Combining the practice of imaginative writing with meditation in the Zen tradition, this session of the Writer’s Café invites intimate and creative study of the mind. We will start with a short introduction and meditation before engaging playfully with language. When we write together—from a prompt or prompts—and read aloud, we will listen and respond to ourselves and to one another receptively, without bringing our usual emphasis on skill and craft to bear. Our writings and responses will be explorations, and our conversations will be based in imaginative insight rather than literary critique. Please be prepared to write with paper and pens, even if you are accustomed to composing on a keyboard.
Catherine Gammon is a fiction writer and Soto Zen priest. Her novel Sorrow (Braddock Avenue Books, 2013) was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. Her novel Isabel Out of the Rain was published by Mercury House in 1991, and her shorter fiction has appeared in literary journals for many years, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, and New England Review among them. Catherine served for ten years on the MFA faculty of the University of Pittsburgh before beginning residential training at San Francisco Zen Center’s Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm. She was ordained in 2005 by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. Since leaving Zen Center residence, Catherine has offered Writing As A Wisdom Project classes, workshops, and retreats in many venues. (Info at writingasawisdomproject.wordpress.com.) She lives again in Pittsburgh.