Alexandria Peary (MFA, MFA, PhD) serves as New Hampshire Poet Laureate. She is the author of nine books, including Prolific Moment: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness for Writing and Battle of Silicon Valley at Daybreak. She is the recipient of a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, and her work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize and Best of NH (for inspiring artist). She specializes in mindful writing, and her talks include her 2019 TEDx talk, “How Mindfulness Can Transform the Way You Write” (on YouTube). She is the Founding Editor of Under the Madness Magazine, a magazine run by New Hampshire teens, and a professor in the English Department at Salem State University.
Alexandria PearyLondonderry, NH firstname.lastname@example.org
Available Program Formats: In person* or online presentations
*In person available within 25 miles of 03053
Are you your own worst critic when it comes to your writing? Do you lug around criticism that you received maybe years ago—or even last week? We’ll discuss how to notice and manage negative self-talk and distance ourselves from tricky audiences-in-the-head. If you’ve been slogging through a writing task (academic, creative, professional, personal), a powerful transformation happens by switching attention to the present moment. The battle with self-doubt or procrastination turns into a temple of focused calm. Mindfulness lets us befriend ourselves as we write. By learning to treat ourselves with grace and acceptance, time at the desk becomes a form of cherished self-care. This session provides an overview of mindful writing as well as hands-on practice with techniques easily replicated later at home.
Do you have something in you that wants to be written? It doesn’t matter what kind of writing—poem, novel, memoir, speech, newspaper article, or workplace document—you feel a tug to express. For many of us, beginning a new piece of writing can be daunting. How to bring this inchoate sensation to form and structure? We often waste time psyching ourselves up or fantasizing about the perfect final draft. This presentation helps you enter the present moment and begin writing that piece, maybe one you’ve been contemplating for years, within minutes. Every moment is perfect for writing: starting means entering an ongoing river of language. Among several techniques, we’ll practice moment tracking to jumpstart that dream project and embrace where it takes us. This presentation focuses on prewriting and invention, the earliest phases of writing, and welcomes verbal emptiness to develop equanimity.
Writing can become much more fulfilling if we think of it as happening right Now. Much is lost when we overlook the present moment because we forfeit rewarding writing experiences in exchange for stress, frustration, boredom, fear, and shortchanged invention and creativity (it's a poor bargain). Through mindfulness, we can reduce our writing apprehension and the writing blocks that come from future- or past-oriented thinking. Every moment can become a prolific moment: we can write more quickly and with greater ease of mind. In this presentation, we discuss writing tools that emerge when present time is highlighted: impermanence, audience demons, monkey mind self-talk, and preconceptions about writing ability and writing task. Participants will learn basic strategies to incorporate mindfulness into their writing lives.
- Sandown Public Library
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.