Lynne Schmidt received her MSW from UNE’s School of Social Work in 2020. Her first placement was at the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services (SAPARS) where she helped initiate a Safe Bars/Hearts of Hospitality program for the Lewiston/Auburn area. During this placement, Lynne was certified as a Sexual Assault Support Group Facilitator and completed an Emotion Focused Therapy – 1 training from GETME. During this time, she was also one of the handful of Maine residents who flew to Washington DC with the ACLU to protest the Kavanagh hearing and attempt to speak with Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins about her own trauma experience.
Her second placement was with the Institute of Equine Assisted Practices (IEAP) in Grey, Maine where they offer equine assisted psychotherapy. In 2018, she received a UNE School of Social Work Student Organization grant to fund a trip to Mississippi where she attended the South Eastern Women’s Studies Association and presented on the intersections of religion, trauma, and abortion rights. In 2020 she received another grant to travel to the GSU New Voices Conference to present her poetry on the intersections of mental health, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Scores. Here she was able to read from her second chapbook, On Becoming a Role Model, which is available for pre-order and lands April 24 from Thirty West Publishing.
Alongside her social work achievements, Lynne Schmidt is also an accomplished writer and poet. She won the Maine Nonfiction Award from the Maine based contest, Joy of the Pen, and was a honorable mention for poetry. Her poem, Baxter, received Editor’s Choice Award from Frost Meadow Review, and she was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA Literary Contest Finalist for her memoir and poetry respectively. She has also been an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Prize (read the poem HERE) and the Doug Draime Poetry Prize (read the poem HERE). Her work was also nominated five times for the 2019 Best of the Net, and in March 2020, her creative nonfiction piece, A Tale of Two Abortions, a piece that explored her formerly anti-abortion stance until faced with her own unwanted pregnancy, which grew widespread attention thanks to Pantsuit Nation sharing. In April 2020, she signed with Emmy Higdon of The Rights Factory for her memoir, The Right to Live: A Memoir of Abortion, a memoir which builds on her previous piece.
How Social Work Informs Lynne’s Writing:
“I believe there is a connection to writing, activism, therapy, and healing. Much of my work delves into trauma, my personal diagnoses, loss, and/or activism. Some of my notable publications have been the RESIST/RECLAIM collection, and War Crimes Against the Uterus. In November 2019, I performed in NYC for the Creative Climate Change Awards with my poem, The Wood Chipper, which was written during my MSW Field placement.
My second chapbook, (COMING SOON! April 23, 2020!) On Becoming a Role Model, makes me more nervous than Gravity because it’s much more personal. It explores my family – my relationships with my abusive parents, the trauma with my siblings, the loss of my grandparents… It explores the long term hurts, and how my nieces and nephews helped me grow up and want to become someone they could look up to. There is also a part in the acknowledgements page that thanks all of my former therapists, as well as my mom for putting in the work to start healing our relationship.
I feel like with my future as a clinician, it’s important for me to recognize how difficult the work of healing actually is, and to offer hope through my poetry to anyone who needs it.”
CHECK OUT A SAMPLING OF SCHMIDT’s POETRY :
Follow Lynne on Instagram @lynne_e_schmidt
Follow Thirty West Publishing on Instagram @thirtywestph
Schmidt’s most recent writing accomplishment is On Becoming a Role Model, a book of poetry that is available for pre-order from Thirty West Publishing and through major US distributors.