Tag Archives: events

Announcing our launch party to celebrate Writing Ourselves Whole!

Image shows a hand holding the Writing Ourselves Whole book

Please help us to spread the word – the Writing Ourselves Whole is finally getting its launch party! 

If you’re in the SF Bay Area, I’d love to have you join us for a night to celebrate the power of writing as a practice of resistance and healing for sexual trauma survivors.

What: Book launch celebration for Writing Ourselves Whole: Using the Power of Your Own Creativity to Recover and Heal from Sexual Trauma
Where: Avenue, 3361 Mission St., San Francisco
When: Tuesday, December 5, 6:30-9:00pm

Portion of proceeds from book sales will go to San Francisco Women Against Rape

At a time of daily challenging conversation about sexual violence in our society, join Jen and the Writing Ourselves Whole community to celebrate the release of her book, Writing Ourselves Whole: Using the Power of Your Own Creativity to Recover and Heal from Sexual Trauma (Mango, 2017). The evening will include a reading, Q&A with a special guest, and book signing — plus books for sale on site. We will have light refreshments (including some homemade baked goods!) and drinks.

In her book, Jen brings a message of hope and possibility about the power of creativity and writing in community as a path to transformative healing and personal liberation. Writing Ourselves Whole is full of support and advice for anyone who wants to tap into their creativity as a means to grow and heal.

Writing Ourselves Whole is a book about power and possibility, hope and transformation, and expertly weaves anecdotes from Jen’s own journey of self-exploration and recovery through writing with rich guidance and encouragement garnered from her fifteen-year career leading writing groups in the SF Bay area and around the country.  She has experienced and witnessed first-hand the power of writing – alone and in creative community – to manifest transformative change in the lives of those who embrace its possibilities.


#WritingOurselvesWholeBook has arrived!

Cover of Writing Ourselves Whole book, held in a hand over toys and a wooden floor

The picture my sister texted when she received her copy of Writing Ourselves Whole in the mail! It’s how I knew the book was out in the world!

Good morning, good morning!

We’ve reached that beautiful moment in the SF Bay area when the light begins to change, school gets going again, the leaves on our few deciduous trees start to change color and fall — and suddenly summer arrives in the Bay Area. I hope you are enjoying this warm weather — and staying cool and hydrated in the places where it’s been extra hot.

I have an exciting announcement: the book, Writing Ourselves Whole: Using the Power of Your Own Creativity to Heal and Recover from Sexual Trauma, is now available, both in stores and online, in print and e-book format! I found it on a bookstore shelves yesterday (thanks to our local Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito, the only bookstore left in town!) and finally got to lay my hands on a copy — see below there for the picture of me by the books on the shelf, after I got to autograph them!) 

Jen smiles big next to the Writing Ourselves Whole book on a bookstore's shelves!

Jen smiles big next to the Writing Ourselves Whole book on a bookstore’s shelves!

Thank you so much for all of your support, encouragement, and enthusiasm over these months of the publication process — I honestly can’t wait to hear what you think! (I, myself, am terrified to even open the cover.)

(For those who have gotten the book and have thoughts you’d like to share with others, even a brief review on Amazon or Goodreads goes such a long way. Thank you!)

Coming soon: the #WritingOurselvesWholeBook launch party! I’ll be in touch a little more frequently over the next few months with announcements about readings in the Bay Area and also elsewhere around the country. (If you would like me to come and offer a reading/book signing/workshop in your area, please let me know!)

If you have or are already reading the book, I so hope you enjoy it, are inspired to write, and then share it with friends, pass it around, maybe even start a survivors writing circle of your own. 

Thank you for your words today, and every day. 

The Icarus Project in Vancouver – this week!

For all my Northwest folks: Check out these amazing workshops that Kiran, Anthony, and Jacks from The Icarus Project are presenting in Vancouver this week! The folks at Icarus do amazing, accessible, layered, intentional, beautiful, exciting work around radical mental health issues — if you’re anywhere in the area, I absolutely urge you to attend!  – jmc


icarus logo: you are not alone

the icarus project: navigating the space between brilliance and madness

4 Icarus Project Workshops – This Week!

Radical Mental Health in People of Color Organizing Communities – TODAY!
7:00pm – 9:00pm, Wednesday, March 30th
La Bicyclette Rouge
1227 Victoria Dr

Note: This workshop is intended as a safe(r) space for people of color and has limited space, please RSVP.

This will be a facilitated discussion around the issues and challenges that people of color experience in common when faced with addressing mental health concerns in their communities. The discussion is intended for people of color, and will be focused on drawing out the experiences of the group with the goals of sharing strategies and resources for radical mental health. The discussion will be facilitated by Kiran Nigam (AORTA, The Icarus Project) and Anthony Meza-Wilson.

Tea and cookies will be provided :)

Space will be limited to 20 participants, please RSVP to: anthony.mezawilson@gmail.com.

For more information:
La Bicyclette Rouge is not wheelchair accessible. There are approximately 10 stairs with a banister. Washrooms are standard, single occupant washrooms with minimal clearance and no rails.
Please no strong or artificial scents.


Bent, not Broken: Queer/Trans Lives and Mental Health

6:00pm – 9:00pm, Thursday, March 31st
at the UBC Student Union Building room SUB 206
6138 Student Union Boulevard

A radical community discussion of the intersections between queer and trans lives and experiences of emotional distress, “mental illness,” and healing, facilitated by Jacks McNamara (Icarus Project) and Kiran Nigam (AORTA).

In this workshop we will open space for creative investigations of queer/trans experiences with mental health that inspire us to break isolation, find our stories reflected, share strategies towards healing, a…nd build community resilience in the face of a shaming, crazy-making world.

Graciously hosted by:
the UBC Social Justice Centre http://www.socialjusticecentre.org/
the Womyn’s Centre
and UBC Allies http://alliesubc.wordpress.com/
For more info on the Icarus Project: www.theicarusproject.net
Feel free to distribute widely and share with friends.
Please minimize the use of artificial scents & perfumes.
This is a drug and alcohol free event.

Accessibility map:


Creating Spaces that Help Us Thrive: Radical Mental Health in Shared Housing
11:30 am – 2:30 pm, Saturday April 2.
at the DIY Dharma Lab #202 – 1814 Pandora St

Join us for a workshop about radical approaches to mental health. Experiences labeled “mentally ill” affect us all, especially when we’re living, working, or organizing in communities. There are a lot of big questions on our minds regarding mental health, such as:
What structures can we put in place to help prevent crisis situations from occurring, or min…imize their potentially negative impact on the community when they do occur? What can we do for our friends in times of extreme crisis to keep them from either getting locked up or hurting themselves?
What can we do after wards to help everyone heal? How can we minimize feelings of alienation, anger, sadness, insecurity, etc. and create communities that foster self-determination and support us all?

Using a popular education framework, we will explore these key questions together. We will also learn about what a Mad Map/ Wellness Map is and make our own maps to share with our friends and loved ones.


Collective Liberation and Radical Mental Health
3:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Saturday April 2.
at the DIY Dharma Lab #202 – 1814 Pandora St

How do privilege, oppression and collective liberation relate to radical mental health? How can we create communities that support our mental and emotional health as activists? Does the undertaking of collective liberation recognize diversity in mental health experience? Problematic binary definitions of mental health experience (you’re either “normal” or “crazy”) are rampant in mainstream culture. The Icarus Project recognizes …the multiplicities of mental health experience and strives to create a community that regards the range of diversity as something to be respected and even rejoiced in. In this workshop, we will explore ways to promote safer spaces in our communities. We’ll discuss the importance of sharing our personal stories, giving and receiving support, and building communities that are truly welcoming to all marginalized people. Using exercises like “Mad-Mapping” and skill-sharing, we’ll collaboratively envision structures for mental and emotional support, and dialogue about why such strategies are vital to collective liberation.



For more info on the Icarus Project: www.theicarusproject.net
Feel free to distribute widely and share with friends.
The DIY Dharma spaces is wheelchair accessible.
Please minimize the use of artificial scents & perfumes.
This is a drug and alcohol free event.

Rafael Campo speaking in NYC on 4/6

How I wish I could attend this event! – jmc


“Cultural Competence: Poetry and the Importance of Voice in the Illness Experience”

RAFAEL CAMPO, M.A., M.D., D. Litt., is a poet and essayist who teaches and practices internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is also on the faculty of Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA Program. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Poetry Series award, and a Lambda Literary Award for his poetry; his third collection of poetry, Diva (Duke University Press, 2000), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and his most recent, The Enemy, won the Sheila Motton Book Award from the New England Poetry Club, one of the nation’s oldest poetry organizations. His work has also been selected for inclusion in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and has appeared in numerous prominent periodicals including The Nation, The NewRepublic, the New York Times Magazine, Paris Review, Salon.com, Slate.com., and the Washington Post Book World.

April 6, 2011
5:00 – 7:00 pm
The Faculty Club of CUMC
446 P&S Building
630 W. 168th Street (Between Broadway & Fort Washington Ave.)
New York, NY

**accessible entrance through Presbyterian Emergency on Broadway off W. 168th St. – take Presbyterian elevators to the 4th Floor**

Rounds begin at 5:00 followed by refreshments. Free and open to the public.

(via the Lit-Med Google group, lit-med@googlegroups.com)