Lisa Beech Hartz

Lisa Beech Hartz | Poetry

Educational Background/Training

  • M.A. in English Writing from Hollins College
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami
  • Co-founder and Director, Muse Writers Center: Guided workshops in Memoir, Fiction & Poetry
  • Founder and Executive Director, Seven Cities Writers Project: Guides workshops in Memoir & Poetry, Norfolk City Jail. Memoir workshop of the LGBTQ Experience, LGBT Life Center, Norfolk. Resistance & Resilience: A Memoir Workshop of the Jim Crow Era, Colored Community Library Museum, Portsmouth.

About the Artist/Ensemble

Lisa Beech Hartz directs Seven Cities Writers Project, a non-profit 501C3 corporation that brings cost-free creative writing workshops to underserved communities. She currently guides workshops for men and women in the Norfolk City Jail, and a memoir workshop of the LGBTQ experience at the LGBT Life Center, also in Norfolk. She has also lead Resistance & Resilience: A Memoir Workshop of the Jim Crow Era. A poet who specializes in response to visual art, her ekphrastic collection, The Goldfish Window, was published by Grayson Books in 2018. Her writing has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. Co-founder and former co-director of The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Lisa has been teaching community writing workshops for almost 15 years. Sharing her love of creative expression with those who have been historically excluded is her passion. She often uses visual art in her workshops to unlock that expression, and to invite the writer to engage with the image in an unintimidating, supportive environment. Lisa holds two master’s degrees, an M.A. in English Writing from Hollins College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. She lives in Portsmouth with her family.

Educational Program Description

Talk Back to Art: A Creative Writing Workshop
3 to 4 hours
Participants will create an edited and polished piece of writing inspired by and responding to thoughtful interaction with a visual image, artistic or historical. Images may be presented via PowerPoint, or within the gallery or exhibit on display. Participants are guided through a step-by-step process of looking, writing, sharing, and revising. No previous writing experience necessary. A reading of generated work closes out the program. Designed for both art museums and cultural/historical institutions. Versatile — engaging for ages 6 to adult.


  • College/University Students
  • Adults
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