Mary Ellen is an alchemist. She reflects the gold in all things.I am truly coming to appreciate “Poetry as Medicine”. As a child I loved books and writing and words. This led me naively to years in academia that sadly distorted my relationship to writing. Doing this work is healing deep places in me. I am now allowing myself to speak. From my own voice, slipping free from dogma and conventions. I find myself more deeply appreciating other voices that resist containment by the mainstream.The work we’re doing is transforming my life. Words are sacred bridges between seemingly disparate parts of my experience, my personality, my desires. For a while I’ve been working on narrating my own life story, but until recently felt confined to a more linear prosaic frame. Poetry is helping me to dismantle old edifices of shame and grief that have kept my mind indoors. Bringing my truth out under the sky, I’m discovering greater depths of self love..."- Claire, workshop participant
"Mary Ellen is the best kind of teacher. She inspires creativity, broadens my understanding of poetry and helps me open up to my resources with her kind support."
- Sara, mediator and workshop participant
"Mary sees you, she hears you - both the things you say and the things you don't. She helps you to see and hear your own truth and then she gives you space to verbalize it - without judgment, without shock, without expectation. Or not. In the space she holds for you it's also ok to sit with your truth, to realize your essence, and to hold it closer until such time as you feel safe letting it out into the world, expanding forth into more life, more truth, more freedom... more you. I'm better able to acknowledge, accept, honor, and speak my experiences because of her classes, and for that, I am extremely grateful."
- R., Veteran and Workshop participant
"Mary Ellen gives her heart and soul in teaching. This is not just any poetry class. It is an exploration of what is hidden deep inside each individual. As an instructor she has a unique ability of giving you permission to, "get it out." In this class I am able to explore many different emotions within one class. I never considered myself a writer let alone a poet but I have grown to use poetry In a way that supports me now. I am very thankful to Mary Ellen for bringing me the gift of poetry. I am even more moved by the gift of her unwavering presence with each class."
- D.S., Veteran and workshop participant
"I felt like someone again."
- Vietnam Veteran and writing participant
"Thank you for all the love and care that goes into the selection of words and poems in our classes, the soft and terribly strong wisdom of your facilitation, the time you take to mark and notice and see everyone. I cried several times. You offer me breadcrumbs and compasses and other tools to make my way through the dark in the wilderness back to myself and back to the holy. I love the idea of being a precious part of the universe, another way for the universe to know itself and love itself and find itself and create itself and make meaning.So much love and thanks and appreciation."
- Nina, Workshop Participant
"mary ellen is the cream of the crop. she lives as poetry and does every single thing she does with so much heart."
- Kat, colleague
"Mary Ellen’s poetry is that honey far in the corner that you are willing to wait for its long slow drizzle across your tongue. Her poetry is rich with the lore of birthing yourself inside out taking no hostages."
- Jaki Shelton Green, NC State Poet Laureate
- Amber, workshop participant