Muse Writers Center Holds Grand Reopening in Ghent
The Muse Writers Center began as a sort of traveling classroom over a decade ago. Local teachers, artists and dedicated staff donated their time, and the community offered its quiet spaces. On Jan. 30, the Muse reopened its doors to the public, this time at its permanent home in Ghent Market Shoppes.
Beginning Feb. 9, the Muse will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. More hours are to be announced.
The new and expanded 2,700 square-foot facility includes five large classrooms and two semi-private rooms, in addition to a library and auditorium. Flooded with sunshine pouring in from its two large windows, the library serves as a cozy spot to read, write, study or just relax.
According to the Muse’s web site, hundreds of works of fiction, non-fiction, memoir and various books on the art of writing will be made available to the public.
For work intended for live performance, the auditorium provides the perfect platform for writers of all ages to share their creativity. Open-mic nights, teen and preteen readings and staff-led talks are just some of the events that will take place in the spacious, well-equipped theater.
The Muse Jam is held in the auditorium every second Friday of the month. Artists and audiences are welcome to sing, play, recite poetry or other pieces, practice comedic bits or simply listen and enjoy. While admission is free, donations are encouraged to help support the Muse’s numerous scholarships.
The Muse will continue its tradition of meeting beyond its walls at local restaurants, bars and cafés. One such event occurs the first Friday of every month as Café Stella on Colonial Avenue hosts a Writers’ Coffee Break. If cold brews are more your style, check out the Writers’ Happy Hour every Wednesday.
Executive director Michael Khandelwal teaches several poetry classes. ODU’s professor of English, Tim Seibles, and adjunct instructor of English, Alison Schoew, currently share their skills and experiences with Muse students.
Schoew has a master’s degree in applied linguistics and will be teaching the “Start Writing, Keep Writing… Write Now” course.
“I love the one class that I kept taking for years… and now, will be teaching,” Schoew said.
Writers at every level can take classes at the Muse. Prices range from $40 to $230 per seasonal session. For writers on a budget or unable to commit to the academic rigors required for college courses, the Muse offers more than just books and desks.
As the Muse celebrates its 10-year anniversary, reviews on their Facebook page reflect support and high praise for the writing community.
The Muse “opened up my [five-year] writer’s block after suddenly losing my brother,” one patron said.
Visit the Muse Writers Center at 2200 Colonial Ave., located within the Ghent District of Norfolk, Virginia. You may also support its creative endeavors by visiting donate.the-muse.org or by calling 757-818-9880.