To Migrate to this Place Delores Tolliver Hall Branch Workshop When children can walk and play in their neighborhood and parents have no fear, I have migrated to the right place. When the color of skin is removed from the heart that once determined or classified another, I have migrated to the right place. When character is judged by integrity, total wholesomeness of man, I have migrated to the right place. When love for each [...]

Migration Writing Prompt

The Journal of Ordinary Thought writers are honored to partner with the Chicago Public Librarys’ One Book One Chicago on their 2013-2014 book “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. Our five workshops are writing and workshopping personal narrartives as well as thinking outside the box about the word “migration.” I took the liberty of pasting the complete works from the Hall and King Branch workshops into Wordle. The results are interesting and thought [...]

Journal of Ordinary Thought Writers, CPL, and the American Writers Museum

The Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Community Trust, and S&C Electric have co-sponsored for the American Writer’s Museums first pop-up exhibit: From Our Neighborhoods: Four Chicago Writers Who Changed America. The exhibit features Chicago writers Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansbury, Studs Terkel, and Richard Wright. This Chicago Authors exhibit could become the prototype for the Chicago Room, part of the design plan for the American Writers Museum. Our Neighborhoods: Four Chicago Writers Who Changed America opens today, March [...]

Written by Donna Pecore Blogging is sharing, and I want to share an exciting event!  I facilitate the Journal of Ordinary Thought writing workshop at the Budlong Woods Branch Library, 5630 N Lincoln Ave., and this week we continue our tradition of special workshops by hosting an on-site event. In conjunction with the Reva Logan Poetry Series, and our theme of “Migration and Chicago Neighborhoods” project with One Book One Chicago, we are honored to [...]

Writing Workshop on “Migration and Chicago Neighborhoods”

Writers of The Journal of Ordinary Thought will have an added opportunity to generate more ideas for the theme of “Migration and Chicago Neighborhoods.” Jessica Savitz, a workshop leader from the Reva Poetry Series at the University of Chicago, will present a writing workshop based on the writing of Rosanna Warren, Reva Logan Series commissioned poet, encouraging personal explorations into our own journeys and migrations. The workshop will be held at Bezazian Library, 1226 West [...]

Chicago Press Reacts to NWA Closing

The “Morning Shift with Tony Sarabia” on 91.5 WBEZ will present a discussion regarding the closing of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA), and the impact on the communities is served. You can also catch it streaming online at Storify. There will also be a story on the Chicago Reader‘s blog, The Bleader, Friday, December 6, 2013. Stay tuned for information regarding a core group of workshop leaders and writers who will be working as volunteers to [...]

It is with sincere regret that the board of directors of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance announce the dissolution of the organization.  The Neighborhood Writing Alliance has suffered from the economic crisis, as have so many non-profit organizations, as individuals have found themselves with fewer dollars to give away.  We could not responsibly continue to maintain the organization in the face of drastic budget cuts.  During its 17-year history, the Neighborhood Writing Alliance has served hundreds of [...]

Journal of Ordinary Thought Spring 2013 Issue

Have you missed us? We missed you! We’ve been away for a while, but we’re back – for awhile.   We’re excited to announce the 2013 Spring Issue of the Journal of Ordinary Thought, “In This Place.” You can read it online or download it on our Current JOT page.   Here’s an excerpt to get you started: THE LIFE OF A TEMP Ilze Vitands No matter your background, no matter your skills, Unemployment’s cut [...]

In Memory of NWA Writer Virdajean Towns-Collins

We at the Neighborhood Writing Alliance were recently informed of the passing of NWA writer Virdajean Towns-Collins. A participant in the Hall branch workshops, Virdajean’s writings were published in several issues of the Journal of Ordinary Thought over the span of many years. In the words of former NWA editor Kate Ingold, “Virdajean was an incredible writer and one of the warmest people I’ve known. I know she hadn’t written with the Hall Branch in [...]

“But I was not taught to hate”: On the Front Porch with Margaret Williamson’s “HATE”

Tomorrow is the birthday of the late Emmett Till, whose death roused the civil rights movement into action. The crime committed against Emmett Till was borne of an ugly, overpowering emotion—hate. Though prejudice is one form of hatred, we can also experience feelings of hatred in response to acts of prejudice. In her piece titled “HATE,” NWA writer Margaret Williamson describes her inner struggle against hatred and the salvation she finds through love.         HATE         By [...]