Triumph over Trauma

If life knocked you to your knees, what would you be willing to do to get up?

To live through a traumatic experience, illness, accident, or other life-changing events takes courage, stamina, and commitment. This panel introduces the audience to people who will share their stories of survival and what it takes to face adversity with bravery and bravado.

Moderated by writer, performance artist, and traumatic brain injury survivor RUBY LYNN WILLIS, this panel includes presentations from each of the invited writers:  JOULES EVANS (Shaken not Stirred…A Chemo Cocktail), SHERRY AMATENSTEIN (The Complete Marriage Counselor), and TERRI MUUSS (Over Exposed).







 Sunday, Sept. 17 10 AM-12 PM

At the TriVersity Center (UDGLBT Center)

This event is free

Ruby Lynn Willis, writer, storyteller, and performance artist

Ruby Lynn Willis, writer, storyteller, and performance artist

Ruby Lynn Willis is a writer, storyteller, and performance artist who has a unique storytelling style she’s developed since her earliest days of performing in clubs and venues found in NYC’s Greenwich Village as well as with the Port Jervis Poet Society in the 1980’s.

Ruby continues to bring her interactive synergy through the shows she directs, produces, and performs and does so while learning to live as an artist with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) she sustained in 2007.

In a bold move forward creatively since 2013, Ruby has produced and starred in seven variety shows. Her personal performances in 2013 solidified for her the power in presenting true stories of her experience of “Re-GrowingUp” and all it’s meant to recover and rebuild a life for herself as a high functioning survivor with a TBI, a sense of humor, and a strong sense of purpose.  

Ruby’s current ventures include, TANDEMoments, an organization being built to connect TBI survivors with virtual volunteers. Through TANDEMoments those connections will provide social interaction, support, and encouragement to facilitate personal empowerment and independence. She also hosts a monthly open mic variety show in Port Jervis’ Empowering Center and the monthly Milford Readers and Writers storytelling event at the Triversity Center. 


Joules Evans, writer and activist

Joules Evans, writer and activist

Joules Evans is a writer, a runner girl, a cancer activist, a fierce cheerleader of her friends and their creative endeavors, a girl with a severe case of wanderlust and a big sense of wonder, an adventurer, a road-tripper, one who tilts at windmills, a travel writer, a photographer, a You Tube Vlogger, a seeker, a girl on a mission to leave a beauty mark that she was here.

 Besides being occasionally radioactive with a chance of superpowers…which she uses to fight cancer, and also to write…here’s a few random facts about : At press date aka August 20, 2016 Joules celebrated her #crazy8 cancerversary. She affectionately refers to this year as her #yearoftheoctopus. That’s right. Sorry if that’s a spoiler alert to her cancer memoir: SHAKEN NOT STIRRED…A CHEMO COCKTAIL. Our superHERO lives. And yes, she celebrates the day that she heard the C-word. And pretty much every other day. And anything and everything else she can get her hands on to spin and make a party out of. She loves her hubcap, her sweet Redheads, HER BRAND NEW GRANDSON TARAN THE #WONDERBABY, writing, red wine, black coffee, good books, running, yoga, cooking (especially sautéing garlic and onions), the smells of her hubcap’s pipe and freshly cut grass, star-gazing (clouds and sunsets too), peanut butter and chocolate, long walks, long talks, playing Scrabble, live theatre, art, music, cheerleading her friends’ art, and art in her community, popcorn and a movie, being barefoot in the sand and waves, traveling, road-tripping, mix-tapes, clowning around and making people smile, and following her Redheads chasing after their dreams…. She doesn’t like anything besmirching her peanut butter.

Terri Muuss

Terri Muuss

Terri Muuss, (BA in Theatre, Kean University & MSW, Hunter College), is a multi-career tour de force who balances a full-time social work gig with directing shows, writing books, speaking at conferences and colleges, running a private practice, performing her one-woman show, teaching writing workshops and curating a popular poetry series with her husband, author Matt Pasca. Her poetry has appeared in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Atticus Review, Paterson Literary Review, Stirring, University of Indiana Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Luna Luna Magazine and Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, and her first book, Over Exposed (2013), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2015, Terri began curating Second Saturdays @Cyrus and, in 2016, co-edited an anthology of New York women poets entitled Grabbing the Apple. After years spent working the stages of New York City, Vermont and Dublin, Terri has also performed her one-woman show, Anatomy of a Doll—named “Best Theatre: Critics’ Pick of the Week” by the New York Post—around the United States and Canada since 1998, and directed countless Off-Off-Broadway productions. As a motivational speaker, artist, and social worker, Muuss keynotes and runs workshops at conferences, colleges, and high schools across the nation. 

Sherry Amatenstein