Heart on the Page: A Portable Writing Workshop by Wendy Brown-Baez

Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following:

Goodreads Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review:

Heart on the Page is part memoir, part self-guided writer’s workshop. As author Brown-Baez explains, she’s seen and lived the healing power of the written word, which has lead her on a journey to help others do the same.

“Often we do not recognize the power of our own voice, the impact our words have on the rest…”

Baez-Brown started writing as a means of therapy, working through some difficulties in marriage, and later grief. She describes her experiences in an honest, heartfelt way, sharing the interesting evidence that writing condones to faster healing. When she’d experienced it for herself, she decided to take things a step further and began hosting writing workshops, often as a volunteer coordinator hosting with the aid of grants.

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Her humble writing discusses those who she helped find comfort, including victims of domestic violence, those who were/are incarcerated, and members of various therapy support and counseling groups. Working with all ages and backgrounds, Brown-Baez could see that her tragedy that brought her to writing, also brought her grace and opportunity in helping and connecting with others.

Throughout the sections of her book, Brown-Baez provides writing exercises and prompts, often paired with poetry, to help the reader not only understand her writing process, but how she teaches her workshops. She explains that she often utilizes writing circles as a technique that allows for creativity to flow without the express intention of critique. She mentions guiding her “students” to use their creative right brain, and deterring from their left brain, as it often leads to more vulnerable, emotive (and ultimately healing) writing.

Additionally, the same goes for utilizing poetry, as it allows for more emotional embrace and support from those in her workshops, and helps provide inspiration and prompts. Brown-Baez takes her poetry seriously, going so far as to memorize and reciting the poetry she refers to.

“Reading aloud is a pleasurable but lost art.”

Overall, I found her book really insightful, and look forward to working my way through her writing prompts to aid in my own personal journaling. I know those who read and utilize her book will enjoy her guidance and connect with her backstory.

Expected Publication Date: February 6, 2020

Publisher: BookBaby

TL/DR: Heart on the Page : A Portable Writing Workshop by Wendy Brown-Baez is part self guided writer’s workshop, part memoir.

Read it? Yes, especially if you are looking for insight on writing, or advice on expanding your writing skills in a private, casual manner.

Recommend it? Yes, and for the above reasons.

Buy it? Yes, if you plan to utilize the writing prompts and guidance.

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Categories: Book Review, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Writing/Reading

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3 replies

  1. Good review! As a kid and a younger adult I would journal constantly and somehow I lost my way with it. This sounds like a good read for prompt ideas, thanks for sharing!

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