Healthcare Providers, RNs Invited To Writing For Health And Healing Online Retreat

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The Low Residency Creative Writing MFA program at Dominican University of California sponsored a “Writing for Health and Healing Online Retreat” Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4; a free virtual event that could be impactful for people like Dr. Catharine Clark-Sayles ’19 who have a love for literature.

Several years ago Catharine attended a workshop hosted by Dr. Joan Baranow, Founding Director of Dominican’s MFA in Creative Writing program, that changed the course of her life. Catharine, who had worked in the Bay Area medical community for more than 25 years, enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Dominican and rediscovered her passion for literature and writing.

In November of 2018, Catharine released Brats, her poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press of Kentucky.

“I stopped writing when I went to medical school, because I thought, I’m going to be a scientist so I just don’t have time to write poetry,” says Catharine, a recently retired geriatric medical specialist in the Marin Healthcare District. “Taking the MFA gives me permission to focus on poetry right now in my life and not feel like it’s just a hobby thing I do on the side, it’s really something important to me.” 

Dominican’s  “Writing for Health and Healing Online Retreat” extended a special invitation to healthcare providers during this critical moment and Registered Nurses could earn five continuing education units (CEUs) for attending the retreat, which explored the ways that writing can help face today’s challenges and rejuvenate the spirit.

The two-day retreat featured a reading and craft talk by distinguished poet and neurologist Dr. Dawn McGuire on Saturday and generative writing workshops led by Dominican faculty and special guests on Sunday. The retreat was capped by a panel discussion on audio storytelling from the creators of The Nocturnists.

Dominican’s MFA program fosters a supportive community of talented writers who are encouraged to experiment across genres and with new forms of writing. In addition to Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction, Dominican offers an optional track in Narrative Medicine, which allows students to embrace the special role that creative writing can play in the process of healing.

For more information, contact MFA Director Judy Halebsky at



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