Moderators: Henny Lewin and Penny Johnson
Role of participants: To prepare and present two original pieces
Number of participants (including the moderator): 12
Time: Mondays, 1:30-3:30 pm
Place: Lilly Library, 19 Meadow Street, Florence
Parking: Ample parking on site
Writing Your Own Story
“Whatever we call the form – autobiography, memoir, personal history, family history – writing about one’s life is a powerful human need. Who doesn’t want to leave behind some record of his or her accomplishments, thoughts and emotions? If it’s a family history it will have the further value of telling your children and your grandchildren who they are and what heritage they came from.
“Writers are the custodians of memory, and memories have a way of dying with their owner. One of the saddest sentences I know is, ‘I wish I had asked my mother about that’” (Writing about Your Life by William Zinsser). You’ll enjoy writing about your life, as well as hearing the stories of other people’s lives, when you join our seminar.
Format: Each participant has two opportunities to read aloud from his or her prepared texts during the semester. Sometimes these texts are distributed in advance (often via e-mail), allowing more time for discussion. The atmosphere is relaxed, but the serious efforts of all concerned help to make this a rewarding experience for everyone.
The Moderators: Henny taught Hebrew and Yiddish and received a Covenant Award as an Outstanding Jewish Educator in North America. She is a Holocaust child-survivor working on her autobiography with the encouragement of this seminar’s participants. Steffi has been writing autobiographical material, fiction, and non-fiction essays since retiring from teaching at Hampshire College, and participated in the Writing to Remember seminar for several semesters.