Rubble and Remembrance

Rubble and Remembrance

Hey writers and creative souls,

In case you missed it and are interested, Reiko was invited to deliver the Trinity College Distinguished Scholar Lecture this year. In it, she talked about trauma and healing narratives in connection with the 80th Day of Remembrance (Feb 19, 2022), which you can read more about below.  Here is a link.  She discusses how she became a writer, and how her own experiences and process affect the structures of her book.  It’s the other side of the tarot persona, and definitely worth a look:   

Rubble and Remembrance: Trauma Narratives and Healing On and Off the Page

 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the incarceration of the Japanese Americans during World War II, an event that would change Rahna Reiko Rizzuto’s life, though she would not be born until decades later. Rizzuto grew up not knowing that her mother spent her first years of life as a prisoner of her own government in a pop-up camp in the Colorado desert, and once she learned the truth, the camp had been reduced to a makeshift graveyard and some concrete barracks footprints. Her quest to understand her family’s experience and the silences that surrounded it grew into three books, and took her to Hiroshima, Japan, where she was interviewing the survivors of the first atomic bomb used on civilians when the 9/11 terrorist attacks unfolded before her Brooklyn-based family’s eyes. At Trinity, Rizzuto will discuss her experiences chasing lost histories and missing memories, and her intentions, as a writer, to construct her narratives to depict and mimic trauma.

Bhanu’s Dream

Bhanu’s Dream

“I dreamed last night I came to a clearing in a forest and at the center of the clearing was an exposed glass well, something like a test tube or elongated beaker.  In the well was water, such clear, sparkling and luminous water. In my hands I had a vial of another liquid; in the dream I understood it to be a concentrated toxic material, everything that had drained from my time in spaces that did not center love, contact with the natural world, laughter, or on-going connection with others. I knew that when I poured it in, the toxic liquid would, immediately, or in a few moments, be completely purified. Is this what I want from writing?  I have been walking with the dream all day, trying to understand or interpret the imagery.  Have you ever taken an image, or a question, for a walk? A few minutes ago, I came inside after walking for an hour, and while the kettle is boiling for tea, I thought I’d try to describe for you what I glimpsed and almost know.  I think the dream is about the coming weekend, about the part of my brain, my own survival system, that is trying to work out what “sacred” means in the context of our disciplinary field, “creative writing.”  I think my dream was about The Grove, because that was what it was. I think my dream was a dream about a place where we can bring what we cannot carry in our own bodies anymore. We know that all we have to do is make our way there, with what it is that we want to pour out.  As I write these words, something that did not happen in the dream, but which is happening now, I can see the radical others — human, animal, and from the other world — who are stepping now, out of the trees. It’s by writing that I discover something that the dream did not show: a community of witnesses, of all of the others carrying their own vials, their own inherited forms of time, walking, right now, or by other means, towards this place.”
— Bhanu

Walk with us toward your sacred space.

Step out of the trees, put the kettle on for tea.

The Grove virtual writing retreat is this weekend, October 24th and 25th, 2020 and we are still taking registrations, so if you have been meaning to sign up, don’t forget!

This is how our teachers are preparing, and their recommendations to the writers who are coming to co-create the virtual, magical Grove:



If you have a question (or more than one) about your project, process, writing life, etc. write it down.  The cards are a conduit and you are the oracle. And though we won’t be asking questions about our individual projects or personal issues, the cards often answer those questions anyway. The more clearly you can articulate what you want to know for yourself, the better the chance of the answer coming. Also, we will have some time during the session for discussion where epiphanies come and magical connections are made.


This will be a time for you to be simply present—in mind, body, and soul. Ridding your virtual space of any distractions will be the most important part of our time together. Have with you the kind of notebook that makes you feel inspired—lined paper, blank paper, loose-leaf or bound. Have with you the type of writing instrument that makes you feel connected to your words. Elena will provide all the texts. She will provide all the prompts. Your job is simply to open yourself up to the unanticipated and the astonishing.

This will be a time to honor the divine lines that lead to the desire lines, that then lead to the lines on the page.


Please bring any unfinished work or fragments of works that have not found their place, or form.  It might help to print this work, or you are welcome, also, to have a digital folder you can connect to during our experience.

Have paper on hand, and writing/drawing implements.  Also, a bowl of water.

Before the workshop, go for a walk. Gather any tree/leaf/branch matter you come upon, if it’s on the ground, or if the tree gives permission, and bring this tree material to our workshop, for a short ritual before: we start.  If walking outside on the day of our workshop is not available to you, then bring, instead, what might substitute for: tree/leaf/branch.


The Fruitful Dreaming Salon primarily requires your presence, and your dreams of good things.  “Dreams” can be actual sleep dreams, day dreams, or wishes.  “Good things” can mean your dream contains a positive or hopeful image, a good feeling, or even a scary image that needs changing.  It might help to keep a journal of your dreams for a few days prior.  On waking, write them down and bring something to our salon.  Or, if you have been carrying a dream around for some time, please bring it to the table.  Come prepared to share.

This is about dreaming together, so even if you think you haven’t got a dream to share, please join us.  Your ideas, and your hidden dream brilliance will help us all shine.

This is dream time.  What bring what you need to relax and chat. (Sherri recommends a cup of tea and a light snack!)

May your dreams be fruitful!

WOW!  An Adriatic Adventure in Croatia

WOW! An Adriatic Adventure in Croatia

June 8-15, 2019

Duće, Croatia

Framed as a “creative cultural sojourn,” this amazing retreat gives equal time to writing, relaxing and sightseeing. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto will be your guest artist. All writers, aspiring, emerging and established, are welcome.

Enjoy the view from your room in one of two luxury villas in Duće, where the foothills of the Mosor Mountains meet the Adriatic Sea. Walk along white sand beaches, or walk into town; take an afternoon swim, immerse in Balkan culture—and untap your creative potential in a beautiful place on Earth.

Soak in the beauty of this other world and journey through time and imagination:  The Diocletian Palace.  The Salona Archaeological Roman Amphitheater.  Meereen (Klis Fortress).  The Free City of Braavos (Kastela).  Hike a mountain. Take the bus.  Sip coffee on the Riva.  Hop on a boat.  Swim the bottom of a waterfall.  Sojourn with us and set your creative spirit free.  Return to your world, rejuvenated.


  • 7-night accommodations at a luxury villa minutes away from the Adriatic beaches
  • Delicious, healthy locally sourced meals—breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Creative writing and movement workshopsIndividual consultations for writers who have manuscripts they would like to discuss.
  • Guided cultural and historical tours: Waterfalls, hiking trails, and the lush ecosystem of Krka National Park. Nearby islands. Historic castles and landmarks.
  • Arrival and Departure Transfers to/from the city of Split.

This retreat is part of a series that was founded by Rose Marie Sabangan, a Pele’s Fire participant and Goddard MFA graduate, and run together with several others, including Melissa Franic who will be our Croatia leader and muse. For more information, or just seriously to look at pictures (this featured image is the view from the pool at the villa where we are staying), go to their website:

It was just announced and is already more than half full, so if you are interested, don’t delay!



VORTEXT is an extraordinary weekend salon for women at the famed Whidbey Institute, led by renowned women writers.

Join our workshop leaders, Ruth Ozeki, Karen Joy Fowler, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Natalie Baszile, Shobha Rao, Elmaz Abinader and Dylan Landis, to share writing, meals, conversation and community in a stunningly beautiful setting. (Reiko’s workshop description included below. For all others, please check out Hedgebrook’s site!)

The program, now in its eighth year, gives writers the opportunity to connect in diverse and powerful small-group workshops. Writers also enjoy dynamic keynotes and discussions about opportunities and challenges for women who write, as well as several open mics over the course of the weekend.

May 3 – 5, 2019
Whidbey Island, WA

Tarot For Writers, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Are you looking for some inspiration?  Some way to tap into your all-knowing self to tell you how to begin? Or maybe you want to know how to go forward. What’s next?  If you have come to a fork in the road, maybe you can’t decide how to choose your direction?  Or perhaps your problem is writer’s block, or a lack of connection to your writing? Want to know why you can’t focus, or what you should be focusing on?  Welcome to my writing process!  When I have questions like these, I pull a Tarot card. It’s been an incredibly helpful way to get myself started, or going again, to get around my blocks and habits, to take some risks and find some epiphanies. I use The Shining Tribe Tarot, created by the world-renown master of tarot, Rachel Pollack, who says tarot is a channel for reminding yourself of what you already know.  So if you are looking to shake things up or get some insight, come join me.  We’ll combine a group reading and some individual pulls. What better way to explore the origins of your stories than to consult the oracle that is you?

If you are interested in this powerful weekend retreat, there is an early bird special until March 5th, and you can find out more and register here: