Sweet Grief

Sweet Grief: Paintings & Poems on Love and Loss
Paintings by Senitila McKinley and poems by Drew Myron

Opening Reception
Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 6 - 8pm
Windermere Gallery in Seal Rock, Oregon
5693 NW Pacific Coast Hwy

Enjoy art, appetizers & live music
Free and open to all ages

Show on display April 20 - June 20, 2012

Special edition exhibition book - $10
Order your signed book now:


Dying sucks. A creative collaboration began with just two words.

The collaboration is Sweet Grief — 12 paintings paired with 12 poems — and is the work of Senitila McKinley and Drew Myron, two women who bonded over an appreciation for children and families in need. At Seashore Family Literacy, the nonprofit organization that Senitila created and runs, Drew serves as writing instructor.

Sweet Grief began in the summer of 2011 when Senitila’s husband of 33 years was diagnosed with cancer. David McKinley died just a few months later.  

At what turned out to be his last visit with Drew, he was clear and direct.  “Dying sucks,” he said. “I’m not gonna lie.”

Later, with her friend, Senitila was pragmatic: “Death is not a crisis,” she said firmly. “It’s a beautiful part of life.”

With that in mind, Senitila and Drew explored love and loss through their art. What was initially specific to David’s death became a larger meditation and appreciation for the weighty beauty of being with the ones you love to their very end.

“Grief is a beautiful thing,” says Senitila, “not something to be afraid of, but to enjoy because it is still a gift. We think that only mystical people have a meaningful understanding of death. But it’s not true. To look at death and grief as a gift is not reserved for those who have a defined spiritual journey, but for everyone that has known love.”



Off the Page - No. 6

A collection of Oregon writers will present Off the Page, an evening celebration of poetry, prose and song, on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 7pm in Yachats, on the central Oregon Coast.

The event takes place at the Overleaf Lodge Event Center, located on Highway 101 at the north end of Yachats. Doors open and music starts at 6:30pm. The reading begins at 7pm. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Now in its sixth year, Off the Page is an encouraging celebration of creative expression. Writers — hailing from Eugene, Lincoln City, South Beach and Yachats  — will share their work.

Featured writers include: Khloella Brateng, Barton Howe, Sue Fagalde Lick, Tim Lowery, Drew Myron and Ce Rosenow. Opening music by Richard Sharpless.

About the Writers

Khloella Brateng, of South Beach, is an actress, singer, musician and writer. She is frequently seen on stage at the Performing Arts Center in Newport, and recently performed in the musical, “Company.” A lover of language, she explores poetry, flash fiction and short stories in her chapbook Words Out Loud.

Barton Howe, of Lincoln City, is a high school teacher, humor columnist and novelist. He’s also worked as a newspaper reporter, and as a mascot for Disney On Ice, the Colorado Rockies, and the University of Missouri.

Sue Fagalde Lick, of South Beach, is a former newspaper editor, and the author of five books, including Stories Grandma Never Told: Portuguese Women in California; Freelancing for Newspapers, and most recently, Shoes Full of Sand. She has taught writing workshops at Oregon Coast and Chemeketa community colleges, and at conferences across the country. 

Tim Lowery, of Yachats, has been writing songs for over 15 years, and occasionally performs at charity events, birthday parties and coffeehouses. His songwriting style reflects his southern roots in bluegrass and folk traditions. Tim works as a pharmacist in Waldport.

Drew Myron, of Yachats, is the creator of Off the Page. She created the annual event — now in its sixth year — to showcase local writers and celebrate the power of creative expression. A former newspaper editor, she operates a marketing communications company, and leads writing workshops for youth and adults.

Ce Rosenow, of Eugene, is the president of the Haiku Society of America and the publisher of Mountains and Rivers Press. Her books and chapbooks include The Backs of Angels, Even If, North Lake, Pacific, and A Year Longer, and she is one of the eight authors of Beyond Within: A Collection of Rengay. She also co-edited The Next One Thousand Years, The Selected Poems of Cid Corman.

Lodging and event space generously provided by the Overleaf Lodge.


Starting Here: A Stafford Celebration 

Join the worldwide birthday celebration honoring
the life and work of the late William Stafford,
Oregon’s most famous poet.

Oregon writers will read a Stafford poem,
as well as their own. Audience members are
invited to read a favorite Stafford poem.

On Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 2pm

At the Waldport Community Center
265 Hemlock St in Waldport, Oregon

Featured writers:
Shirley Plummer
Herman Welch
Fred Strauss
Drew Myron
& students from Seashore Family Literacy

Sponsored by
Friends of the Waldport Public Library
& Friends of William Stafford
& hosted by Drew Myron

About the Event
This free event is in conjunction with The Friends of William Stafford, a nonprofit organization providing education in literature, particularly in poetry, in a way that will encourage readers, writers and those who aspire to find their own voice. Each year FWS sponsors over 50 poetry readings and presentations across the globe.

About William Stafford
William Stafford was one of America's most prolific poets, authoring more than 50 books in his 79 years. A favorite professor at Lewis and Clark College, where he taught for 30 years, he was appointed Oregon Poet Laureate in 1975 and also earned a National Book Award. He was known for his encouragement of other writers and for his advocacy of free expression in writing and speech.

A pacifist, Stafford was a conscientious objector during World War II. He was confined in Civilian Public Service work camps in Arkansas and California, where he did work for the U.S. Forest Service. For the following fifty years, Stafford included poems of pacifism and reconciliation in his readings.

Stafford believed that treasures were to be found beneath your feet, and that searching for things that fit together was to follow the "golden thread." About his own works, he once said, "I have woven a parachute out of everything broken."

He died of a heart attack in Lake Oswego, Oregon on August 28, 1993. He was 79.

You Reading This, Be Ready

William Stafford

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life  —

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?




Join me in Gold Beach

Please join me at the South Coast Writers Conference in Gold Beach, Oregon. I'm leading a workshop, Stretch: Expand Your Poem Possibilities and I'd love to exercise the writing muscle with you.

Set on the edge of the beautiful and rugged Pacific Ocean, the annual gathering brings together a variety of Northwest writers to offer workshops, readings and talks that explore and celebrate the many facets of writing.

This year's conference features songwriters, poets, novelists, editors, publishers, political writers and more. In just one weekend, you can learn how to:

write stronger dialogue,
submit to literary magazines,
love young adult literature,
catch songs,
write flash fiction,
write from a bug's view,
get published,
write a graphic novel,
and more.

For a full schedule, go here.

The South Coast Writers Conference is one of Oregon's most affordable writing workshops, and if you snag a scholarship you've really got it made. Learn more here.



Express Yourself

Express Yourself
Reading & Writing with Drew

Sunday, Aug 7 from 3 to 4pm

6251 Highway 101 North

Yachats, Oregon

Celebrate the new home of Gentle Dragon Massage & Healing Hideaway with a weekend of music, dance, poetry and more. The free event takes place Saturday and Sunday, Aug 6th and 7th, from 12 to 7pm.

To mark the fresh start, on Sunday afternoon poet Drew Myron will share poems and lead a free, informal writing workshop.

For more information, visit the Gentle Dragon on Facebook.