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Letting Go and Letting In: Writing in and through Grief and Loss

This 6-week course explores how we honor what has passed and who has passed out of our lives through entering and centering grieving and the present absence in our writing. What we are creating together is a sacred space to open to the felt sense of loss; bookending with ritual, guided practices of meditation and movement and fostering trust in the process. We explore: how love changes forms; what it means to be a compassionate witness as we acknowledge our pain via poetry; and how we can touch into the courage to open the heart after heartbreak when amongst community. Participants are encouraged to come as they are, share as they feel comfortable, and tap into the healing and resilience made possible when we step out of isolation and hiding and into bold expression of our pain.

Instructor: Naazneen Diwan is an educator, writer, community organizer and curriculum designer. With a PhD in Gender Studies from UCLA, she has taught courses in Arabic, Interracial Solidarity, Gender and Knowledge, Disability Studies and Gender and Race in the U.S. at Ohio State University, UCLA and CSULA for over 12 years.  She's a transnational Activist-Scholar who builds dynamic, vibrant community wherever she goes: from working as a translator at an underground human rights publication in Damascus, Syria to co-founding a transnational feminist, 10-day convening in Berlin, Germany. She worked in Gujarat, India for two years facilitating creative arts and healing workshops with Muslim women activists and survivors and studying the impact of the 2002 genocide against Muslims. In her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, she became Lead Instructor for Baldwin House Urban Writing Residency hosted by Twelve Literary Arts as well as an Artist-in-Residence, founding and establishing Maktoub Collective with generous support by the Cleveland Foundation and Neighborhood Connections. You can read her poetry and prose in The Yale Review, Southern Humanities Review, storySouth, Entropy Mag, Sky Island Journal, Cathexis Press, Serendipity Magazine, fly paper magazine, Kohl, Project As[I]Am, SAMAR, MOONROOT and others.


Details: Letting Go and Letting In: Writing in and through Grief and Loss meets Thursdays from July 18 to August 22 from 6:30-8:30pm in person at Literary Cleveland's offices, 13002 Larchmere Blvd in Cleveland.

Prerequisites: None

Genre: Poetry

Level: All Levels

Format: Generative workshop with writing in class and outside of class and group sharing.

Location: This class takes place in person at Literary Cleveland, 13002 Larchmere Blvd in Lakewood

Size: Limited to 12 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with another generative fiction writing workshop or a feedback course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by April 15.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email


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NEW: As part of our ongoing efforts to make programs and classes more inclusive and accessible, we are now collecting voluntary demographic information during the registration process. The following information is entirely voluntary and will remain anonymous. It will only be used in aggregate to assess and improve services and inclusive practices to ensure we are serving our entire community equitably. Thank you!

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