Dawn Thompson oversees Portland Women Writers and has had the honor to be a part of it since 2008. She is also the co-founder of Touchstone Retreats. She believes writing our stories, whether they originate from our life experience or our imagination, is a sacred act that liberates, heals and transforms us. Dawn is passionate about how writing in community offers us the gift of becoming more intimate with ourself and more connected to one another.
Dawn holds an M.A. in Creation Spirituality from Naropa University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon. She has worked as a staff member for Write Around Portland.
Dawn currently holds writing workshops for individuals healing from cancer through the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU and through Legacy Cancer Center. She also holds workshops for caregivers, elders in assisted living, hospice and other groups. Please click here for more information about setting up a workshop for a specific community.
Lisa Kagan is a writer, artist, educator and personal historian. Her business, Family Heirloom Arts, is dedicated to helping individuals and families celebrate their life stories and significant life milestones through the creation of illustrated heirloom books and custom art. Lisa offers art and writing workshops and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lisa is the co-founder of the Touchstone Retreats program and a facilitator through Portland Women Writers. Lisa believes in the transformative nature of the creative process to heal, empower, challenge, inform, and awaken the human spirit.
Birch Dwyer believes that magic is afoot when women write together. She delights in creating a space in which women feel safe enough to explore the wild edges of their writing and be nourished by the gifts of community. She hopes that after attending one of her circles you will feel more empowered, connected and alive.
Over the last fifteen years, Birch has led workshops in a variety of settings, including those for women whose lives are affected by life threatening illnesses, addiction, eating disorders, and homelessness. In Oregon, she facilitates a weekly circle at Transition Projects, and had led circles at The University of Oregon, The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Open School, and The Center for Earth Regenerative Studies. Before moving to Portland, she led the writing and art groups at UCSF Medical Center’s Art for Recovery Program, and for Drawbridge, an expressive arts program for homeless children.
Birch received her certification in poetry therapy from the Institute for Poetic Medicine, her MFA in fiction from Saint Mary’s College, and her BA in art from Stanford University. Her poetry has been published in VoiceCatcher, The Clackamas Literary Review, and Windfall.
Koren Mullinsis a writer, facilitator, artist and coach who believes in the powerful magic and transformative grace that comes from writing in intentional community. She is grateful for the potential which writing offers to expand our self-definition and rewrite our past, present and future. Her most recent workshops include writing as everyday magic, letters to your inner-child and writing with tarot. She has been working with women for almost 10 years, and her current one-on-one sessions focus on areas of self-love, breaking down creative barriers and doubts and grounding into authentic purpose. Her hope for any writing participant is to create a warm, safe space for exploration where writers can feel truly seen, heard and shine their inner light brightly and unselfconsciously in the world.
Margaret Hartsooksees art making and writing as spiritual practices that can open the gates of creativity and self-expression. She believes we each have a unique creative language that can promote well-being, healing, meaning making and growth in our lives. Through de-mystifying the tools of visual art making, she guides individuals to explore and find their own unique expression. Because of this, it is not necessary to have prior art making experience. What is important is an interest in expressing oneself and entering the creative realm.
Trained in drawing and painting at California College of Art, Margaret completed her BFA at the University of Oregon and received a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling & Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy from Naropa University.
Margaret is currently working at Legacy Good Samaritan in the Cancer Institute as an Art Therapist. In addition to facilitating many art-based workshops she co-created the Art Therapy program for Pathways Hospice in Northern Colorado and established the Memories in the Making art program for the Alzheimer’s Association in Oregon.