JUDI K. BEACH

Posted Sept. 25, 2008, at 11:15 p.m.

SEDGWICK – Judi K. Beach, 60, died peacefully the morning of April 21, 2008, at home. She was born Nov. 26, 1947, in Cincinnati, the daughter of Betty Cioffa and John Kiefer. Judi was a teacher, writer and poet. She loved everything about writing, from the creative process of shaping words into poems to the companionship of working with other writers. She derived joy from every aspect of her craft: the smell and texture of paper, the opening of an empty notebook with pages begging to be filled, the feel of a new pen’s grip, the color of ink. Judi took early retirement from her position as a writing center instructor at a New Jersey community college and, with her beloved, late husband, Stewart, moved to Maine and renovated an old cape house in Sedgwick. They filled their new home with love, lan and whimsy. Judi soon devoted herself fully to the writing life and became involved with or helped start several area writing groups and hosted the weekly “Poetry Pantry” segment on WERU FM radio. In recent years, her poems were included in numerous journals and she published a children’s book, Names for Snow and two collections of poems, entitled Wild and, last year, How Far Light Must Travel, which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Judi was inspired by the muse and also served as muse for so many others. Throughout her career, Judi worked with and taught hundreds and hundreds of writers through classes and workshops, especially through her participation as a workshop director with the International Women’s Writing Guild. For 20 years, her sessions at the IWWG Summer Writing Conference at Skidmore College were filled to capacity with writers attracted by her enthusiastic and inspiring love of writing. Judi had a wonderful ability to evoke in others a confidence in their own creative abilities. She also had an incredible ability to playfully and skillfully invent creative prompts, including her “Little Box of Possibilities; prompts for writing practice” and “The Write Desk, images for writing practice.” Judi is survived by her son, Jason Herber and wife, Gajtana, of Long Island City, N.Y.; her mother, Betty Cioffa of Columbus, Ohio; her sister, Barbara Jones of Kirkland, Wash.; and her nephew, Marc Jones of San Diego. In lieu of flowers, donations in Judi’s name may be made for scholarships to programs of the International Women’s Writing Guild, P.O. Box 810, Gracie Station, New York, NY 10028.

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