April 22nd: The Pentimenti Women's Writing Group Features at Stone Soup

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.  On April 22d, we welcome an extended storytelling session with the Pentimenti women's Writing Group.

Four years ago a group of women in Dorchester began meeting on Saturday mornings at 450 Washington to write their stories. Some were working on poetry, others memoirs, novels, essays, or short fiction, but they all committed to finding their voices and telling their stories – and to helping one another to do that as well. That’s why they called our first collection of writing, “Can You Hear Our Voices?”

Over the years, the members of the group have changed, some women have moved on and new people have joined us, but the core commitment to honesty and self-expression – and to a caring, nurturing community – has remained steadfast.

Several years ago we took the name “Pentimenti,” which refers to “an underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.” The name reflects the process we are exploring, uncovering our histories, our stories, and our selves.

JENNIE P. BARNETT: Jennie lives in Dorchester and works full time as an Administrative Assistant. An avid gardener, she is without a garden right now but is making up for it by focusing on growing her writing and learning to "hear" her voice.

CAROL D. CARTER: Carol was born in Boston and lives in Dorchester. She received her BFA from Mass College of Art with a degree in Painting and Art Education. She also studied music at the University of Mass, Boston, and worked as a professional singer and musician. She has won awards in painting and wrote an art program, “Splashes of Color,” for children and adults. She is now writing her memoirs and a novel about a sailor/fishermen. She started writing when she was a young child but always hid her writings because she was afraid of being called a “storyteller.” In her young mind, that meant she was a terrible liar.

CAROL DOWD-DICKERSON: Carol has been a word-weaver and storyteller since she was very young. An educator with Boston Public Schools she has introduced new people, places, and things to her students by teaching them to read, as well as, how to perform the written word. Her current group of fourth and fifth graders, “The Joseph Lee Poet Posse,” have performed their own poetry. Carol’s poetry is as varied as her taste in great writers that range from Dorothy West, Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, and William Butler Yeats. Her poems are being published in the WriteOnTheDot Vol II collection. She is currently writing a novel and has the beginnings of a play taking form.

HEIDI LEWIS IVEY: Heidi is a revivalist, teacher and writer. Her writing has been influenced by Nikki Giovanni, Zora Neal-Hurston and Gwendolyn Brooks. Heidi's autobiography in poetic expression is scheduled to be released later this year. She hosts the In My Fathers House radio broadcast on Boston Praise Radio and lives in Dorchester.