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The Writer's Center at Glen Echo

In 1977 or was it 1978, I began to teach "Mixed Bag" workshops in the Writer's Center silk-screen art room of the old fast-food building at Glen Echo. The diverse ages and backgrounds of the some-dozen participants added to the gatherings, and friendships developed.

The incipient cancer already spreading in a key member of the early group at Glen Echo, artist-poet Helen Webster, metastasized further. Yet she continued to write and paint, and while she was in and out of hospital we (editorial we) assembled her works and created the chapbook which The Word Works published: Bulletins from a War, (still available).

Meanwhile the workshops continued in this Writer's Center venue until the ceiling began to crumble into our Styrofoam cups. Considering a potential caving-in upon our heads a hazard to health, welfare and the creative process, I asked Jane Fox and Al Lefkowitz for permission to move the workshops to Macomb Street.

There, we gathered around the dining table in our living room, and drank our tea or coffee from solid china or glass cups, dumping tea leaves and coffee grounds onto the potted plants, which doubled in size also from the discussions.

The weekly workshops divided into separate Poetry Tuesdays and Fiction Thursdays. The former created The Wineberry Press (available on our Splendid Wake website), resulting in the anthology Finding The Name.

All participants saw their work published, both in individual journals and as entire books published by various other presses.

The workshops continued in this venue until 1992, (when Clyde and I moved to Canada), and upon return, continued in other forms.



Elisavietta Ritchie
11450 Asbury Circle #320, Solomons, MD 20688