Jul 16

Time to Write: A Poetry Workshop for Moms

Sunday August 7th, 1:00–4:00pm
Location: Private home in Mt. Airy
Register here by August 1st.


Photo by Sonia Petruse

Scribbling fragments in the middle of the night. Jotting down lines on a smart phone while breastfeeding. Squeezing in a moment of reflection between paid work and caregiving. Such is the life of a mom trying to maintain some time and space for poetry in a chaotic world. Put your hectic life on pause and nurture yourself with a poetry workshop specifically designed for moms. We will join together in meditation, free writing, and reading poems that touch on themes of motherhood and the self. You will leave this workshop with poem drafts, a fresh commitment to your creative soul, and ideas for keeping your writing practice alive within a busy schedule. Food and drink will be provided.

Questions? Email Hila at redsofasalon@gmail.com

Register here by August 1st.

Oct 15

Look, ma, we’re in the paper!

I’m thrilled to share that the Philadelphia Inquirer has written a very generous account of the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop and reading series. After doing this for two years, it means a lot to get the recognition, especially all the wondeful quotes by current and past participants. It’s been a joy to create this space for poetry!

Aug 15

Fall 2015 Poetry Workshop Dates Announced!

I am thrilled to share that the Red Sofa Poetry Workshop is back! The Fall 2015 workshop will likely be the last offering for a while (as a few of my friends already know, I’m pregnant)! So if you’ve been hoping to join, now is the time to do so. I can’t wait to welcome new and familiar faces to our next workshop series! Details below. Registration due by Sept. 27th. Register early as space will fill up.


Six Sundays, October 4th – November 8th, 12:00–2:30pm


Photo by Sonia Petruse

Taking place in a cozy West Philadelphia living room, the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop is a supportive community in which to grow as writers. Each week we’ll read and discuss a published poem, offer feedback on each other’s poems, and engage in generative writing exercises. Homemade vegetarian food, wine, and drinks are included. Your seat is waiting at the Red Sofa!

  • Nurture your poetry writing practice
  • Become part of a community of poets
  • Share poems and receive feedback in a safe and supportive environment
  • Enjoy delicious homemade food & drink
  • Workshop is limited to 12 writers, and the exact address will be given to attendees
  • Price: $240
  • Questions? Email Hila at redsofasalon@gmail.com

Register at the form below by Sept. 27th



Enrollment in the workshop assumes attendance at all meetings. There will be no refunds for missed dates. Payment in full is required by the first day of workshop. Cash, check, and credit card are accepted.

Mar 15

New workshop offering! From Narrow Place to Freedom: A Passover Workshop on Writer’s Block, March 29th

From Narrow Place to Freedom: A Passover Workshop on Writer’s Block

Renew your writing practice during this season of rebirth

Water-freedom_largeAt one time or another, all writers experience dry spells, lack of inspiration, or a feeling of being stuck in their writing. Instead of pushing away so-called writer’s block, there are techniques that encourage us to embrace and use our blocks as part of the creative process. The classic story of Passover is a journey from oppression to liberation. It is often interpreted as a moment in the cycle of the year where we can examine and find freedom from our personal Mizrayim, “narrow place.” This workshop will use Jewish mystical teachings on Passover, meditative techniques, and guided writing exercises to invite us to accept that which constrains us and write through our blocks toward a place of freedom. You will leave with fresh drafts and a sense of renewal and recommitment to your writing goals. This workshop is open to writers of all levels of experience, genres, and backgrounds. Light snacks will be served. Workshop is limited to 12 writers, and the exact address will be given to attendees.

  • Sunday, March 29th, 1:00–3:00pm
  • At the Red Sofa Salon, West Philadelphia
  • Sliding scale investment: $18–$36

Jan 15

Announcing the Winter/Spring 2015 Workshop Schedule

Red Sofa Open House, Jan. 11, 2015. Photo by Sonia Petruse.

Red Sofa Open House, Jan. 11, 2015. Photo by Sonia Petruse.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting two inspiring Red Sofa events: Friday was our first reading of the new year featuring three incredible poets & writers, and Sunday was the workshop open house. The energy at both events was infectious and nourishing for me and for those who were present.

Now is the time to make a commitment to your poetry writing practice and join the winter/spring workshop series. As always, the workshop includes homemade vegetarian food, wine, & drinks, and a supportive community in which to grow in your practice. Workshops include optional writing exercises, close readings of poems, and critiques of works in progress, in addition to an optional one-on-one conference with me. The workshop will run for 10 weeks on Sundays (1:00–3:30pm) starting Feb. 1st. The cost for the series is $400. Registration deadline is January 28th.

Special early bird discount of $20 off if you register by January 25th.


If you have any questions, please email me at redsofasalon@gmail.com. I’m saving you a seat at the Red Sofa!


Jul 14

A Beautiful Collaboration

In spring 2013, I had the good fortune of having poet MaryAnn Miller join my Urban Nature Ecopoetry Workshop. From day 1 she was hooked; the workshop theme was right up her alley. It was wonderful to see MaryAnn’s poems in response to the environment, and yesterday we got to read together at Big Blue Marble Bookstore as part of an event called “For the Love of this Blue Planet: An Evening of Ecopoetry.” We also revealed the results of a collaboration. MaryAnn designed and printed broadsides of my poem, “Sedna the Arctic Sea Goddess,” originally published in Alaska Quarterly Review. I’m happy to announce the the limited edition broadside is now available for sale. Take a look, and enjoy! May your artistic collaborations be fruitful!


Jun 14

Design your ideal writing workshop — take our survey!


The Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop has been around since April 2013. We are still very new at this and are always interested in learning what YOU want from a writing workshop. Whether you’ve just discovered the Red Sofa or have been a curious lurker for a while, I’d love to get your feedback on what you are looking for in your ideal writing workshop. Please take the following short survey to share your thoughts. This is totally anonymous. If you’d like to talk more about your workshop needs after you’ve taken the survey, please email me at redsofasalon@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Apr 14

Announcing Spring Workshop!

I’m thrilled to announce the theme of the Spring 2014 workshop! Check out the snazzy poster below and register early to save your seat!


Feb 14

Dreaming About Spring


Tulips, April 2013

News flash: It’s freaking cold right now. And icy. Everywhere. I am done with this weather. You are done with this weather. Let’s drink tea and cry a bit, shall we?

Bitterness aside, this season has been interesting for me. I’m getting ready to embark on a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center in March. I feel like lately I’ve been in hibernation to some extent, getting myself mentally prepared to fully devote myself to writing poems. I’m nervous and excited and feeling some pressure, but mostly just grateful that I created this opportunity for myself and that I have a supportive community that has helped make this happen.

I’m also very much looking forward to spring. At the end of my residency, I’ll be flying straight to Washington, D.C., where I’ll participate in a female-poet-rebel (yeah!) panel/reading at the Split This Rock Poetry Festival. I then return to Philly where I’ll be offering an eco-poetry workshop at The Head & The Hand Press (April 3rd), and doing a reading at the Free Library Independence Branch (April 7th). Then it’s Passover (and I’m dreaming up a one-day workshop related to that theme… stay tuned), and then I’m leading my Eco-Poetry Workshop in Costa Rica (starting April 27… that is, if we get the minimum number of folks to register! I hope we do!). Then the Red Sofa Poetry Workshop returns on May 5th, along with the reading series on May 9th!

So many warm-weather plans… but for now, it’s time for me to go inward. Into that quiet space of observation and reflection that will hopefully bring many new and necessary poems into this world. I wish you all a cozy and productive season, and look forward to seeing you and hearing your poems in the spring.

Dec 13

Winter Poetry Workshop starts January 6th!

TheRedSofa-CheeseplateReading7Join me for a cozy winter poetry workshop as the Red Sofa inaugurates its first session in 2014! As usual, the workshop consists of close readings of published poems, a group workshop, and delicious homemade vegetarian food! Expect some hot winter drinks in the mix this session as well!

DATES: Six Mondays, January 6, 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10

TIME: 7:00pm–9:30pm

To register, email redsofasalon@gmail.com. Price and registration details here.