YpsiWrites is hosting an outdoor event that will explore the natural world with new perspectives.
Presented by lifelong writer and former educator lisa eddy, guests participating in the Life Lines event are invited to engage their minds and express their thoughts about the environment through photography, drawing and language.
“We'll go outside and explore the world around us and the human imagination,” eddy said. “A variety of prompts will invite participants to explore and experience the natural world through lenses that allow them to see, appreciate, and understand land in new ways.”
eddy has considered herself a writer her whole life, from non-fiction, poetry, performance pieces and songs. eddy’s 30 years of teaching English Language Arts in a high school setting has helped build a platform to share her love of the arts.
During the pandemic, eddy wrote weekly writing prompts about observing the natural world, both indoors and outdoors. After references to the pandemic were removed, 104 seasonally- themed prompts created over 52 weeks were compiled. The collection of prompts were published as a book titled “Write Outside: Investigations of the Land Outside,” which is free to download on the YpsiWrites website.
“Those prompts were so beautiful and lovely and nuanced and interesting, they had photos and drawings and all kinds of graphic aspects to them as well, that we decided to put them together into a book, and that is our first published book, so to speak,” Ann Blakeslee, YpsiWrites cofounder and Eastern Michigan University English professor, said.
Blakeslee said the book was a huge undertaking, but that YpsiWrites is open to hosting a more diverse collection of voices in the future.
Blakeslee also works as director of Eastern’s Writing Across the Curriculum program and the University Writing Center, and she thought providing similar resources to the greater Ypsilanti community could engage writers. YpsiWrites has serviced the community since its launch in October 2019 by being a writing resource for adolescents, teens, and adults. It is a non-profit organization that operates on the belief that everyone is a writer. It aims to support writers across the community through workshops, writing support, online writing resources, and partnerships with other non-profit organizations.
“It’s a space to be creative. There's no prerequisites, everyone’s a writer from our vantage point and it’s just an opportunity to express yourself,” Blakeslee said.
Life Lines will be free to community members from 11:00 a.m to 12:30 p.m on Saturday, May 20, hosted in the Whittaker branch of the Ypsilanti District Library. Registration can be accessed on the Ypsilanti District Library’s website.