Reflections in Literature
Chattanooga, TN – Southern Lit Alliance is proud to host Reflections in Literature, a six-week workshop unveiling personal insights through today’s literature. Wednesdays from April 6th– May 11th, 2022, at 6:00 PM, participants will be given the opportunity to speak with a licensed therapist, Amy Coffey LMFT, NCC, and Exec. Director of Southern Lit, Lynda LeVan. The program is free thanks to a grant from Unum and is limited to 12 participants. The deadline to register is April 1st, and books will be provided to attendees.
The group will be reading and analyzing the award-winning novel, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Participants can discuss the novel in relation to their own lives, or simply discuss the complexities of the novel itself. The discussion will be enhanced with additions of arts, poetry, writing, and other activities.
About the novel, The Midnight Library
In between life and death is a library, The Midnight Library. Nora Seed, after an attempt to take her own life, finds herself in the library of books curated just for her. Nora flips through the novels of her own dreams and memories, and each book gives Nora the chance to live a life she could have lived if she had made different choices. There is a Nora who becomes a rock star, another who wins Olympic medals, another living on an Arctic research vessel; some versions are mothers, wives, orphans; famous and influential, or mundane. All she must do to step into that life is open the book. If she finds a good life, she can stay; but she must judge if that life is exactly what it seems to be on the surface–or judge the book by its cover. Nora must decide what truly fulfills her in her life, and she must question what about her life she can truly change.
About the Benefits of Literature
Many people read books as an escape from their own lives, but literature can also allow readers to ground themselves in their own reality. Literature allows readers to see perspectives other than their own, and in turn, promotes feelings of empathy and contentment for not only the characters or people in their own lives, but towards themselves as well. Reading is also thought to produce higher levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy, and readers can work through their personal feelings alongside the characters in the novel. Many times, the novels people choose reflect their own personal character as well, so many readers can connect with and see themselves in the adventures on the page. While a novel’s character may not be an exact reflection of the reader, aspects of their lives, personalities, and struggles may shine through and make the reader feel just a little bit less isolated or alone. In addition to that, in a group reading session the attendees are more likely to connect with each other in these ways as well, rather than just the characters in the novel. Discussion about sensitive topics flows more freely in group sessions, and attendees have the opportunity to bounce their ideas, analysis, and even just words of encouragement off each other in a space they may not have had access to before.
About Amy Coffey
Amy Coffey has received an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Trauma Counseling. She is Level I certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Amy believes that therapy is a holistic process that is approachable from a trauma informed, interpersonal perspective. Amy’s passion is helping individuals grow strong in the midst of their pain and brokenness. She is also passionate about working with individuals and families who have experienced trauma and/or life transition issues, helping them to walk through the process of healing and recovery. Amy is currently based in the beautiful Cleveland, Tennessee.
About Southern Lit Alliance
Southern Lit Alliance is a longstanding literary arts organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee, founded in 1952. Its mission is to utilize the incomparable power of literature to inspire, create, and uplift, delivering opportunities that encourage people to read and write. The organization engages audiences through innovative and interesting literary arts experiences and educational enrichment opportunities in local schools and underserved communities in Chattanooga. For more information about Southern Lit Alliance, please visit www.southernlitalliance.org. Southern Lit Alliance is funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and Arts Build.