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Lifelines: Self-Discovery and Empowerment through Writing

July 9, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

July 9 writing workshop

Lifelines: Self-Discovery and Empowerment through Writing

A workshop with Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh, Dr. Pala Molisa, & Dr. Helen Sword
Friday, July 9th, 2021
2:30-5:30pm EDT (6:30-9:30pm UTC)
(registration closes an hour before the event)

Registration has Closed

  • Sliding scale fees: $100/$75/$50 (self-selected)
  • Access grants available to cover $25
  • ACMHE members receive a $25 discount. (Not a member? Join here)


This workshop, presented by three creativity-affirming scholars from the South Pacific, will take participants through a series of engaging, empowering writing exercises that may be adapted to help learners of any age restore their self-confidence and re-story their lives. Following a brief introduction and icebreaker, the workshop will consist of three 45 minute mini-workshops, with breaks in between and an integrative exercise at the end.

Session 1: Rhyming Lines. Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh, an eminent New Zealand poet-scholar of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, Scottish, and French descent, will take participants through the process of crafting a poem that depicts a select era of their lives. The session will illustrate how rhythm and rhyme can help writers pull a through-line from the morass of memory and reconnect with their own dynamic identity.

Session 2: Storylines. Dr. Pala Molisa, a Ni-Vanuatu academic who teaches Business and Leadership Studies in a high-security men’s prison, will demonstrate how the energetics of language can help us move from disempowering dialogue to empowering communication. Participants will learn how to share personal and political narratives in ways that deepen radical self-honesty and connection.

Session 3: Leylines. Dr. Helen Sword, an international writing expert and Professor of Humanities at the University of Auckland, will use the metaphor of leylines – imaginary lines that connect ancient archaeological sites – to lead participants through a series of exercises designed to reveal how metaphor can teach us new ways of seeing and being.

Be sure to join us if you want to explore how to:

  • Lean into the creative process to take delight in the present, connect with the past, and shape the future.
  • See past the defensive masks we put on and communicate from our core.
  • Harness the energetics of language and use rhyme, story-telling and metaphor as tools for personal awareness.
  • Adapt principles learned in this session to help students of any age grow toward self-discovery and find self-empowerment through writing.


Selina Tusitala Marsh Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh (ONZM, FRSNZ) is the 2017-2019 New Zealand Poet Laureate, a Pasifika poet-scholar, and an award-winning graphic mini-memoirist. She is an Associate Professor of English and Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland.
Pala Molisa Dr. Pala Molisa is a Ni-Vanuatu academic who is a lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology in New Zealand. He teaches Business and Leadership Studies in prisons and is a Self-Alignment Therapist with a background in Emotional Anatomy.
Helen Sword Dr. Helen Sword, Professor of Humanities at the University of Auckland, is a poet, scholar, master teacher, and international expert on academic, professional, and creative writing across the disciplines. Her evidence-based writing workshops and presentations have taken her to more than 90 universities, research institutes, and other organizations in 20 countries and on every continent except Antarctica.


July 9, 2021
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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