Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers’ Workshop was created in 1994 by award-winning author Ian Frazier out of the recognition that people eating at the soup kitchen have a hunger beyond a hot meal.
The isolation many guests experience because of hunger and homelessness is one of the many struggles faced daily. Taught by professional writers, the Writers’ Workshop gives these individuals power to give voice to their lives. The poetry and prose created express the uniqueness of each participant’s creativity and experience.
Originally, the workshop was seasonal, meeting for 10 weeks each spring, but in 2012 due to the demand from guests, the workshop was extended to run year round with a short summer break. The same year, the Food for the Soul blog was launched to provide writers with an additional platform to have their voices heard.
Now running for more than two decades, the Writers’ Workshop has had hundreds of guests participate. For many students, this is the first time they have accessed their creativity and for some this has proven to be a sustaining force to drive them forward through difficult times. For a few, this has resulted in success as published writers and workshop participants have had works published in the OP-ED section of The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and The Forward. For all, the community and friendship they have found as part of the workshop has given them a sense of belonging and a new found confidence in themselves.