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SWWF Presents Writing Workshop with Catharine Murray

Southwest Word Fiesta is pleased to offer a writer’s workshop with author, poet, teacher, and writing guide Catharine Murray at the Tranquilbuzz Casita on Wednesday, March 13th, 1:30-2:30 pm. Murray’s workshop, titled “Writing to Heal,” examines how to combine memory, stress, and story to develop the essential art of self-compassion.

She will draw from her work, Now You See the Sky (Akashic Books, 2018), a memoir about love, motherhood, and loss originating with her experience working in a refugee camp along the banks of the Mekong River. Murray married a local man, had three sons, and was deeply affected by her five-year-old son’s cancer diagnosis and eventual loss.

Murray writes, “We often want to suppress or hide from the painful experiences of our lives. However, it is often these experiences that breed compassion for ourselves and others by increasing our sensitivity and heightening our awareness of environment and psyche. Sometimes it is this very combination that starts us down the path of a writing life. We can use our acute sense of detail and drama to drive the emotional power of our stories.”

In this hour, participants will learn how to examine and express the challenges of the past through writing, bringing more intensity to their stories and more peace to their lives. Murray earned her BA from Harvard University and completed her MFA in creative writing at University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writing program where she served as Creative Non-fiction Editor for The Stonecoast Review. Murray lectures and leads workshops on healing through writing, listening, and trauma-resolution. Her expertise on healing informs her work with healthcare providers, clients, and her immigrant and refugee students.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Space is limited to 10 persons. Register with Ted Presler at or text only at 575-519-8375.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

Enriching Life Through Learning in Community

We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.