Stella's Lecture & Workshop Topics


Topics include: WRITING  YOUTH  CULTURAL  & GENERAL 
  
                                                                                                 Contact Stella for workshop information.


WRITING

THE CALL TO WRITE
Dreams, visions, revelations and zany happenings make us expert in interpreting life in our writings.  Participants will have the opportunity to write, share, and delve into the process of writing through Duarte’s own proven, four-step method. Join in this exhilarating experience!

CREATING WRITING LITERACY (Educators)
Through the use of storytelling, reading aloud, and writing poetry and short stories, Duarte explores ways to discover personal history and share with others one’s own unique cultural heritage. Participants will learn the process of channeling creative energy and how to use this knowledge to guide students in the writing process.

DRAWING DOWN THE MUSE
An interactive workshop for the bold and brave which taps images, memories, and dreams abiding in the landscape of one’s own internal world. First memories will be sketched, and “closeted spaces” will be explored. Participants will create a “Shape of Life” drawing, and share, through writing, the mystical journey of life.

ETCHED IN STONE
Early cave dwellers etched pictures and symbols into stone to tell their stories. Modern people have created the short story to tell their tales. In this workshop, Duarte shares the tricks of the trade in writing stories that are etched in the hearts of those who write them, and those who cherish their messages.

EXPLORING THE LANDSCAPE OF THE HISTORICAL NOVEL
The challenge of documenting, interviewing, visiting related sites, and delving into the historical roots of a story is a unique experience, timeless, and inspiring. In this workshop, Duarte, shares ideas for creating novels that document historical facts while offering readers a fresh, new perspectives on place, characters and plot. In Duarte's own words, "The historical novel is truth told from the heart."

FRAGILE NIGHT: Writing the "a-ha" experience
How do we isolate the times in our lives that have caused us to "look up and smell the coffee," times when we suddenly realized a life-changing reality? The a-ha experiences of our lives are those that inspire us, challenge us to ecome more, and set us down the right path. Pin-point the a-ha's of your life, and realize exceiting new writing.

HOW TO PAINT PICTURES WITH WORDS
Life's pictures are all around us in the routine of our daily lives, and in the unexpected twists life sends our way. In this workshop poetry series, images will blend like colors on a canvas to paint the pictures ofyour life in words.

MATTERS OF THE HEART
Your internal world has themes to write, stories to tell, and the truth to uncover. Your “heart” is who you are, your thoughts, desires, memories, and the things that make up your invisible world. Experience the “heart” of who you are through an in-depth look into the art of creative, short-story writing.

NOVEL WRITING FOR NOVICES
"I want to write a novel!" This statement is made by many over the course of their lives, yet when faced by a blank paper, the task seems daunting. Would-be-novelists at all stages will learn how to use plot, conflict, scenes, characterization, dialogue, and a myriad of other "novel essentials" to discover techniques that make sense. This workahop is for the bold and brave, and those whose dream is to: WRITE A NOVEL!

REAL STORIES: The Fabric of Creative Work
Memories differ, people change their minds, history repeats itself. How do the stories of your life connect with your love of writing? In this workshop, Stella will offer techniques for sifting through the good times and the bad to figure out what really happened. Zeroing in on the heart of a story can make a new heartbeat appear. Come prepared to listen, write, create and amaze yourself with stories that unravel the fabric of who you are.

REAL WRITING
Writing is a process of making connections.  Nothing is too absurd when you brainstorm your way into a story.  Knowing where you come from, who you are, and where you might end up, will give you power over your writing, and a new landscape of creative energy. A humorous, delightful look into what makes writing real.

SHORT DAYS, LONG NIGHTS AND REWRITES
In a magical burst of creative energy, participants will be treated to a panoramic view of the writing process.  In her own indomitable style, Duarte draws on story, humor, memoir, and tall tales to boldly breathe life into the maddening world of words.

SURFACING FOR AIR:  Staying on Top of Your Work
Surface to the top of your work, and survey the places you have visited without moving an inch from your computer.  In this workshop, Duarte, shares hard-won secrets on how to catch your breath, and stay on top of the writing game.  Mark your victories, create new visions for the future, and breathe new life into your work, as you embrace the impossible with a view from the TOP!

VILLAINS AND VIXENS: Writing the Dark Side
Good and evil exist side by side in our daily lives. Characters’ flaws, mistakes, secrets, and sins, are what make stories real and readable. In this workshop, Stella will dwell on characters you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Let’s face it; there are no heroes without “bad guys.” What will your villains stoop to? How will you control them? Will your protagonist endure the testing? The proof is in the writing!

WALKING DOWN MEMORY LANE: How to Write Memoir
A lifetime of memories is the birthright of everyone on earth. Life teaches us through memory, enriches us, and challenges us to future trnsformations. Participants in this workshopo will learn how to "walk down memory lane," to spotlight aspects of life they will choose in writing stories, poems, vignettes and reflections.

WE CANNOT LOOK AWAY: Exploring A Social Conscience Through Writing
The brutal murders of over 500 young women in Ciudad Juárez, has ignited a new exploration of what it means to commit a crime based on hate. Hate for women because they are women. Hate for Jews because they are Jews, and the list is endless. In this workshop, Stella explores one of the darkest aspects of criminal activity: hate crimes. What must happen to end this senseless killing? Through discussion, poetry, and prose, participants will explore ways to heal the wounds created by rampant hate crimes.

WRITING FOR ALL SEASONS AND ALL REASONS
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," are the words of Charles Dickens, as he described the enormity of life's many seasons in a Tale of Two Cities. Through writing exercises that probe the heart and soul,participants in this workshop will explore reasons for writing. Adorn the seasons of your life from childhood to adulthood with the gift of writing.

WRITING THROUGH REVELATIONS, VISIONS AND DREAMS
How do revelations, visions, and dreams affect us on a daily basis? This workshop will zero in on the internal landscape that forms the basis for the mysterious language of the soul. While focusing on life’s busy and demanding events, writers often miss the huge source of energy and inspiration that dwells within. Revealed through symbols, codes and ‘blurred images,” a writer’s internal world is an abundant source of secret “inklings” that once deciphered, can spark creative energy and bring to life fresh new writing ideas. Nothing is “haphazard” when we learn the language of our own souls and connect with the wondrous writer within.

WRITING UNFORGETTABLE STORIES
What is the most unforgettable story you have ever heard or read? What made the story unforgettable? Participants in this workshop will explore the "heart" of story zeoring on techniques for sifting through the truth of a story, uncovering what's real and what's not. Stranger than fiction, truth in story explores the human heart, inspiring connections in readers.

YOUTH

READING OPENS DOORS
Thousands of students have shared the joy of writing, and storytelling by joining in the hilarious mishaps of the “Lupita Stories,” as Stella Pope Duarte re-creates child-hood memories of her little sister, and their life in la Sonorita Barrio. Students learn what it means to be a writer, as they are entertained by stories of “The Walking Dolls,” “El Huevo,” “Chorizo,” and many other zany tales. “Everything beautiful is already within you,” is Duarte’s slogan, as she encourages young writers to bloom.

IT’S RIGHT THERE:  The Power of One
 “It’s right there what you have to do next,” were words revealed to Duarte in a dream of her father in 1995.  The words led her to realize that her destiny was to become a writer. She now shares her father’s advice with youth, in an inspirational presentation, that challenges youth to empowerment by:  (1) discovering who they are, (2) learning to choose what’s good for them, (3) NOT playing the blaming game,  (4) sifting through weaknesses to find their strengths, and (5) harnessing personal power to harvest success.

THE INVERTED PYRAMID OF LEADERSHIP
What does it take to be a leader?  How do we prepare?  In this motivational presentation Stella Pope Duarte describes the characteristics of true leadership as a transformational process that builds from the bottom up.  A true leader is one who serves the rest, expecting little for self, and making great strides for others. True leadership takes the form of an inverted pyramid, with the leader at the base, and the success of those served as the measure of effective leadership.

UNITY AND STRENGTH THROUGH POWER, KNOWLEDGE & EDUCATION
Unity is the foundation of all we hold dear, yet envy, fear and machismo strike at the heart of the Latino community. This dynamic presentation will explore ways to make a turn-around, and use our rich, cultural heritage to inspire, teach, and educate ourselves, as we cultivate a new history, and a new generation of bold, fearless leaders.

TOADS AND DIAMONDS: Creating Dynamic Connections in Writing
Connections are everywhere in our daily life, sometimes they make sense, sometimes it takes a lifetime to decipher their meanings. The Fairy Tale, Toads and Diamonds, written in the 16oo's by French author, Charles Perrault, is the springboard in this workshop for helping young writers create connections in stories and poetry that are creative and one-of-a-kind.  How do mashed potatoes connect with a teddy bear?  How does a lost shoe connect with a 747 Boeing airplane?  How does a tube of lipstick connect with the ocean? The more creative the connections, the more effectively they can be used to create unforgettable poetry and prose.

PLEAS, PLUMS AND POLAR BEARS: Poetry Alive and Well in the Classroom
The words of Michelangelo, "I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free," come alive in this workshop, evolved to explore the power of poetry in a humdrum world that challenges students' creativity. How do students connect with their ability to "see" the world through a poet's eye? Learning how to write "word pictures," imagining oneself in similies and metaphors, and developing a sense of self in the created world through personification, are some of the techniques students will use to get to the random beauty of carving their own "angel" through the power of poetry.

LEARNING THROUGH LEGENDS, MYTHS AND FOLKLORE
Every culture possess a variety of legends, myths and folklore that construct a unique way of interpreting the universe. Powerful messages and profound mysteries can be experienced as students become adept in uncovering the hidden meanings of stories that often teach life changing lessons. In this workshop, the wondrous world of magic will unfold, and classroom teachers will be enriched with ideas on how to increase reading comprehension, and the pure enjoyment of story in students of all ages.


CULTURAL

WHAT LA LLORONA KNEW
This unique workshop offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the official ghost of Mexican/Latino history, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman).  At the heart of Duarte’s work, La Llorona, inspired her first short story in Fragile Night, and a life-long exploration into La Llorona’s dark tale. Secrets learned from this Latina boogey-woman will amaze participants, and create a new and lasting friendship with the “ghost who never gave up on herself.”

PEOPLE OF THE FIFTH SUN:  Understanding los Mestizos in America
Los Mestizos have been known as la Gente del Quinto Sol, (People of the Fifth Sun), la Gente de Razón, (The People of Reason), Mexicas, and the Heron people.  A mixture of Spanish and Indian blood, los Mestizos were created during the conquest of Mexico, and the destruction of the 300 year-old empire of the Aztec Nation.  Eventually, los Mestizos migrated north again in search of Aztlán, and became the modern-day Chicanos (Xicanos).  This presentation traces the history, culture and dynamics of los Mestizos.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:  Beyond Stereotypes
Every culture is equipped with the ability to achieve wholeness.  Cultures are not better or worse, only different.  To know and understand your own culture is the bridge to understanding the culture of others.  This workshop is an eye-opener to the world of cultural diversity and acceptance, challenging participants with activities that focus on letting go of racist attitudes, and stereotypes that cause division and disunity in the global community.

CULTIVATING LANGUAGE DIVERSITY & EDUCATIONAL EQUITY
As a life-long educator, Duarte, explores the impact of our educational system on second-language learners.  Her experience as a second-language learner, in an era of prejudice against languages other than English, have led her to reflect on the humiliation of second-language learners in her memories of the “Cave Man Row.”  This is a thought-provoking, intense presentation that prompts responses, questions, and solutions from participants.   

BENITO JUAREZ AND CINCO DE MAYO
Benito Juárez was a contemporary of Abraham Lincoln, and the first person of Indian ancestry to ever be elected as president of a modern nation.  As a revolutionary in Mexico, Juárez was responsible for establishing many of the current democratic practices of Mexico.  This presentation introduces participants to an historical account of the rich heritage left to the world-community by a humble, Zapotec Indian who aspired to be president.

ONE MAN’S CRY FOR LIBERTY:The History of Mexican Independence 
The History of Mexican Independence, in a spellbinding talk on the fight for freedom begun on September 16, 1810 in the village of Dolores, Mexico. On that day, a humble priest, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, tolled the church bells and uttered the cry that would incite a war against Spanish oppressors, “Mexicanos, viva Mexico!” Teeming with historical insight into the sacrifice and courage that led to the founding of a new nation, this presentation will forge a link with the past, and bring to light the beauty and dignity of a people who were not afraid to believe in freedom. Join in this once-in-a-lifetime experience of Mexico’s glorious struggle for independence.

HE WALKED AMONG HIS PEOPLE
In his fight for equality, and justice, Cesar Estrada Chavez won the hearts of hard-working migrant farm workers, and the respect of the world. An inspiration for Latinos everywhere, Cesar Estrada Chavez lives on in the struggle against class prejudice, and deadly, inhumane practices that humiliate and murder the soul. Duarte shares her reflections on this unforgettable hero, reciting her inspirational poem, “There is a Place for You in America.”

LA MALINCHE, LA LLORONA, and LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE:  Exploring Feminine Archetypes in Chicano History
A woman's heart beats through the history of the ancient Xicanos, telling the tale of a mother's wounded heart as she searches for her children wearing many disguises.  How has her story shaped the history of a nation?  In this workshop, participants will encounter La Malinche, La Llorona, and La Virgen de Guadalupe, women who marked the end of an ancient world, and the beginning of a new and mysterious era.
   
CORAZON DEL NOPAL:  The Power and Heart of Los Chicanos
From the ancient ruins of the three-hundred-year-old Aztec empire, a new nation rose in the midst of treachery, oppression and unrelenting war.  Comets, prophecies and smoking mirrors signaled their birth as they founded Tenochitlan (Mexico City), and eventually journeyed north from the Valley of Mexico to take their place in the making of America. A riveting talk on the legacy of the modern-day Chicanos.

THE REAL MEANING OF CINCO de MAYO
More than fiestas, 'happy hour' and piñatas, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo is a link to the rich heritage of Mexico and it famous hero, Benito Juàrez. What happened in the dusty town of Puebla, Mexico over 100 years ago, affects our world to this day. The valor of the people of Puebla lives on in song, dance, and story. This presentation will lift the spirit and give new meaning to our struggle for peace.

GENERAL

TENDING THE FLAME I:  Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams
How do revelations, visions, and dreams affect us on a daily basis?  Duarte traces her own work inspired by the dream of her father in 1995, advising her of her destiny as a writer, and subsequent revelations shared by her mother on the internal, invisible, world more powerful than the external, physical one.  What is the “flame” entrusted to each of us?  And how do we rise within to conquer even our worst fears?  Insights gained in this presentation will last a life-time.

TENDING THE FLAME II:  Ten Secrets to Healing the Inner You
A continuation of Part I, this workshop delves deeper into the characteristics that make us greater human beings, rather than lesser human beings.  What elevates us?  What destroys our progress?  Beginning with Secret #1, “Pray for your own discovery,” (Thomas Merton), Duarte challenges participants to look closely at the markers of success that trigger bigger things.  The process of becoming is the goal of humankind.

THE WOMEN OF JUAREZ
The “crime of the century,” is happening just outside our borders in Ciudad Juárez, sister city of El Paso, Texas.  Duarte’s three-year research into the over 400 murders  of young women committed in that city over the past decade, has prompted her to write an historical novel, If I Die in Juárez, and commit herself to establishing rights for oppressed women everywhere, victims of ruthless murderers, callous laws, and globalization that threatens the fabric of life on earth.  This presentation presents a clear call for justice and the end of the Juárez femicides.

IF YOU COME TO TERMS WITH THE DARK PARTS OF WHO YOU ARE YOU WON’T HAVE TO MARRY THEM
“The things you cherish most are at the mercy of the things you cherish least.” (William James).  Recognizing the parts of who we are leads to the development of a healthy attitude towards self and others.  Through sharing the “aha,” “ijuela,” experiences of her characters in FRAGILE NIGHT, Duarte reveals what it means to respond to the truth of who we are, and avoid the ambush of the secret, hidden self. 

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
One of our tasks on earth is to learn to choose what’s good for us.  Choosing, involves a deep connection with self, and a hope in goodness and love.  Obstacles such as unbridled emotions, fears, doubts, remorse, and selfishness are at the center of what it means to “trip on our own shoelaces.”  Whatever we have the courage to confront, will have no more power over us.  This presentation, centered on LET THEIR SPIRITS DANCE, encourages participants to embrace a new and dynamic sense of self and purpose.

THE POWER OF ONE
We all possess an internal cosmos, a world within that is our true identity. In this presentation, Stella will share reflections on finding one’s own internal cosmos and discovering the POWER OF ONE, which is the birthright of every person on earth. The process of claiming who you are is a miraculous journey and begins by identifying internal symbols and “invisible nudgings.” Profound insights and life-changing inspirations will be gained as Stella shares her own journey as an international author and human rights advocate.

THE PEN IS MIGHTER THAN THE SWORD
What does it mean to tell a story? Everyone writes the story of their lives each day. Creating and recreating who we are, we possess both a physical purpose and a soul purpose. For a powerful story to be told, someone must be ready to tell it, and someone must be ready to listen. Participants will be inspired to delve into the stories of their lives, developing a new identity with themselves as storytellers, mightier than the sword.

WILL YOU STILL NEED ME WHEN I'M NINETY-FOUR? An exploration of love, need, and presence in the lives of older Americans
The landscape of America is changing. Within the next twenty years, one out of every three people will be a person of color. One of every five people will be an older American, over 65 years old. What new challenges will America face as our "landscape" changes? In this riveting presentation Stella explores what it means to live meaninful lives in all phases of our existence. In a rushing world, relationships become blurred, committments often falter, yet there are links from deep within that remain intact through life's conflicts and storms. This unique glimpse into the world of love, need and presence has touched the hearts of all who have been privileged to hear its message.

WOMEN WHO LIVE IN COFFEE SHOPS
This presentation offers participants a unique opportunity to explore places where women live, work, hide, love and grow in our society. Presented in a humorous, insightful manner, this workshop challenges participants to carve out a place of their own, where they will hear the singular voice from within, the true “I.”  Surprises and cries of recognition will follow.

WHAT AMERICA DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT FREEDOM
Mainstream freedom isn’t everybody’s freedom.  In this presentation, Duarte connects the work of two great American leaders; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Estrada Chavez. The “freedom” of the rich and corrupt, destroys the “freedom” of the poor and oppressed.  How can America know real freedom, when it faces unresolved moral issues, and the constant cry of materialism?  This highly provocative presentation encourages participants to dream of a day when freedom will be equally accessible to all, Americans.