Testimonials

Brave Voice participants find new ways to spark alive and further develop their writing — whether poetry, fiction, memoir, mixed genre, songwriters, and more — and/or music. Immersing ourselves in the power of our words written, sung, heard, and read, we find more of what our own brave voice is calling us to do and be in this life. Many books, publications, readings, CDs, performances, collaborations, and ongoing writing and music groups have come out of Brave Voice. Here’s some of the voices of Brave Voice:

“A respite from everyday challenges and responsibilities, Brave Voice has coaxed out of me a deeper understanding of myself. It calls me to find and nurture my own voice in the symphony chorus of life.” ~ Rebecca Merola, co-owner, Function Junction, Kansas City, Missouri

“A fabulous week spent with creative and caring individuals writing and singing. It is truly a magical experience.” – Ken Carr, singer, songwriter and keyboardist, and retired health education, Murphysboro, Illinois

From left: Rick Frydman, Lisa Harris, George Thompson

“A great mix of creative voices (poets, fiction writers, songwriters and musicians) flourishes in the Flint Hills of Kansas and goes by the name of Brave Voice, and did I mention there’s very good food!” ~ Rick Frydman, guitar-playing attorney, Lawrence, Kansas

“As a professional psychotherapist, the last thing I want to do is go to another workshop. This is not that! This is a retreat to rediscover creativity. The schedule pace is relaxing and invigorating. It’s personal and communal, fun and quiet. More than anything, I come here to listen to my own voice without having to shout above my regular din.” ~ Teresa Hernandez, psychotherapist and cellist, Salina, Kansas

From left: Allena Ross, Sherry Brooks, Reva Friedman

“Attending Brave Voice provides poets, creative writers, lyricists, and musicians experience in how to develop their crafts.” ~ Allena Ross, Singer, composer, and substitute teacher, Topeka, Kansas

“Where the earth meets the sky and you wonder shy you never walked here before. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll soar, you’ll fly, and you’ll want more, more, more!” ~Sherry Brooks, musician, writer, sage, counselor, Lake Hamilton, Florida

“I love coming to Brave Voice. I meet extraordinary, open-hearted people. It allows me to explore and develop my writing and performance skills. The evening performances by Caryn and Kelley alone would make it worthwhile. And each year, I take an unexpected new habit home. It’s been life-changing.” ~ Kat Greene, poet and writer, retired law librarian, Lawrence, Kansas

“Well-organized, sensitive leadership, and a wonderfully diverse collection of participants.” — Louie Galloway, poet, retired Professor, Massachusetts College of Art

“This exceeded my expectations! I am left with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to Caryn and Kelley for their willingness to share their many gifts. I gained as much from my fellow participants as well.”  ~ Pete Ferrell, musician, rancher, businessman, Kansas

“As soon as I arrive at Brave Voice, the experience of love, community, and support is the truth of the day! Every year, I am riveted to implement but a fraction of the wisdom and support I receive from this six-day creative cocoon that is Brave Voice. Every year, I take in the next steps needed for myself to move forward and release those things that hold me back. Caryn and Kelley are guardian angels of the divine. I cannot say enough about this person, deeply heart-opening retreat.” ~ Dianna Burrup, singer/songwriter, graphic designer, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

“When I look around, I see people blossoming with joy and finding a well of talent they didn’t even know they had. It’s not about performance, but that’s what happens anyway, and you back to whatever you do with a deeper well of inspiration and understanding.” ~ Janet S. Emmons, singer, songwriter, composer of choral works, Santa Fe, NM

“Where else can you plod in, carrying the baggage of your daily life and expectations, and after five days, joyously float away light as a blue jay feather on a gentle spring wind?” ~ Nancy Hubble, seller of rare books and art, poet and artist, Lawrence, Kansas

“This is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a really long time. I’d love to come back and re-“treat” myself again. Kelley and Caryn provide insight into one’s heart and soul, and I’ve made some new friends that I expect to be life-long friends. What a breath of fresh air! I’m back in the saddle again!”  ~ Mo Howe, blues harmonica player and musician, Iowa City, Iowa

“It was a true gift to be able to spend time learning from these two very gifted artists. The combination of Kelley’s experience as a performing singer/songwriter and Caryn’s literary expertise provided an especially unique environment in which to explore creative expression. The workshop was both validating and inspiring, in deeply meaningful ways. Thank you, Kelley and Caryn.”  ~ Cindy Novelo, singer/songwriter and performing musician, Baldwin, Kansas

“One of the things we find at Brave Voice is a mirror. Whether it reflects creative process process, music, movement, or soul or even pain, looking into it enables us to remember who we truly are and then to go home and be that person.” — Olive L. Sullivan, writer, writing coach, editor, poet, and now songwriter! Pittsburg, Kansas

“The workshop was an opening of soul. I laughed, I cried and I grew beyond my expectations. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” ~ Leanna Lunsford, mother, dancer, writer, singer, designer, painter, sculptor and educator, California

“This was the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself. The experience has been mind-blowing, self-nurturing, awe-inspiring, soul-enhancing. I have never before felt as I belonged in such a warm, all-encompassing way. Caryn and Kelley, you have changed the way I view the world, and I love the vision.”  ~ Kristi Thompson, mortgage broker/corporate owner/real estate agent by day, poet by heart, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Brave Voice has opened up, for me, so many possibilities as a writer and songwriter. I’ve come away with a feeling that my work is so important, so vital, and that I am supported by so many other writers, including all I connected to so deeply with here. I’ve come away feeling lifted up and inspired!” ~ Lana Pratt, songwriter, Lawrence, Kansas

“This retreat allows me to express myself creatively in one of the most nurturing, beautiful and non-threatening environments I’ve ever been in.” ~ Karen Seibel, yoga instructor/RN, Lawrence, Kansas