Over the past couple of years, I’ve heard Johnny O. speak about Matt Sallis often during our Thursday morning Volunteer-Biographer interviews. One day I asked John if he would introduce me to Matt so that I could interview him for our Spotlight Saturday feature. To my delight, John did, and Matt agreed.
Thank you, John, for the introduction. And thank you Matt for the gift of your time, and for all you and your wife do to facilitate healing through writing and connection.
NF: Thanks so much for your time today, Matt. I originally published a story about SAME Café last month where you teach a workshop. Our first poet for under1000skies.org, John Olander told me a little about the spoken-word open mic fundraiser your group did one night. How did that night go for you?
MS: The spoken word deal, yes! Both times John was the clutch guy.
NF: How did you start facilitating writing groups for SAME Café?
MS: The story of how I started running writing groups is a cool one. It wasn’t my intention to start a group. I had friends running a neighborhood magazine, Urban Life Wash Park, a hard copy magazine with a circulation of about 5,000 homes. I wrote an article for it once a month highlighting something interesting about serving the community.
One month I had the assignment to go and investigate a partnership between the Denver Public Library and Lighthouse Writers, a local organization. As you may know, Lighthouse is a literary hub for the homeless community in Denver. And that’s the case in many cities. They do a wide variety of classes. Writers give speeches there. The partnership with the library had to do withHard Times Writing Workshops. The reason the library was involved is that it was also a hub.
Each week John writes at SAME Cafe to a prompt for Coach Matt Salis which is “as fresh as each day’s breath.” Each month on the 28th we can look forward to a new piece to celebrate Gratitude Day for another month of wellness.