Songwriting Workshop

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
6:15 pm – 8:15 pm

Our songwriting workshop meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Whether you are a new writer, experienced writer, or want-to-be-a-writer writer, we hope you’ll join us each month to bring in your work and get expert advice from award-winning songwriter, Jud Caswell. Participants in this workshop rave about Jud and about how much his advice is helping shape and improve their writing.

Jud starts each session with a short discussion of a specific element of songwriting craft, then moves to sharing songs. Jud’s feedback is focused on questions or concerns raised by the songwriter, with group discussion focused on issues of craft and technique.

Participants should bring a song that is “in process” for feedback and support, along with 8 copies of lyrics to share. Many in our group play the guitar or play our house electric piano as well as sing, but you are more than welcome to just sing what you’ve written, or sing to a recording you’ve made at home. 

We’ll have a sign-up sheet when you get here and will have time each night to share 6 or 7 songs. Come a little early if you want to make sure to get on the list!

The goal of the workshop is to provide a safe place for songwriters to share and learn. Songwriters of all levels and abilities are welcome! 

Here’s a bit about Jud Caswell
Jud has played folk festivals from Texas to Oregon and won some of the best songwriting contests in the country.  He has appeared at iconic venues and at celebrated festivals across the country. While his music is often compared to James Taylor and David Wilcox, his songs draw on a long musical history and wide-ranging influences from jazz and Piedmont blues to contemporary folk and rock.  Wilcox offers his own praise, acclaiming Caswell as “much more than a great singer and guitar player, Jud’s songs take you into the storyteller’s world with clear images and characters that come to life for the listener.” Maine Today is even more emphatic: “Jud Caswell is an enormously talented lyricist, composer, performer, and producer. It’s only a matter of time before he’s discovered by the rest of the world; you should discover him now.” Jud has a degree in music from Dartmouth College and has taught songwriting to students of all ages and ability levels.

Senior Tech Help!

Wednesday, September 25
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Tech meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month.
We’re here to help in any way we can with your tech questions. We work together as a group to answer similar questions, and break out into smaller groups to answer individual questions.
If you have a question, we will help you find an answer. You wouldn’t believe some of the things we’ve been able to help solve!

What is Shamanism and What Might it Offer Me?

Thursday, September 26
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Shamanism is a thousands year old wisdom practice, older than most religions, that has had a strong resurgence in modern day life as many seek a deeper connection to the natural and spirit world and to self. In this talk, Cape Elizabeth resident Martha Williams, shamanic practitioner and yoga teacher, will talk about the benefits of shamanic healing and ways it has helped clients she has worked with. And we’ll learn more about how shamanic practices can be integrated into day-to-day life.

During this talk, Martha will lead us through an optional guided meditation exercise engaging in the shamanic ritual of calling in the directions to create sacred space and receive healing energy.

And, of course, there will time for discussion, questions, and answers.

We hope you’ll join us to learn more about this ancient practice.

Here’s more about our presenter, Martha Williams

Martha works with individuals and groups seeking optimal health and well-being. She draws on her training as a therapist and social worker, certified yoga teacher, and a trained shamanic practitioner. She offers a unique blend of services supporting individuals in the transformation of their life into one of optimal health and thriving in all areas. Through her yoga classes she invites deep connection to body, self and Spirit with gentle yoga and movement guided from within. She received her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training from the Yoga Spirit School of Yoga, studied core shamanic practices extensively with Dory Cote, and traveled to Peru and sat in ceremony with Q’ero Shamans, Alberto Villoldo, and the Four Winds Society. Martha worked for more than nine years at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and experienced a wide range of thought-leaders and transformational teachers. Her classes resonate with people seeking greater flexibility, improved balance, and a healthy break from a busy, full life.

Local Writers Group – September Readings

Saturday, September 28
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Returning audience members PLEASE NOTE the new earlier start time of 3:00 PM for this and all future Maine Writers’ events.

The Local Writers monthly reading series returns for its ninth season featuring Maine writers of prose and poetry at the Thomas Memorial Library. The series will welcome Maine State Poet Laureate, Stuart Kestenbaum, together with Cape Elizabeth novelist, Dave Patterson. The Local Writers events are co-hosted by Portland Poet Laureate, Linda Aldrich and Cape Elizabeth poet, Marcia F. Brown.

Stuart Kestenbaum was appointed Maine State Poet Laureate in 2016. He is the author of five collections of poems, most recently How to Start Over (Deerbrook Editions 2019), and a collection of essays The View from Here (Brynmorgen Press).  He is the host of the Maine Public Radio program Poems from Here and the host/curator of the podcast Make/Time. The director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts from 1988 until 2015, he has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous small press publications and magazines including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, and on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry.  

Former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser has written “Stuart Kestenbaum writes the kind of poems I love to read, heartfelt responses to the privilege of having been given a life.  No hidden agendas here, no theories to espouse, nothing but life, pure life, set down with craft and love.”

Dave Patterson is a novelist, musician, and beer critic. A graduate of St. Michael’s College, Dave holds an MA from the Bread Loaf School of English and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. His short fiction has appeared in Slice Magazine, Hot Metal Bridge, and The Apple Valley Review, among other literary magazines. His short story, The Day the Cats Leave, was a finalist for a 2019 Maine Literary Award. In April, his debut novel, Soon the Light Will be Perfect, was released from Hanover Square Press, an imprint of Harper Collins. Novelist Richard Russo writes, “Soon The Light Will Be Perfect is so deeply moving because it is so achingly true. You will not soon forget these people, this place.” The New York Post called the novel a “stunning debut.” Dave lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife and two children, and their dog.

The event is Free and Open to the Public. Writers’ books will be available for sale by Kelly’s Books to Go and light refreshments will be available.

Eldering: Conversations on Growing Older

Wednesday, October 2
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Please join us for our new discussion group on Eldering. While aging is familiar to us, the concept of “Eldering” may be new.

We meet on the first Wednesday of the month from 1:00-2:30. Questions we might ponder include:

  • Did you enter your “Senior” years with advanced planning or did you one day find yourself retired and wondering what came next?
  • Did you stay put or did you pack up and move?  If you moved, was it to be closer to family or did you strike out alone to a new location?
  • Did you downsize or are you living with a life’s accumulation or are you also living with the life accumulation of others now departed?
  • Is your health holding or are you experiencing ailments common to aging bodies?
  • Have you lost loved ones?  Are you alone?  Are you living with a spouse or partner who is also aging?
  • Have you experienced a difference in aging as you move from decade to decade? Is being in your 60’s radically different from your 70’s or 80’s? What accommodations are required during these progressions?
  • Have you considered aging may be a time of expansion, a time of reflection and growth? As you continue to age and health problems or other difficulties arise is there still room for reflection and gratitude in your life?

Eldering: Conversations on Growing Older is a place to talk, to share, or to just listen to what neighbors, friends, and members of our community have to say about their experiences as we grow older. Resources on aging will be available. Books and articles on aging or eldering can be discussed and shared. Speakers on specific aspects of aging may be asked to give presentations if there is group interest.

Please join us for a great conversation!

A Fatal Obsession

Thursday, October 3
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

We hope you’ll join us for a chat with best-selling author James Haymen. A native New Yorker, James Hayman worked in advertising for over 30 years before moving to Portland, Maine to continue his writing career. His first thriller, The Cutting, features Portland detectives Mike McCabe and Maggie Savage. Five more McCabe/Savage thrillers followed landing Hayman on the NY Times, WSJ and USA Today best seller lists. His latest, A Fatal Obsession, is now available in hardcopy and e-book form.

This promises to be a fun evening of storytelling and discussion.