What are LyricaliTea Circles?

In many cultures, tea is a symbol of hospitality—connection, mindfulness, and presence. These are some of Lyricality’s core values, and that’s why we made tea our symbol, creating LyricaliTea to support and promote LyricaliTea Circles.

Beginning in February, 2022, 8 local writers will facilitate free, monthly LyricaliTea writing circles for diverse communities in greater St. Cloud. Some circles will meet in person, some online via Zoom, and some will accommodate both options.

LyricaliTea Circles are a thoughtfully designed response to the letter published on April 11, 2021 in the S C Times by 70 local leaders in which they called for people and organizations to “create safe spaces for brave conversations.” Circle Keepers have been trained to create a culture of connection, mindfulness and presence. They share writing practices that silence inner criticism and enable participants to access their creativity, compassion, and wisdom. 

Research has shown that this method of connecting to self, others, and nature through writing is a healing modality that helps people find meaning in life, and is highly effecting in guiding us forward through difficult circumstances. After LyricaliTea Circle members become comfortable meeting in their own community, Lyricality plans to bring its Circles together for intercultural celebrations where participants can appreciate each other’s way of life and socio-cultural identity 

Which LyricaliTea Circle is right for me?

There are LyricaliTea Circles for people of all ages and writing experience from beginner through advanced. Circles will meet monthly for approximately 90 minutes.

The Poetry of Place LyricaliTea Circle with Nicole Borg

Poet and creative writing instructor Nicole Borg will host adults interested in lyrical writing and exploring the role of place in their lives. Her circle meets in person at 27 Minnesota Street West, St. Joseph (Minnesota Street Market) on 2nd Saturdays beginning February 12th at 10:00 am. In the interest of safe COVID practices, participation is limited to 10 masked adults.

Grief and Grieving in the Black/African Community LyricaliTea Circle with Anisa Hagi-Mohamed

Linguist, writer, poet, artist, and teacher Anisa Hagi-Mohamed will host Black / African women to explore grief and grieving in the Black / African community. When we enter the garden of grief and take up its tools (instead of running from or suppressing grief), grief teaches us to mine the treasures of the truth about love (about joy & serenity) and opens us to the important lessons we gain only after loss. Anisa’s virtual (Zoom) circle will explore grief through the lens of Black/African experience and expression, meeting every third Friday beginning February at 6:30 pm. 

Cultural Journeys Through Tea LyricaliTea Circle with Vatsalaa Jha

Artist Vatsalaa Jha will partner with Great River Regional Library to host young people and adults who wish to take a cultural journey by learning about teas from around the world while practicing and boosting their creativity. Her circle explores how to deepen our understanding of our global interconnection and interdependence, meeting on last Tuesdays beginning February 22 at 6:30 pm. GRRL will email a Zoom link. 

Young People’s LyricaliTea Theater Workshop with Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser

Children’s author and playwright Dr Wendy Muhlhauser (aka Sissy Mary Sue) will host young people in grades K-5 who want to playfully explore kindness and empathy. Her circle will meet outdoors at Art in Motion on the Wobegon Trail in Holdingford after the weather warms up. Watch the Lyricality website for updates. 

LyricaliTea Writing Circle for Adults 55+ with Tracy Rittmueller

Poet/Writer and Lyricality Founder/Director Tracy Rittmueller will host adults 55+ who want to journey through the themes of her forthcoming memoir, Duties of the Spirit, exploring the emotional sequence of joy, serenity, grief, serenity, joy. By placing grief in the center of a longer journey, by bookending grief with joy and serenity, grief becomes less overwhelming, more livable. This circle will meet at Whitney Senior Center 1st Mondays beginning February 7 at 2:30 pm. Whitney Senior Center will provide a Zoom link for those who do not wish to attend in person.

Inclusive, Multi-Ethnic LyricaliTea Trust Circle for Teens with Chenel Sanders

Poet Chenel Sanders will host an inclusive, multi-ethnic group of 13-17 year olds who want to gain trust in themselves and each other through the experience of sharing their words. Her circle will meet at 402 8th Ave. S, St. Cloud (Higher Ground Church) on last Thursdays beginning February 22 at 6 pm. 

LyricaliTea Circle for Women of Color with Hedy Tripp

Poet/memoirist and elder Asian American woman leaderHedy Tripp will host an after dinner LyricaliTea writing workshop for all manner of women of color poets, writers, artists, scripters and memoirists via Zoom, first Tuesdays beginning February 1 at 7pm.

1st Generation Immigrants LyricaliTea Communal Poetry Circle with Kelly Travis

Poet and ESL instructor Kelly Travis will host 1st generation adult immigrants who want to create collaborative communal poems. Her circle will meet at 1546 6 Ave S, Apt 63, St. Cloud (LaCruz Community Center) 1st Mondays beginning February 7 at 2:30 pm.

Excitement about LyricaliTea Circles

Recently when Ms. Travis was hanging bi-lingual posters to publicize her circle at a Somali owned market in South St. Cloud, four elder men who were playing cards there told her, “We love what you’re doing!” Each asked her for a poster to share with their friends and family.

Two of the circle keepers, Hedy Tripp, Anisa Hagi-Mohamed, and Chenel Sanders have reported that their circles have reached their capacity and are closed to new participants until further notice. Lyricality hopes to expand it’s circle offerings as our capacity to train and support circle keepers grows.

Learn more about Lyricality’s work to foster the art of empathy through poetry and story at lyricality.org/ To inquire about a specific circle, email circles@lyricality.org with the circle keeper’s name in the subject line. LyricaliTea Circles are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.