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What They’re Saying

The Rivertowns Enterprise, Friday, April 10, 2009

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Venice Magazine
“Spoken Interludes is a cozy, inspiring evening. As calendar editor, I recommend this highly.”

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Abbott House May 2009 Newsletter Excerpt

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Group Homes on the “Write” Track

April imaginations ran wild as pens scrawled furiously to keep up as young men from the Abbott House Group Homes program engaged in “Spoken Interludes: Next,” a specialized creative writing course created by bestselling author and Irvington resident DeLaunĂ© Michel and made possible by a grant from New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.

An outgrowth of “Spoken Interludes,” the monthly salon-style event featuring readings by published authors that Michel began in May of 1996 while still living in Los Angeles before moving to the area in 2004, “Spoken Interludes: Next” seeks to inspire the next generation of writers by making them aware of talents some didn’t even know they had.

Working in intimate weekly sessions with author Marek Fuchs, young men from the Abbott House Upper Nyack, Old Mamaroneck Road and Mount Kisco Group Homes discussed their interests, dreams and thoughts before setting pen to paper to realize their deeply imaginative tales in writing.

The workshop culminated on Thursday, May 14 with a “graduation” ceremony hosted by Michel and Fuchs in which youth participating in the program stood up and shared their stories with a greater group of their peers. Some wrote elaborate fantasy, others suspenseful horror and romantic comedy, but all exhibited a dedication to writing and, perhaps more importantly, to pursuing their talents in the future.

Afterward, each young man received a certificate of accomplishment and a journal for future writings. “I believe in the transformative power of literature-the writing and the reading of it,” said Michel. “To expose these children to the process of short story writing to help them understand that literature is something that can be an active part of their lives is a gift I feel has immeasurable benefits.”

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