La Befana's Table
La Befana's Table
Ep15: Writing as a Wholly Embodied Act as a Wholly Embodied Being with Jen Violi

Ep15: Writing as a Wholly Embodied Act as a Wholly Embodied Being with Jen Violi

Welcome back to La Befana’s Table. 

Today, I have my very good friend here, Jen Violi. 

Jen Violi is a writer, mentor, and facilitator of Elemental Writing courses. Elemental Writing means remembering writing as a wholly embodied act of a wholly embodied being, and that we humans belong to and are in a relationship with the animate world. 

Jen’s spiral of identities includes but is not limited to: Original Detective of Joy, story sanctuary keeper, word witch, and mystic. Also: Scorpio sun, Aries rising, and Leo moon, a.k.a. two fires and a big dark water. 

Jen is the author of the novel Putting Makeup on Dead People, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, as well as numerous published essays, short stories, prose-poems, and other form-defying feats of word magic.   

In today’s episode, we dive deep into meeting the people of your soul tribe. We also talk about elemental writing, what is it, and how Jenn come up with it. 

More of what we talked about: 

  • 2:13 What is elemental writing

  • 5:45 Jen’s own adventure of Elemental writing

  • 10:17 Jen’s invitation to someone who says “I’m not a writer”

  • 15:09 Jen’s inspiration for her book Putting makeup on dead people

  • 17:57 What is initiation? What does it mean?

  • 29:18 The fire course

  • 32:16 Living in epiphany 

Join Jen’s Elemental Writing: Fire!  Tuesdays March 21- April 25, 11-1:30 PDT. Register by March 18.

Elemental Writing is a series of courses that will enliven your writing—both the words and the act—through embracing writing as the wholly embodied act of a wholly embodied being (you!). We engage in simple rituals, remember our belonging to the natural world, seek the wisdom of elements, and write in community, fueled by an ever-deepening sense of connection to everything. 

In this iteration, we ask fire to be our guide for a six-week simmer, sauna, and thaw of the writer body. 

Join us to explore friction in fiction (& non), writing as devotion, soothing the swollen manuscript and burnt-out writer, the anatomy of a creative chimney, tending the writer's heart, and more. Guest teachers include: sacred flames, volcanos, wildfires, bodily inflammation, hot springs, and hearths. 

Each week, you’ll receive a pdf with prompts, practices, and tools you can use for all phases of writing. You’ll also have the opportunity to receive generative editorial feedback on one 2,500 word piece of writing and a chance to share it at an end-of-year public reading and celebration in November 2023. Ready for a wild, wonderful, and warming adventure?

Learn more at

Connect with Jen:


Instagram- jenvioli

Join her initiation at

Other links and resources mentioned:

  • The Spell of the Sensuous By David Abram

  • Wheel of Initiation: Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light By Julie Tallard Johnson


Thanks so much for pulling up a seat at La Befana’s Table! 

If you want episodes sent directly to your inbox and want access to our monthly community and connection hours. Be sure to subscribe to my substack

If you found value and love listening to my podcast, please leave an honest review, this helps people find my podcast. 

Rate us on Apple podcast.

Rate us on Spotify:

La Befana's Table
La Befana's Table
Hosted by Dina Gregory, La Befana’s Table is a place both ancient & new where folks from all walks of life are invited to feast on conversations that nourish the Soul. Guests include artists, poets, trauma informed leaders, community weavers, and everyday people who are utilizing their gifts to make the world a more beautiful place.