Breanna Mekuly shares Poem in Your Pocket experience

To celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 26, the Writing Studio, a collective of women writers and literary advocates, organized a distribution of poems in Erie County Public Library and Erie businesses. Volunteers also handed out poems in downtown Erie over the noon hour

One of the volunteers, Breanna Mekuly, shares her experience:

I joined the Erie County Poet Laureate, Marisa Moks-Unger, and Sister Anne McCarthy in handing out poems in the Perry Square Park area in downtown Erie on Thursday, April 26, National Poem in Your Pocket Day. The three of us entered restaurants in the area, the County Courthouse and distributed poems in the Gannon University area.

Erie Celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day April 26, 2018

Breanna on Poem in Your Pocket Day

The Women’s Writing Studio partnered with the Erie Public Library and five other places to celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day, Thursday, April 26.

Brew-Ha-Ha, Ember & Forge and State Street Starbucks coffee shops, Room 33 restaurant, and Springhill Retirement Community distributed poems to patrons, residents, and staff. Over the noon hour volunteers, including Marisa Moks-Unger, Poet Laureate of Erie County, handed out poems in the Perry Square area to passersby. Breanna Mekuly, pictured at right, shares here experience here.

“April is National Poetry Month and this event is one the most popular and widely celebrated,” said Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, coordinator of the Writing Studio. “This is the third year Erie is organizing the day and we are excited to see it expand to area businesses.”

Book Discussion on Mary Oliver's poetry

Book Discussion on poetry of Mary Oliver

The next Writing Studio Book Discussion is Thursday, January 4, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. at The Writing Studio.

We will continue a discussion of Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver." Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career," says

We will be reading poems and sharing our thoughts on them--so if you don't have the book, you can still join in the discussion and then get your copy before next month's meeting.

Niagara Creative Writing Conference at Writing Studio

Niagara Creative Writing Conference at Writing Studio

The International Women's Writing Guild (IWWG) is sponsoring the Niagara Creative Writing Conference at the Women's Writing Studio at St. Mary's Space to Create on Saturday, October 7, form 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for a day of creative writing led by three outstanding Guild instructors. You'll find insights into writing memoir, fiction, and op ed as well as enrichment for your creative life at this day-long workshop.

Women's Writing Circle begins again

Women’s Writing Circle meets the 1st Wednesday of the month, beginning June 7, from 6:30 – 7:45 p.m., at The Writing Studio, 310 East 10th Street. Click here to sign up. Breanna, left, and Stephanie participated in the July 5 session.

The group will gather from June to November 2017 and is open to writers and non-writers alike. Each session includes discussion of a short reading on a writing topic, introduction of a writing theme through stories and poems, a writing prompt, time for personal writing, and optional sharing in large and small groups. The Writing Circle creates a safe space for you to develop your own voice and offers you an opportunity to have your words heard and honored without judgment. Each session is stand-alone, come to as many or as few as you are able.

Reading by Women Writers

A diverse audience enjoys the reading at The Writing Studio

Twenty women who attend sessions at The Writing Studio, 310 East 10th, participated in public reading there on Wednesday, May 3. “We had a standing-room only crowd that couldn’t have been more positive and enthusiastic,” said Mary Lou Kownacki, coordinator of The Writing Studio. “I was especially pleased with the diversity of the readers and audience—a good representation of ages and races and professions.”

The Poet Laureate of Erie County and Joan Chittister, an award-winning Erie author, were guest readers. Sister Joan read from her new book Radical Spirit.

Poem in Your Pocket Day opens up in Erie on Thursday, April 27

Poem in Your Pocket Day

The Writing Studio and the Erie County Library, in partnership with local groups promoting literacy, education and the arts, celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 27. The Erie event took place on National Poem in Your Pocket Day, which has been celebrated since 2002 as part of National Poetry Month in April.

Step into Poetry

Space to Create Overview

Step into Poetry #9: St. John's

Step into Poetry #9: St. John's

A poem by Sri Chimney was painted by artist Joe Gallagher on the front steps of the former St. John the Baptist School—the latest addition to the Step into Poetry project taking place on Erie’s eastside. The poem reads: Try not to change the world. You will fail. Try to love the world. Lo, the world is changed. Changed forever. —Sri Chimney Step into Poetry is a project of The Writing Studio under the direction of Mary Lou Kownacki and was funded in part by Erie Arts & Culture and an anonymous donor.


The Writing Studio is part of The Studio at Saint Mary’s: Space to Create, where studio space is available for artists and innovative programs that can positively impact center-city Erie. For more information, contact Holly Nowak.

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