Kaneko’s Free Writing Workshop, “In Your Own Words”


March 3rd, 2017

Omaha, NE—Kaneko will present a free creative writing workshop on Saturday, March 4th, titled, “In Your Own Words: Writing Our Passions, Honoring Our Obsessions.” Poets Jen Lambert and Sarah Mckinstry- Brown, hosts of Kaneko’s feedback reading series, will conduct a two-hour workshop for finding inspiration, communicating with other writers, and most importantly, getting it all down on paper.

The theme of the workshop is inspired by Kaneko’s current exhibit, “Passion and Obsession.”

“We’ll be focusing on writing poems that explore our passions and then also honor our obsessions,” McKinstry-Brown said, “so the things that we may grapple with a bit—finding ways to write about those things in a way that’s kind of celebratory.”

McKinstry-Brown published a book of poetry, “Cradling Monsoons,” and has won two Nebraska Book Awards. Jen Lambert is a founding editor of two publications, burntdistrict and Spark Wheel Press.  Both have been featured in numerous literary journals.

“We want people leaving feeling empowered by the writing process,” McKinstry said, “and we want them to leave with at least two pieces that they’re excited by and maybe want to continue working on.”

According to McKinstry-Brown, the workshop will encourage thinking and free writing, but through prompts, will give the time to form and refine those ideas.

“Our approach is really that these writing workshops are an opportunity to have some protected time and space and then just a little bit of guidance and structure to reflect on the life experiences that shape us and write about those,” McKinstry-Brown explained.

A New Mexico native, McKinstry-Brown’s arrival to Omaha was unlikely, but her story shows the importance of community among artists and writers. Touring the slam poetry circuit after college, she performed in Denver where she received some unexpected advice.

“I had a show in Denver,” she explained, “and a woman came up to me who had just moved to Denver from Omaha and said ‘you should do a show in Omaha’ and I said ‘great, where’s Omaha,’ which is embarrassing to say now. But, she said ‘in Nebraska’ and I said ‘oh yeah I think I can make that work,’ so I ended up going from a show I had in San Francisco to Omaha, NE, and I met my now husband, but who then I just knew as the poet, Matt Mason, who was running the slam at the time and booked my show. And he kind of reeled me in so I finished my tour and ended up moving here in 2002.”

For more information, visit the Kaneko.com.

Sarah McKinstry-Brown reads her poem, “After Thirteen Months of Searching, the Girl’s Body Is Found Five Miles from Our House”

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