The Power of Words

The Power of Words: A Transformative Language Arts Reader, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Janet Tallman

Publisher: TLA Press, 2007
Paperback: 492 pages
978-0976177357, $28

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The Emergence of Transformative Language Arts  -- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

The Gate to Heaven: Storytelling and Social Change  -- Caren Neile

Emotional Disclosure, Writing, and Healing:  Key Considerations -- Francis Charet

Poetry as Therapy  -- Perie Longo

Memoir: An Academic, Democratic, Political and Liberating Framework  -- Shelley Vermilya

Giving Voice to Art & Imagination: A Method of Transformational Inquiry  -- Shaun McNiff

Creating Community through Storytelling: An Act of Approach  -- Christopher Maier

“TLA is a Great Bridge and More Than a Bridge”: An Interview with Allison Adele Hedge-Coke   -- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Waking Our Senses: Language and the Ecology of Sensory Experience  -- David Abram

Education of the Heart: Transformative Language, American Culture and the 60s  -- Janet Tallman

Shamans of Song: Interviews with Deidre McCalla, Kelley Hunt & Greg Greenway   -- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

The Power of Writing to Heal: The Amherst Writers and Artists Method  -- Sharon Bray

Creative and Expressive Writing as a Coaching Process   -- Yvette Hyater-Adams

Healing Stories, Healing Songs: Native American Traditions  -- Denise Low

Do You Hear What I Heard?: Theatre as a Tool To Address Gossip, Silence and the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Lesotho -- Katt Lissard

Finding the Life-Giving Words in the Life-Shattered World of Cancer -- Nancy Morgan

Caught in the Tension Between Child and Adult: Story in Dramatherapy for Troubled Teens  -- Mandy Carr

The Three Candles of Hilda Stern Cohen’s Story: An Interview with Gail Rosen   -- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Asking Ethical Questions: A TLA Ethics as Conscious, Connected and Creative Action  -- James Sparrell

Fine Lines: Questions Every Writer of Self Must Ask -- Karen L. Campbell and Jeanne Hewell Chambers

The Good Ambush: A Two-Voice Essay on Identity, Experience and Storymaking  -- Patricia Fontaine and Karen L. Campbell

Restorative Justice through Storytelling -- Lana Leonard

“It Unfolds Before Whoever Walks Along It”: Seeking Right Livelihood in TLA  --  Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

You Are Already a Writer  -- Pat Schnieder

The Wonder of Paradox -- Nancy G. Shapiro

You Don’t Want to Be a Member  -- Carol Henderson

Losing Control and Finding Voice -- Rhonda Patzia

First-Time Facilitating Writing with Teens: Hormones, Moods, and Food -- Becci Goodall

Battle Pay: Storytelling on a Dime  -- Jackson Gillman

A National Treasure Hidden in Vermont: A Tribute to the Bread and Puppet Theater -- Katherine Towler

Bearing Witness to Death, Life and Everything in Between as a Personal Historian -- Jeanne Hewell Chambers

Making Journals, Making Lives -- Nina Ricker

God Behind Bars: Facilitating a Men’s Spiritual Writing Group at a State Hospital -- Scott Youmans

More Than Just Our Stories -- Pam Roberts

Pervasive Caretaking Irony  -- Debbie Harris

A Legacy of Meaning: Writing with Elders -- Anna Viadero

The Surprise of Endings: TLA in a Cancer Writing Group  -- Linda Garrett


The Art of Self-Care in TLA   -- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Excerpt from "A Call to Transformative Language Artists"

You tell stories or help others tell stories because you need to, because you know that the story can grow in the listener, and sometimes even the teller, new shoots of understanding, branches of connection, and a canopy of healing. You write because you found that the shortest distance between yourself and where you need to go is across the lines on a page. You do spoken word performance, help others craft community plays, or write and perform songs for the moment you might reach someone. You organize debate for underserved, inner-city youth, conduct anthropological studies of the spoken word, record oral histories for families, or recite poems into the wind because you know there is something that our words hold that can transform the teller and the listener.

This kind of transformation is what a new academic field and emerging profession, Transformative Language Arts, is all about. Transformative Language Arts (TLA) is a meeting ground for those involved in social and personal transformation through the spoken, written and sung word, facilitating work such as storytelling with people in prison, writing workshops for underserved youth, dramatic monologues for elders, or collaborative theatre for community building.

TLA draws perhaps most obviously from literature, creative writing, education, psychology, mythology, and social welfare. TLA looks at the roots of the oral tradition; the pedagogy and psychology involved in effective group facilitation, individual coaching; social change trends and movements related to spoken, written and sung words; and literature and creative writing to create avenues of voice for the voiceless. It also honors the traditions of storytelling, Playback Theatre, poetry therapy, narrative therapy, songwriting for social change, stand-up comedy for diversity, debate and forensics for empowerment, dialogue as a vehicle for drawing diverse voices into civil exchange, healing stories and more.