Tell us about yourself!
My passion is partnering with the healing power of words. When I was growing up, I always said I wanted to be a writer. I took a non-traditional path to get there, nevertheless, I am there now. I am the proud daughter of the Black Belt of Alabama. I grew up in Greensboro, Alabama. Reading Little Golden Books under the big oak tree in my front yard was how I found solace. Nowadays, with an English degree and master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in tote, I delight in training and coaching through my consultation business. I am the founder of Literary Healing Arts, LLC where I support people, organizations, and groups in using writing, poetry, and storytelling to reclaim their voices and transform their lives for maximum impact. Everyone calls me The Literary Healer! I began to reclaim my voice on a red couch with other writers, and now I hope to take that same “red couch” out to the world and help others to do the same. When I am not healing and writing, I am a brown girl walking and resting with my best friend, my very “hyper” brown girl dog Gigi. I can be found at theliteraryhealingarts.com
What sparked your interest in poetry, journaling, storytelling and more?
I eat, breathe, smell, and live to tell stories. I grew up a middle child and was the only girl in my household, and as a result, I learned how to find solace inside of myself. I think that began my journey of storytelling and poetry. Words were and are my superpower and listening to my intuition on ways to bring words alive has always been a part of me. I remember reading golden books and sitting in my mom’s 1st grade class watching her read to her students using her teacher’s voice and that has always served as an example of pure happiness to me.
How do you believe the arts can support cancer survivorship and the healing process?
For the last four years, not only have I been working on building my literary healing business, but I have the pleasure of serving UAB’s Institute of Arts and Medicine in the role of Artist in Residence. I take creative writing and poetry into the health environment to enhance wellness and wellbeing for patients, staff, and the community. Many studies give evidence to how expressive writing supports emotional well-being. The arts are a great way to help cancer survivors and the survivorship community deal with their feelings and safely express themselves, while improving their outlook on the future and making them feel listened to.
What can individuals expect in your work with Forge over the coming months?
I am so excited about the collaboration with Forge. In the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting and connecting with the Forge community in the role of Expressive Writing Coach where I will offer journaling tips and tidbits, write to heal coaching workshops, and short wellness and well-being videos…and more! Remember we all have the Write to Heal. theliterayhealingarts.com
Keep an eye out on Forge’s website and social media for more information about our work with Salaam!