Seattle poet Dr. Melody Ivory helps women rewrite their traumatic histories

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Seattle, WA ( — This March 5th, as part of the national Women’s History Month activities, highly acclaimed motivational speaker, 6-time author and The People’s Poet Dr. Melody Ivory facilitates a free workshop—Unleashing Your Inner Poet to Heal Your Heart, Mind and Body™—for women of color who have survived domestic violence and other traumatic experiences. The experiential workshop, funded by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, enables women to learn how to use performance poetry to promote healing and to share their own stories in a safe and supportive environment. The program is meant to be an invitation to step into our full greatness as women and be the living works of art we’re meant to be.

VIDEO: Breaking the Silence on Violence Against Women through Interactive Poetry by Dr. Melody Ivory

The event will be a four-hour poetry healing journey for 30 women as they not only write and perform poetry but also elevate their public speaking skills, tap into their own creativity and liberate themselves from any lingering trauma, unresolved emotions and beliefs. Dr. Ivory will guide participants through exercises to help them move beyond their traumatic past, envision a new future and commit to stepping into it. Her collaborator—Deborah “Dee” Williams, certified yoga instructor of the Kanjin Yoga Center—will facilitate Yoga exercises to help participants to relax and stay centered.

“This life-altering experience is an opportunity for women to connect with other women who have similar stories and spend some quality time putting themselves first,” says Dr. Ivory. “My objective is for each woman to leave empowered and inspired to step into a new reality.”

Dr. Ivory has overcome her own adversity, including a history of abuse and abandonment at the age of seven by both parents, a maze of foster homes and struggles with attention deficit disorder. Despite those circumstances, she not only became the valedictorian of her high school class, but also went on to become the first African American woman to graduate from the University of California at Berkeley with a Ph.D. in computer science. She also served as a computer and information science professor at the University of Washington.

Dr. Ivory uses her poetry work to tackle the stark realities of domestic violence, such as the near-record number of domestic violence slayings recently reported by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Levi Pulknen, Jan. 6, 2011, Seattle PI) and the estimated 1.3 million women nationwide who experience it every year. The workshop is an extension of her work with YWCA support groups throughout the greater Seattle area.

“The workshop that Dr. Ivory presented was very powerful for me and for the survivors of domestic violence who participated,” said Jennifer Quiróz, Economic Resilience Program Manager for the YWCA of South King County. “The fact that all of the women in the group actually wrote and performed poetry based on their experiences of abuse really speaks to her ability to foster a safe environment, while also challenging them to stretch in new and difficult ways.”

“Domestic violence still lives with me every day,” said Bettina Carey, founder of Women in Small Biz Shows and Events and a previous participant. “I had the opportunity to attend a poetry workshop put on by Dr. Melody Ivory, and I got a chance to not only write poetry that I didn’t know was inside me … but also the opportunity came up to perform in front of others and to share my story. It was a place of healing to address core issues, and was long overdue.”

For more information about the poetry workshop, please contact Dr. Melody Ivory at or call (206) 285-0963.

About Dr. Melody Ivory

Dr. Ivory is re-writing what it means to be a woman of science and spirituality. Over the past 20 years, she has combined her work as a performance poet with her computer science Ph.D. and her own life experience to be a passionate champion of women. As The People’s Poet, her mission is to help women survivors of abuse and violence to connect mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually with their essential selves through inspirational poetry, as she has found this to be a successful and life-altering experience for herself and others. Dr. Ivory’s immersive programs feature a distinctive mix of performance poetry, inspirational talks and her handcrafted natural care products delivered as part of The Dr. Melody Ivory Experience™. The Experience makes a lasting impression by engaging all the senses into the learning and change process unlike any other speaker’s presentation.

Dr. Ivory is the author of six books, including the recent series—Composing Your Masterpiece Self™ Symphony and the poetry collection—The Road M Traveled: Rising Above the Rubble of Trauma. She has also co-hosted a radio interview series titled Step Into Your Full Greatness™ for the popular Dr. Pat a.m. radio show. For inquiries about The Dr. Melody Ivory Experience™, please visit her website at

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