Arlyn is a pleasure
to work with.
She's an extremely dependable and prepared co-leader, which allows for
a stress free environment in which creativity can really be the main focus.
Sara Miller, art therapist
As a young child, at bedtime in summer I would kneel at the edge of my bed and gaze achingly through my bedroom window at all the activity still going on outside. And so when poet Robert Louis Stevenson asked:
And does it not seem hard to you,
when all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day
I felt known and understood. The astute writer of "Bed in Summer" comforted me by naming my own experience. The pleasure in seeing myself reflected in someone else's experience, in the unique empathic connection between writers and readers, has sustained and fueled me ever since.
As a child and teenager, I wrote lots of poems. As an undergraduate history major, I wrote lots of papers. As a transactional lawyer, I wrote lots of voluminous documents. I am an unabashed, gluttonous word lover. I relish reading words singly and in combination. Writing has always been for me an act of joy, replete with anguish. I confess to having favorite letters.
Nearly twenty years ago, I transitioned in earnest to writing poems, articles, and essays, many of which have been published, and to teaching poetry-based writing workshops. In 2010, I established Poetic License Press and remain its Senior Editor.
I have studied the craft of creative writing broadly and deeply, coast to coast from California to Maine and abroad in Barcelona. I earned a certificate in Creative Writing – Poetry from Northwestern University. For me, learning and exploration are ongoing. Recently, I’ve been merging film and poetry and visual art and text.
As a reader and writer, whether reading for pleasure, studying history or law in school, writing legal documents, narrative essays, articles or poems, I have always been compelled by the ways in which individuals navigate within a social world. It's what I like to read about. It's what I'm drawn to writing about.
As a teacher, I've worked with thousands of people in schools, libraries, bookstores, private homes, writing conferences, camps, houses of worship, and other community settings.
As the founding editor of Poetic License Press, I publish creative writing that is authentic, accessible, and engaging.
As a collaborator, I work with others engaged in literary, artistic, and social service work. I facilitate book discussions, judge, host and moderate poetry contests, readings, and panels.
I write, teach, publish, collaborate, facilitate, conspire, inspire, support, nurture and cajole all in the service of creative engagement with the written word with poetic license: the leeway to bend, stretch, and occasionally suspend the rules.
Director, Poetic License, Inc.