from the Inside Out Writing Workshops


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Rhodia Drive

Posted by Matthew Adams on September 6, 2010 at 8:17 AM Comments comments (5)

My friend Stephanie's blog Rhodia Drive runs an interesting and eclectic series of writing-related articles, everything from craft issues to reviews of writing tools (she reviews types of notebooks/journals, writing implements, etc.,.).  After the Rhythm Renewal this summer, she asked that I write up some kind of introduction to transformative writing, so I came up with this, which she published in two parts:

It might help to describe the process I'm envisioning for this or it might confuse it :), but regardless, it represents something of the vision.

Jim Donovan's Summer Rhythm Renewal

Posted by Matthew Adams on August 5, 2010 at 10:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Just back from a really fascinating experience at St. Francis University for Jim's Summer Rhythm Renewal.  I wasn't able to get to as many of the drumming, music, dance, and drawing workshops as I would have liked, but that's why there's a next year.  As a participant, I felt a sort of convergence of performance art with the various experiences and issues I carried with me, so that each drum circle, each performance, each conversation I had with each new, inspiring person I met, led me back to the driving idea behind the TW workshops:  that it's all connected, it all forms a sort of line from me to you to it, and that art is the way to walk that line, a sort of tightrope from past to present to future, from internal place to external space.  I'm still processing this, but I just wanted to express my gratitude and humility in the face of all our efforts to engage ourselves with the world through the various mechanism of art.


As a teacher, I was able to test-run a short version of the first session (Inspiration) of the workshops.  It's a nice, portable concept and fit interestingly with the jubiliation of performance that occured throughout the retreat.  It would be cool to take this, and short versions of the other sessions, on the road.  There's some paring down yet to do, but I want to thank Jim for the opportunity to even start this, as well as the people who participated in the workshops.  Some great artists populate our communities and lives and it's experiences like these, when they emerge from their daily worlds and announce themselves as seekers, that make it all worthwhile. 

Fall Sessions

Posted by Matthew Adams on July 16, 2010 at 7:53 AM Comments comments (0)

One notable change in the structure of the workshops for the fall will be the addition of multiple sections to choose from, which will give interested participants a broader choice in how they schedule the workshop, as well as provide some built-in make up dates in case they have to miss one.  Participants are encouraged, if possible, to sample the spaces that will be hosting us (ie, to schedule their sessions on a different night and in a different space each time), as each provides a different energy and inspiration for the process.  Sunday mornings will be hosted by Modern Formations Gallery in Garfield, and Tuesday nights will be hosted by the Pittsburgh Glass Center.  Special thanks to Jen at MF Heather Joy Puskarich at the Glass Center for making this possible.  Our Wednesday space will be announced soon, but I want to take a minute and thank Jeffrey Carpenter and Tami Dixon for making the Bricolage space ever available for our performance nights.  Please check out and support your local art and theatre houses.  These are vital to Pittsburgh's dynamic cultural landscape, and they don't work without you.


Also, for those of you who participated in the Summer Sessions, I'm working to make available a day or two a month that we can continue to meet as a writing group.  It was an intense and intimate experience, and I find myself wondering about how the continuing process--that which carries on after the workshops--is going.  This seems like a really good way to help everybody continue their development beyond the initiating stages.  I'll let you know as this progresses.

Summer Sessions

Posted by Matthew Adams on July 16, 2010 at 7:42 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, we finally got this off the ground (repackaged as the Summer Sessions), thanks to seven brave writers who brought to the rooms the exact kind of passion and honesty I was hoping for.  It always strikes me as beautiful the simple desire to write, to share, and to work, and when there is so much that's personal on the line, the beauty inspires the teaching, and like a tornado the energy in the workshop continues to rise up and up.  While this sounds exhausting and perhaps intimidating, the energy required to keep going creates and feeds itself.  So I want to thank those seven writers for fulfilling this particular dream of mine, for making that energy possible, and for sharing themselves and their own particular dreams.  I also want to thank Manny at Garfield Artworks for generously sharing his time and place.

Spring Sessions

Posted by Matthew Adams on April 18, 2010 at 8:42 AM Comments comments (0)

Unfortunately I've just had to pull the plug on the Spring Sessions, which I'm bummed about.  People lead busy lives, though, so it's understandable with a four week commitment.  I'm commited, however, to trying this again, so hopefully the summer sessions can happen with a nice, full group.  I'm in the process of looking for a space for the dates June 26, July 3, 10, and 17 and will post as soon as I find one.  The nice thing about summer, however, is the possibility of holding it outside, so we'll look into that as well.  Thanks for the sustained interest, and I promise we'll get this going in one inception or another.  Any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Greetings and Salutations

Posted by Matthew Adams on March 17, 2010 at 7:51 PM Comments comments (0)

March 16, 2010


Hello friendly visitors/revisitors,


A few notes of notability:


I managed at last to reschedule the March sessions for April 25, May 2, May 16, and May 23.  This is a little different because we'll have a week off between the second and third sessions in order to honor Mother's Day.  This will give us an extra week of at-home crafting, as well as some more individual time between participants and me, so I'm getting to like the idea. 


If anyone has an issue with a particular date that they can't make, we can work with that.  I'm happy to hold make-up sessions during the week, as well as work with you online throughout the process. 


Likewise, if anyone is interested in working individually instead of doing the workshop, don't hestitate to contact me and we can talk it through, what you're looking for, what I think I can offer, etc.,. 


I'd also like to offer my thanks to Jim Donovan, who last summer asked me to put together a writing workshop for his Summer Rhythm Renewal, which planted the seed for Transformative Writing.  Jim's a phenomenal teacher himself, and if you ever get the chance to take one of his drumming workshops, I highly recommend it (you'll never feel so cleansed as after banging on a drum for two hours).  Information on both the festival and his workshops can be found at: