A Mourning Mother, a Group of Girls and the Power of Rehabilitative Poetry
After the death of her child, a grief-stricken psychotherapist volunteers as a poetry teacher at a residential treatment facility for “delinquent” girls. Here, their mutual support nourish and enrich each other, though not without large quantities of drama and recalcitrance. For fans of the acclaimed movies Stand and Deliver and The Freedom Writers Diary comes I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent: How Poetry Changed a Group of At-Risk Young Women.
Learning to let go of grief and loss. The death of a child and the subsequent quest for coping strategies is hardly a new story. For psychotherapist, teacher, and writer Sharon L. Charde, a decade of writing therapy with young women helped her let go of much of her grief, or at least to learn how to carry it differently. This is her account of her journey.
Writing poetry is writing therapy. Compelling, appealing, poignant and often hilarious, I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent chronicles the passion that grew for pushing voices out into the world. As Sharon and the girls share their losses through weekly writing, they came to realize their unlimited potential and poetic talents.
Healing from trauma. Healing can come in surprising ways across age and social class, as it did for both the girls and Sharon. But what happens when Sharon finally grasps that the most challenging experiences are the best teachers? Narrated in five parts, the book also contains poems written by the girls, as well as excerpts from their writing, Sharon’s son’s writing, and her own.
This event is in partnership with the Friends of Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.
About the Author
Sharon Charde, a retired psychotherapist and a writing teacher since 1992, has won numerous poetry awards, the latest being 2018 finalist in the Blue Light Press chapbook contest for Unhinged, published in 2019, “Sixty Four Best Poets of 2018” by The Halcyone, and a semi-finalist in the 2019 Grid contest for full-length collections for “The Glass Is Already Broken,” which will be published in 2021 by Blue Light Press.
She is published over eighty times in journals and anthologies of poetry and prose, including Calyx, Mudfish, The PatersonReview, Ping Pong, Rattle, Poet Lore, Upstreet and The Comstock Review, and has had seven Pushcart nominations. She has also edited and published I Am Not A Juvenile Delinquent, containing the work of the adjudicated teenaged females she has volunteered with since 1999 at a residential treatment center in Litchfield Ct.
She has three first prize-winning chapbooks, Bad Girl At The Altar Rail, Four Trees Down From Ponte Sisto and Incendiary as well as a full length collection, Branch In His Hand, published by Backwaters Press in November 2008, which was adapted as a radio play by the BBC, broadcast in 2012. After Blue, for which she won honorable mention in Finishing Line Press’s 2013 chapbook contest, was published in September 2014.
She has been awarded fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for The Creative Arts, The MacDowell Colony, The UCross Foundation and The Corporation of Yaddo. Her memoir, also titled, I Am Not A Juvenile Delinquent, How Poetry Changed a Group of At-Risk Young Women, will be published by Mango Publishing, in June 2020.