’s poet laureate for 2014-16, Elizabeth Austen taught workshops in each of Washington’s 39 counties, in venues including state parks, correctional facilities, universities and rural libraries. Her poems have been published nationally in journals and anthologies, and heard on Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac. She’s the author of two chapbooks and a full-length collection of poems, Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and is now in its fourth printing. She’s been the on-air poetry correspondent for NPR-affiliate KUOW since 2000, and earned an MFA in Poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2001.
Kari Hilwig is a writer and oncology and palliative care social worker. She graduated from the University of Washington Master of Social Work program, and was a participant in the Carol LaMare Scholars program, which supports education and research efforts in oncology social work and palliative care for people with cancer and other life-threatening conditions. She has had her writing published in Literary Mama and performed onstage at the ACT Theater.