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Jennie Chapman Linthorst is a poet, expressive writing teacher and founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy. Jennie currently teaches a unique poetry workshop in the 3rd grade classrooms of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District inspiring poetic writing, while fostering social and emotional growth. She is also on the faculty of UCLA Arts and Healing offering year-round poetry and expressive writing workshops to adults. Jennie has taught workshops at UC Irvine Extension, the University of Santa Monica, the National Association for Poetry Therapy, and other organizations. For the past 14 years, Jennie has facilitated ongoing adult writing groups and private clients exploring their life stories through reading and writing poetry.
 
After graduating cum laude from Skidmore College with a BA in Psychology, and a concentration in dance, Jennie began her career in arts education coordinating artist-in-residency programs for Leap . . . imagination in learning in San Francisco, and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Manhattan Beach. She has certification as an Applied Poetry Facilitator from the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy. In 2011, she received her Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, a highly experiential counseling program which applies a soul-centered approach to mental and physical well-being.
 
Jennie is the author of two books of poetry published by Cardinal House: Silver Girl and Autism Disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope. Her poetry has been featured in Edison Literary Review, Forge, Sanskirt Literary Arts Magazine, Kaleidoscope, and Bluestem magazines. Her work has been featured online at Hopeful Parents, Wellsphere, The SPD Blogger Network, and WOW! Women on Writing.

Jennie coaches clients across the country and around the world via phone, Skype, and email, in addition to in-person meetings. Jennie lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband Erik, and their son Graham. She is a native of Knoxville, TN.

 

NOT KNOWING

From Silver Girl, by Jennie Linthorst

First published in Edison Literary Review 

 
I am not the first to travel

these paths of parenthood.

Not the first to miss

unmarked signs that lead me

to unpaved roads

into the dark woods of my life,

where I bump along, eyes wide,

senses heightened,

as I surrender to not knowing

where this road shall end.

It is here that I trust

all who have come before me.


I look into the eyes

of all the grown men around me.

I watch the future faces of my son.

In a flash, their lives speed by me.

They have traveled through

infancy, toddlerhood, illnesses,

families of all shapes and sizes,

shadowed woods, and joyful fields,

as they navigated their journey to adulthood.

 

I stand in amazement.

And with a knowing eye,

these men turn me around,

rewrap the blindfold over my eyes,

and send me back

to the roads of parenthood,

not knowing.

 

CATCH

From Silver Girl, by Jennie Linthorst

There is a space between ball and boy, father and son- 

on the eve of summer, where light lingers on asphalt in our alley.

It pulls on a Sunday,

stretches, preserves moments with dad.

 

My son’s hands have learned how to wrap around a football.

His wrist has fallen in love with a dance, a spin all his own.

 

It seems simple I know- a boy, a ball, a man,

back and forth, throwing and catching a football.

 

Yet, there are layers of loving I see, that fall from the sky.

Lessons are passed in the air.

Men of greatness have collected such ordinary moments

in their pockets of history- anchors, to a sturdy shore.