Workshop on writing about anger

Megan Alpert shares her creative process and mindfulness practice during a workshop at Ampersand Coworking. Megan Alpert, Washington DC-based journalist and poet, lead a workshop on using mindfulness practices to write about difficult emotions as a part of the Marquette Creative Residency program at Ampersand Coworking Wednesday evening. Evolve MQT developed the program in hopes of growing the area’s creative class and attracting creative industries to the Upper Peninsula. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Megan Alpert, Washington D.C.-based journalist and poet, helped workshop participants find the words to process their anger.

As a part of the Marquette Creative Residency program, Alpert led the workshop by using mindfulness practices to write about difficult emotions at Ampersand Coworking Wednesday evening.

“Writing has always been the way I have processed my emotions or what was happening in my life, and as I get older and life gets more complicated, I have also turned to mindfulness practices,” Alpert said. “I can’t help but notice the parallels between what you do in mindfulness and what you have to do to create good writing and art.”

While writing a poetry collection on anger, power and sexual violence, Alpert noticed that everyone around her seemed to be having trouble processing their own complicated emotions concerning the 2016 presidential elections.

“I felt like the people around me were really angry and had trouble processing it,” Alpert said. “I have a lot of trouble processing anger and suddenly poetry came pouring out as I started to write this book. I started researching anger, and emotions, how we deal with them and what they are for. Why do we feel anger and what does anger mean? What do we do with it?”

Workshop participant Tristan Louma gives his insights during a group discussion on anger as Kayla Bell, center, and Amanda Blumer listen in the background. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

During the workshop, Alpert answered some of these questions and shared aspects of her mindfulness and creative practices. She led participants through a series of exercises designed to help them identify their emotional state, examine it and then express what they observed through written expression.

“I hope they (attendees) walk away with some tools and strategies to manage not only anger, but all different kinds of emotions that can be overwhelming,” Alpert said. “I hope they can produce some writing that is exciting to them and that they are excited about. I hope it inspires them to be able to write about emotion and through emotion in different ways.”

Corey Kelly can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is photos@miningjournal.net.