Session Two

Choose One:

11:05 a.m. – 12:20 p.m

Taking It All the Way to Coleman’s: On Abandoning the Good for the Marvelous with Ted Deppe

This conversation will look at how we get ideas for poems, stories, or memoirs, and then look at the journey as a metaphor for the creative process. Riffing off Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s slogan of “further, deeper, wilder,” we’ll consider strategies that will help you avoid the easy stopping places and push on until you find the unexpected and best possible destination for your work. 

Author Ted DeppeAbout Ted Deppe: 

Ted Deppe is the author of Beautiful Wheel (Arlen House, Ireland, 2014), Orpheus on the Red Line (Tupelo, 2009), Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, Ireland 2002), The Wanderer King (Alice James, 1996), and Children of the Air (Alice James, 1990). He has received a Pushcart Prize and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. His work has appeared in Poetry, Harper’s, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. He served as writer-in-residence at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, the Poet’s House in Donegal, Ireland, and the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut. 

Ted worked as an RN for almost 20 years and has taught in MFA programs in Ireland, England, and the U.S. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College, a B.S. in Nursing from Berea College, and a B.A. in English from Earlham College. Presently, he directs Stonecoast in Ireland and lives on the west coast of Ireland.


How I Went Deep: Writing Intimate Stories about Other People—With No Regrets

Journalist Nell Lake spent two years immersed in the lives of members of a support group for family caregivers. In this session, Nell will share passages from her book, The Caregivers: A Support Group’s Stories of Slow Loss, Courage, and Love; she’ll talk about the experience of growing closer to her subjects—and offer ideas for writing with intimacy, compassion, and respect.

Author Nell LakeAbout Nell Lake:

In 2010, Nell Lake began sitting in on the weekly meetings of a local hospital’s caregivers support group. Soon members invited her into their lives. For two years, she brought empathy, insight, and an eye for detail to understanding Penny, a fifty-year-old botanist caring for her aging mother; Daniel, a survivor of Nazi Germany who tends his ailing wife; William, whose wife suffers from Alzheimer’s—and others with whom all caregivers may identify.

With more and more people spending their late years ill and frail, and 43 million Americans caring for family members over age fifty, The Caregivers is an important chronicle of a widely shared experience and a public concern. It offers a humane, realistic, and life-affirming portrait of what it means to give and receive love.

“[A] beautifully written account of a year in the company of caregivers… The Caregivers is as elegantly constructed as a novel, but more than that, Lake writes about these people with such warmth and vividness that they feel as memorable as our favorite fictional characters. In sharing these stories with readers, Lake has written a book that bears witness to their ‘necessary, intimate, private heroism.'” — The Boston Globe

“A moving and important book.” -–Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Soul of a New Machine and co-author of Good Prose

“Lake shines as a storyteller… Her sympathetic portrayals are touching and thought-provoking, but Lake is at her best when examining the place and character of caregiving in today’s society… [Readers] will be rewarded with a new perspective on growing old in America… In the spreading shadow of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other long-term diseases, Lake discovers hope, comfort, and continued questions for the future.”—Kirkus Reviews

For more information on Nell Lake, visit: