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. . . You gave me . . . What you did not have, and I gave you . . . What I had to give—together, we made . . . Something greater from the difference.


— Alberto Rios, Poet, “When Giving Is All We Have

The Journal of Expressive Writing is more than a publication. We aim to be an engaged and supportive community of writers and listeners. Giving our focused attention to each other’s voices, stories, and writing is a generous, necessary act of humanity, repair, and celebration.

Each month, the Journal OPEN MIC will open with a featured author, in addition to 20 reserved spots for writers to read their work. During the OPEN MIC, each writer will read for up to 3 minutes max. All events are FREE to attend and OPEN TO ALL, but you do need to Pre-Register. The Journal Open Mic is produced and hosted by Kelly DuMar.

Thurs, October 7, 2021
7-8:30pm EST

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb

Author of Basic Needs (forthcoming October 26, 2021 from Rescue Press) and Images for Radical Politics (2016), Editor's Choice in the 2015 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize contest, Vanessa Jimenez Gabb has taught English and Writing at St. John’s University and Newark Academy, and for Brooklyn Poets, the International Women’s Writing Guild, and the Geneva Writers Group. In addition to her writing, she currently runs the literary arm of the arts & literary consulting company, Collective Consciousness NYC, Inc, where she offers writing coaching services. Of Belizean and Colombian descent, Vanessa hails from and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Vanessa.

Thurs, November 11, 2021
7-8:30pm EST

Fleda Brown

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Fleda Brown’s third collection of memoir-essays, Mortality with Friends, was published by Wayne State University Press in 2021. Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives, a collection of essays with Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea, came out in 2013 from Green Writers Press, and Driving with Dvorak was published in 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press. Her essays have won the New Letters and the Ohio State Univ/The Journal awards for creative nonfiction. Her tenth collection of poems, Flying Through a Hole in the Storm, (2021) won the Hollis Summers Prize from Ohio University Press. Fleda has won the Felix Pollak Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, and she has twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware, where she taught for 27 years. She was poet laureate of Delaware 2001–7. She now lives with her husband in Traverse City, Michigan. Read more about Fleda.

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Tues, December 7, 2021
7-8:30pm EST

Robert Carr

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Robert Carr is the author of Amaranth, published in 2016 by Indolent Books and The Unbuttoned Eye, a full-length 2019 collection from 3: A Taos Press. A five time Pushcart Prize nominee, his poetry appears, or is forthcoming, in the Crab Orchard Review, Lana Turner Journal of Poetry and Opinion, The Maine Review, The Massachusetts Review, Rattle, Shenandoah and other publications. Robert recently retired from a career as Deputy Director for the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He lives in central Maine with his husband Stephen. Read more about Robert.

Sat, January 8, 2022
3-4:30pm EST

Ojo Olumide Emmanuel

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Ojo Olumide Emmanuel is a Nigerian poet, Playwright and Book editor. He is the author of the Poetry Collection "Supplication for Years in Sands (Polarsphere Books, 2021). He was long-listed for the Poet in Nigeria Student Poetry Prize (2020) and he was short-listed for the Arojah Students' Playwriting Prize (2020). He is the winner of the Poetry Tuesday Writer of the month (February 2021). His works have appeared and are forthcoming at the Journal of Expressive Writing, Postgradjournal, Artloungenyc, Feral, Shallowtalesreview, Quills, Poets in Nigeria (PIN), Olney, Melbourne-Culture, TNR and elsewhere. He currently curates the monthly Wakasoprize for Poetry and Abubakar Gimba Prize for Short Fiction. He is also an Assistant Editor at The Nigerian Review (Teen/interview section) and an Alumnus of the SprinNG Writers Fellowship.

Wed, February 2, 2022
7-8:30pm EST

Laura Davis

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Laura Davis is a six-time bestselling author. Her books, including The Courage to Heal and I Thought We’d Never Speak Again have been translated into 11 languages and sold 1.8 million copies. Laura's 2021 memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars, tells the story of her dramatic and tumultuous relationship with her mother, Temme, from the time of Laura's birth until her mother's death. This story about "two souls who just wouldn't quit each other" provides a no-holds-barred peek at the real Laura--the woman behind the teacher, the facilitator, and author. Laura lives in Santa Cruz, California with her spouse Karyn and their new yellow lab puppy, Luna. She leads writing workshops in the U.S. and internationally that focus on writing as a tool for healing and transformation. Read more about Laura.

Thurs, March 17, 2022
7:00-8:30pm EST

Catherine Raven

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Catherine's Raven's 2021 INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, Fox and I––An Uncommon Friendship—written while she worked full time as a university professor—also won the 2022 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Oprah Daily called the memoir about the friendship between a solitary woman and a wild fox "extraordinary." She is a member of Sigma Xi, (a scientific honors society), American Mensa and she is a former National Park Ranger. Her natural history essays have appeared in American Scientist, Journal of American Mensa, Montana Magazine, National Geographic-Traveler, and Narrative. Catherine won first place in the 2017 Montana Festival of the Book for nonfiction writing and was the 2019 Grand Prize Winner for book-length non-fiction from the Faulkner Society. Read more about Catherine.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo

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U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo is a Zimbabwean American poet, author, speaker, singer, and educator who has performed internationally in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Portugal, and Ireland. U-Meleni was featured on “WGBH Suitcase Stories.” Her poetry collection, Soul Psalms (She Writes Press) was described by David Updike as “written in a fearless female voice tempered with optimism and healing possibilities of love.” She is an Adjunct Professor at Endicott College-Boston teaching Creative Writing and Performance Poetry. U-Meleni is currently working on a multi-modal poetic one woman experience “Roots & Revelations” about identity and belonging stemming from family roots in Leominster and Zimbabwe/South Africa. Learn more at:

Thursday, May 19, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Laura L. Engel

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Laura L. Engel, originally from Mississippi, transplanted to San Diego’s East County over 50 years ago. In 2016, Laura retired from a 35-year career in the corporate world. In May, 2022, Laura fulfilled her dream of writing her first memoir, You’ll Forget This Ever Happened: Secrets, Shame, and Adoption in the 1960s. Since starting her book in 2017, Laura has had  scenes from her memoir published in three Shaking The Tree Anthologies (with a fourth due for publication in 2023) and  performed by professional actors at the North Coast Rep theatre in Solana Beach, California. In Spring of 2019, Laura was interviewed by the author Dani Shapiro for her Family Secrets Podcast. Her podcast interview has reached over 1 million listeners. Learn more at:

Thursday, June 23, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

R.J. Lambert

Book Launch!

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R.J. Lambert (he, him, his) grew up near Denver and survived the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado. He has since been interested in the healing power of writing as individuals and communities respond to crises such as relationship violence, environmental disasters, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. R.J.’s debut poetry collection, Mind Lit in Neon, is newly available from Finishing Line Press. In these short lyric poems, R.J. brings together 80s music and fine art, celebrities and philosophers, nature and neon, all with a candid and curious sensibility. One poem, “Habits of Creature,” was chosen by Kaveh Akbar for the 2021 Patricia Cleary Miller Award for Poetry from New Letters, and The Worcester Review nominated the poem “Indelible in the Hippocampus” for a 2021 Pushcart Prize. R.J. currently teaches scientific and professional writing at the Medical University of South Carolina. Learn more at:

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Thursday, August 25, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Riham Adly

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Riham Adly is an award-winning fiction writer and editor from Giza, Egypt who is also a mother, ex-dentist, editor, and blogger. Riham is the first ever female from Africa and the Middle East to have a debut flash fiction collection published in English. Her collection of 61 flash fiction stories Love is Make-Believe was published in November, 2021 by Clarendon House publications in the U.K. View book trailer here. In 2013, her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN award.  In 2019 she was long-listed in Brilliant Flash Fiction’s food themed contest and in 2020 her story “How to Tell a Story from the Heart in Proper Time” was a winner and was included in the 2020 Best Micro-Fiction Anthology. In 2022 her story “Two Peas in a Pod” won second place in the Strand International Flash Fiction Contest. Riham was nominated for the Pushcart in 2019 and was nominated for Best of the Net in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Riham's flash fiction has appeared in over sixty journals. Learn more at:

Thursday, September 29, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Artress Bethany White, PhD

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Artress Bethany White, associate professor of English at East Stroudsburg University, is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is the recipient of the Trio Award for her poetry collection My Afmerica: poems (Trio House Press, 2019). Her essay collection, Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity, received a 2022 Next Generation Finalist Indie Book Award and is listed as a Community of Literary Magazines and Presses social justice read. Her prose and poetry have appeared in such journals as Harvard Review, POETRY, Birmingham Poetry Review, Solstice, Pleiades, Tahoma Review, Green Mountains Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Ecotone, and The Hopkins Review.  Her literary criticism appears in the anthologies: How I Wrote This Poem: 62 Poets on Creativity and Craft (McFarland, 2022); Seeking Home: Marginalization and Representation in Appalachian Literature and Song (University of Tennessee Press, 2017); and Literary Expressions of African Spirituality (Lexington Press, 2013). Learn more at:

Thursday, October 27, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Megan McDermott

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Megan McDermott is a poet and Episcopal priest living in Western Massachusetts. She was ordained a priest at age 26. In 2018, she graduated from Yale Divinity School where she earned both a Master’s of Divinity and a diploma in Anglican Studies. As an undergraduate at Susquehanna University in her home state of Pennsylvania, she discovered passions for both poetry and preaching. Those interests led her to the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, an interdisciplinary program dedicated to religion and the arts, which she also graduated from in 2018. Megan is the author of two chapbooks, Prayer Book for Contemporary Dating (Ethel Micro-Press) and Woman as Communion, and a full-length collection Jesus Merch: A Catalog in Poems (Fernwood Press, forthcoming). Learn more at: 

Thursday, November 17, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Hilton Koppe

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Hilton Koppe is a writer, workshop facilitator, podcaster, and doctor living on Bundjalung
land on the east coast of Australia. Hilton’s book,
One Curious Doctor – A Memoir of Medicine, Migration and Mortality, explores the personal impact of working as a country doctor. His play, Enduring Witness, is used to facilitate conversations about end-of-life care. Hilton is co-host of Dementia In Practice podcast, a top 100 Great Australian Pod. Hilton facilitates reflective writing workshops for doctors and other health professionals with the goal of deepening their compassion, overcoming professional isolation and reducing risk of burnout. The workshops have been adapted for people living with chronic and mental illnesses, as well as enthusiastic amateur writers. Hilton has been invited to present his workshops all the way from Byron Writers Festival to Harvard Medical School. Learn more at:

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Thursday, December 15, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Taté Walker

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Taté Walker is a Lakota citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. They are an award-winning Two Spirit storyteller for outlets like The Nation, Pipe Wrench, Everyday Feminism, Native Peoples, Indian Country Today, Subaru’s Drive” magazine, Apartment Therapy, and ANMLY. They are also featured in several anthologies, including FIERCE: Essays by and about Dauntless Women, South Dakota in Poems, W.W. Norton's Everyone's an Author, The Languages of Our Love: An Indigenous Love and Sex Anthology (forthcoming 2022, Abalone Mountain Press), and Ethical Eating: Conversations, Conflicts, Commitments (forthcoming 2023, New York University Press). Taté recently released their first full-length, illustrated poetry book, The Trickster Riots (Abalone Mountain Press, 2022). Purchasing through this link supports the Indigenous/Latinx-owned local bookshop in Phoenix). Learn more at

Thursday, January 12, 2023
7:-8:30pm EST

Raegen Pietrucha

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Raegen Pietrucha writes, edits, and consults creatively and professionally. Head of a Gorgon is her debut full-length poetry collection. Her debut poetry chapbook, An Animal I Can't Name, won the 2015 Two of Cups Press competition. She has a memoir in progress. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University, where she was an assistant editor for Mid-American Review. Her writing has been published in Cimarron Review, Puerto del Sol, and other journals. Her photography has been published in Rivanna Review, Olney, and other outlets. Preferred purchase link for Head of a Gorgon is here. Learn more at:

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023
7:-8:30pm EST

Monologue Showcase

The Journal of Expressive Writing proudly hosted a special theatrical event, showcasing Voices for Healing and Transformation. Writers from Kelly DuMar’s Play Lab will presented monologues for the stage, performed by actors.

This evening of staged readings was free and open to the public with 100% of the donations supporting Casa Myrna: Boston’s largest provider of shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence, providing safety, resources, advocacy and information since 1977.

This event raised $357.19 for Casa Myrna!

Thursday, March 2, 2023
7:-8:30pm EST

Book Launch!

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Jennifer A. Minotti, Editor + 15 contributors to Who Am I Today?: 40 Women Answer the Question read from this hot off the press Anthology. Published by the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University in Boston, MA. In this stunning collection of poetry, prose, flash non-fiction, and memoir, 40 talented women from diverse backgrounds and locations around the world (including the USA, India, England, China, Ireland, Canada, and Dubai) answer the question—"Who Am I Today?"—a simple writing prompt that Jen poses at the beginning of each of her Women's Writing Circles. This anthology illuminates the individual and collective power that arises when women's voices are held, supported and affirmed. Preferred purchase is from an independent bookstore that is owned and operated by women, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and others who are aligned with the missions of the Women's Writing Circle here.

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Thursday, March 30, 2023
7:-8:30pm EST


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Kelly DuMar, author of her new book, jinx and heavenly calling is interviewed by Eileen Cleary, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lily Poetry Review and Lily Poetry Review Books. Kelly is a poet, playwright and workshop facilitator from Boston. She’s author of four poetry chapbooks, including jinx and heavenly calling, published by Lily Poetry Review Books in March. Kelly’s poems and photos are published in a variety of literary journals. She teaches creative writing and runs Play Labs for the International Women’s Writing Guild and the Transformative Language Arts Network. Kelly produces the Featured Open Mic for the Journal of Expressive Writing. Learn more about Kelly here.

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Thursday, April 27, 2023
7:-8:30pm EST


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Lisa Lucca is the award-winning author of Ashes to Ink: A Memoir, a story that shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are. She is a member of the 2023 cast of the off-Broadway production of Listen to Your Mother NYC performing Teal Dreams, a passage from her book. Lisa was awarded the 2022 Literary Legacy Award from El Paso College and was named an Outstanding Woman of the Mesilla Valley for her contributions to the Borderland community in literature and media. Lisa was a #Blogher Voice of the Year Honoree and her work has been published in several anthologies, including the collection, Crone Rising. She is the co-author of the epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias. Learn more about Lisa here.

Thursday, May 18, 2023
7:30:-9:00pm EST

Tommy Archuleta

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Tommy Archuleta is a mental health and substance abuse counselor for the New Mexico Corrections Department and author of the HOT OFF THE PRESS collection entitled, Susto, "a whittled bone of a book, seething with marrow."

Tommy Archuleta's poems have appeared in the New England Review, Laurel Review, Lily Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, Guesthouse, and the Poem-a-Day series sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. His debut full-length collection entitled, Susto, (Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University Press), and his debut chapbook, Fieldnotes (Lily Poetry Review & Press) were both release in April 2023. He lives and writes on the Cochiti Reservation.

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Featured Panel of Writers

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Thurs, Oct 12, 2023
7:00:-8:30pm EST


Amy Ferris

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Amy Ferris is an author, a writer, a screenwriter, an editor and a playwright. Her new memoir, Mighty Gorgeous - A Little Book About Messy Love, will be published in the fall (SheWritesPress 2023). Her memoir, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From a Midlife Crisis (Seal Press) was adapted into an Off-Broadway play (CAP 21 THEATER) in 2012. She has written for both the big screen (Mr. Wonderful, Anthony Minghella - Director) and the small screen (Jack's Place, Scott Brazil, Producer/Director) and her screenplay for Funny Valentines (Director, Julie Dash - BET/STARZ) was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Award. She has written three books, one YA novel and contributed to numerous anthologies. She curated and edited the anthology Shades of Blue (Seal Press), co-edited the anthology Dancing at the Shame Prom (Seal Press) and co-authored - with Rev Run (RunDMC) - the memoir, Old School Love (2021) for HarperCollins. Learn more about Amy here.

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Thurs, November 16, 2023
7:00:-8:30pm EST


Cynthia Manick

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Cynthia Manick is the author of No Sweet Without Brine (Amistad, 2023) which received 5 stars from Roxane Gay, editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry, winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, and author of Blue Hallelujahs. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among other foundations. For 10 years she curated Soul Sister Revue, a quarterly reading series that promoted poetry as storytelling and featured emerging poets, poet laureates, and Pulitzer prize winners. Manick’s poem “Things I Carry into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems and debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. Cynthia lives in Brooklyn, New York but travels widely for poetry. Learn more about Cynthia here.

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