MUSED. + CROSSROADS CLUBHOUSE
The mission of Crossroads Clubhouse is to be a community of support and hope for adults diagnosed with a mental illness. Crossroads provides choices and opportunities for meaningful employment, housing, education, wellness, and social interaction.
MUSED. hosts monthly poetry workshops for Crossroads members -- helping them sort their thoughts, dreams, goals, and memories through critical and creative thinking.
Meet our mental health ambassador, Autumn Slaughter:
Tell us about your first experience with poetry.
I really cannot remember. I know I wrote my first poem in fourth grade, but I don’t know why I thought to write a poem instead of a letter. It was a love poem for a boy five years older than me, in ninth grade. He didn’t take it all that well, but I don’t remember being upset. I was really proud of myself for writing something.
What’s your favorite poem?
I go back and forth between “The Highway Man” by Alfred Noyes and Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Why do you think having a poetry and collaborative arts non-profit in the world is important? Poetry captures life in a way no other art form can. It changes lives, even when those lives don’t want to be changed. It’s impossible to hear a poem and not become more connected to the other people inhabiting the world.
What do you eat for breakfast?
When I’m training (I’m a long distance runner) I go through a lot of bananas and peanut butter. Otherwise I typically grab a Larabar and an apple on my way out the door.
What are you doing when you feel the most creative?
Typically, I’m frustrated or confused or in any other emotion that just kind of grabs you and won’t explain itself in narrative form. It has to come out as words and rhymes.
Every body gives their life to their Muse. What’s yours?
Different people have been my Muse at different times. I rarely realize they are my muse until something puts space between us and I’m suddenly not writing anymore.
What’s your favorite color and season?
Purple. And autumn. Definitely autumn.
"Valentine's day is typically a day of romance. Of hearts, chocolate, and desperate men trying to make last minute restaurant reservations. This year love blanketed Tulsa. It hung heavy in the air. But the air at Crossroads Clubhouse had a different flavor. There members talked about love, but not the kind fillings the restaurants. Instead members read poems and wrote poems about self love. Valentine's acrostics were created with words like "nostalgic" and "ecstatic." Members blushed and laughed as they complimented themselves in front of each other, then took their poems home, for the next time they need a reminder that they are awesome. Because everyone needs to remember to love themselves." - Autumn Slaughter
Life is beautiful. Life is hard. Life is, well life. And life is what members of Crossroads Clubhouse talked about while reading "That's Life" by Danny Joyce and writing poems following a similar style. The themes in the poem pulled out interesting stories about a wide range of topics from better eating and living to ways to forge through rough days. One member compared life to a beach to be surfed and enjoyed. Another comparison was to a car. One poem compared life to all kinds of different animals. Because, really, that's what life is. It's a little wild, a little relaxing, and whatever else you want to make it. - Autumn Slaughter
are coming soon.