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explore life's big and little goodbyes
monthly expressive writing group with jennie linthorst

Experience the powerful process of guided expressive writing in our monthly workshop led by masterful poetry therapy facilitator, Jennie Linthorst.

Through the use of writing prompts, you will create poems, prose, and/or journal writing unique to your own story, while discovering your voice using techniques from poetry therapy and Jennie’s unique toolbox.

Created to inspire insight, self-awareness, and fresh writing in a safe, non-judgmental environment, this workshop is perfect for writers and non-writers, including educators, students, therapists, young professionals, and facilitators alike—whether looking to acquire new tools for teaching poetry to adults and children, or simply wishing to deepen your artistic self-expression.

No writing experience necessary. Single-session registrations welcome!

This month's theme is: Explore Life’s Big and Little Goodbyes.


“Jennie Linthorst is one of those rare teachers who has passion, skills, and heart. She is the only teacher I have ever had who can consistently get me to show instead of tell what I am seeing (which is a tall order since I tell all day long). I am amazed at the written gems that emerge for all participants from her innovative exercises and clear teaching process. You will not be disappointed.”  — Ping Ho, MA, MPH,  Founder and Director, UCLArts & Healing

“Jennie is a beautiful, trusting guide who encourages a journey of self-exploration through writing. She provides the needed tools, inspiration, emotional support and a sort of road map to the heart of your soul allowing for surprising realizations and unexpected gifts.” 
Julee H.

“Jennie is a warm and knowledgeable person who guides writers at all levels of experience to go deeper and understand the process . . an incredible opportunity to take a break from everyday cares and worries and really write snapshots that help us make sense of life. Kudos to Jennie for her curriculum and style of guidance which I saw working for everyone in the group, from all walks of life.” Past participant

“The five voices as tools are incredibly useful, constructive keys to heart and mind. They open doors we thought were already open and make us intensely aware of doors that we have felt closed. It was fun and a challenge.” — Past participant

“Jennie's workshop was inspiring and gave me a different perspective on poetry techniques I knew. She teaches in a fresh and unique way. I am excited to work on [the techniques] and teach.” Past participant 

instructor bio:

Jennie Linthorst, MA, CAPF is a poet, expressive writing teacher, and founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy. Jennie has taught expressive writing workshops at UC Irvine Extension, the University of Santa Monica, the National Association for Poetry Therapy, and other organizations. For the past 14 years, Jennie has facilitated ongoing adult writing groups, and original curriculum for private clients exploring their life stories through reading and writing poetry. After graduating cum laude from Skidmore College with a BA in Psychology, and a concentration in dance, Jennie began her career in arts education coordinating artist-in-residency programs for Leap . . . imagination in learning in San Francisco, and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Manhattan Beach. She has certification as an Applied Poetry Facilitator from the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy. She has also obtained an MA in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica; a highly experiential counseling program which applies a soul-centered approach to mental and physical well-being. Jennie is the author of two books of poetry by Cardinal House Publishing: Silver Girl and Autism Disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope. Her poetry has been featured in Edison Literary Review, Forge, Sanskirt Literary Arts Magazine, Kaleidoscope, and Bluestem magazines. Her work has been featured online at Hopeful Parents, Wellsphere, The SPD Blogger Network, and WOW! Women on Writing.

samples of past-participant writings:

I am from
I am from the longitudinal line of Jewish women cookers who sizzled potato latkes in hot oil, grated onions through a minefield of tears, plowed shtetl lands of Russia for barley grains to add to stone soup. They're women who sweated in hot kitchens, flipped blintzes made from scraps of flour, eggs and cheese, women who kerchiefed their hairon Friday nights, said prayers over Shabbat candles.

I am from women who knew how to smash pulp from a bully's eyeball to defend their children, women who raised their boys and girls to eat more, grow fat and plump, fill up, fill out, fear not the fetish of thinness for fat is good, fat will protect you, fat will transform you to a strong workhorse who won't be tossed into the gas ovens of a Jewish life.   
 – Rox Levine

On the Other Side of the Door

Before I walked out the front door
I meditated on murder. Pre-meditated murder.
I thought of ways to end the life of the man
I was leaving without going to jail.
I thought of death by Costco pies.
The giant circles of flour and shortening clogging
up his already clogged arteries.
Enough pie so no stent could save him.
Maybe pumpkin pie or pecan or a panoply of pies.
Pies piled up to the ceiling.
It wasn't guilt that stopped me.
It was time.
I left with an apple, not in a pie, fifty dollars
and a band of gold.

– Jacinta Kaplan

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Explore Life’s Big and Little Goodbyes

time: 7:30 to 9:30 pm

fee: $20.00*

* Special 2017 Promotion
: register and bring a first-time friend for free! Simply register for one, and bring your friend on the day of the program at no extra charge.

Registration and payment a week in advance will guarantee your spot and a pre-workshop handout.


upcoming 2017 workshops & themes*:
9/14: Coming of Age: The End of Childhood
10/12: Love Then & Now
11/9: Sacred Sadness
12/14: Words as Self-Portrait

* Note that there will be no workshops held in July and August.

Gateway Christian Church, Fellowship Room
11760 Gateway Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

For directions, click here.

Participants may park in the church parking lot that is accessible via the Stoner Avenue side of the church. Stacked parking is encouraged to ensure that everyone gets a space. To get to the Fellowship room from the parking lot, please enter through the kitchen or patio door (also via the Stoner Avenue side of the church), which is directly adjacent to the Fellowship room.

for more information:
Please submit questions via email to or contact us at (310) 452-1439.

Refund Policy: In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees. We hope that you will find comfort in knowing that your fees are going to a worthy cause.

Reservation Policy: Reservations can be made for free events, unless noted otherwise in the program description. Individuals who have made reservations and who have arrived on time will be admitted first. After that time, everyone will have an equal opportunity for admission.

Wait List Policy: Based on past experience, we expect that a certain number of registrants will not be able to attend events. If registration for an event is full, joining the wait list will give you a higher priority for admittance at the door. If additional space for an event becomes available, individuals on the wait list will be notified via email and given the opportunity to enroll in the event before the additional spaces are advertised to the general public.

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