Bengough Regional Library hosted a writer's workshop on February 5th and 6th, with a member of the Saskatchewan Writer's Guild. Author Lynda Monahan, of Prince Albert, came to share a reading from her poetry books and facilitate a day workshop on Writing Your Life's Story.
Friday evening centered on Lynda's writing. As we listened to her read from her two books it became very evident that much of her writing is based on her life. Monahan stated, "I like the economy of language. Poems should hit you in the heart."
Her poems do indeed hit the heart. They are not the lyrical flowing rhyming poems we might first think about when we consider the word poetry. Instead, they are heart-rending, gut-wrenching, emotion evoking works that delve into the very essence of who Lynda Monahan is and what has shaped her life. She writes of her sister, a stroke survivor whose life and world have been completely changed; of her brother who committed suicide at 35 years and a family that would no longer mention his name. These are not depressing works. They are pieces that make us think about our own lives. There is a spiritual feel and an honouring of life within her poems. If you are interested in reading Lynda's books ask Fay at the library.
Saturday focused on writing our life stories. "Each of us here has a story to tell," Monahan stated. Through a series of prompts or exercises, the 5 folks taking the workshop were encouraged to write of actual events in their lives. These stories were shared with each other with tears and laughter often being the result.
Meaningful pictures, poems, letters or other memorabilia can be incorporated when recording life stories. Monahan encouraged the participants to consider their lives as a series of short stories, each able to stand on their own. The presence of the tears and laughter told Monahan the workshop was a success. Those in attendance would agree.
With the support of Canada Council, SaskCulture, Sask Lotteries and the Saskatchewan Arts Board, this event was offered free of charge to those in attendance.