2023 — A Look Back

As the editors of OLLI Connects, we love to take one week each year to simply reflect on the stories and articles that you, our members, have shared over the previous twelve months. This year is no exception. Moreover, 2023 distinguished itself from others due to the sheer diversity of material we were able to publish.

In January, we featured a piece on the new AI Technology, Chat GPT. Now twelve months later it is only one of an extraordinary variety of advanced programs on everything from text editing and composition to audio and video generation tools, photo restoration and regeneration programs, image creation and on and on. Your Alexa and Siri must now share the playing field with a host of other virtual assistants!

Images from stories featuring artificial intelligence software assist.

In the early spring we followed that story with an interesting challenge: create a story thread using prompts written by our subscribers in the comments section after a blog post. Out of those scenes and sentences we were able to create a little mystery piece. And for added measure we tasked an artificial intelligence editor to do the same. The combination yielded a unique edition entitled Literary Challenge—The Story Unfolds. Clearly the explosion of platforms and programs that appeared in 2023 is only the beginning of a technological advancement that is as exciting as it is concerning. More on that as 2024 unfolds…..

The past year restored our confidence in public gatherings and in-person classes. For our April poetry editions, we created videos of live poetry readings rather than the zoom appearances we relied on during the pandemic. Our cadre of skilled poets delivered personal performances that brought their poems to life. Click below for that issue.

National Poetry Month 2023

Then we challenged you to write memoirs and, boy, did you exceed our expectations. We found ourselves musing on cultural backgrounds, journeys, family connections, childhood escapades, ballroom dancing, etc… For a look back at some of those stories click on the following link that opens a two-page chronological listing of memoirs we ran in the summer and fall. From there you can choose to access any story you may want to re-read or read for the first time!

Memoirs2023

Some personal photos included in memoirs this past year

This was another year marked by a torrent of unsettling events, and you were not shy about sharing commentary about the issues that weigh on us all, including the war in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, our border and citizenship issues, the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, and more…. This is an area we would love to expand on in the coming year; more on that in a future issue.

And finally, fiction….

Many thanks to all the writers who created stimulating stories out of whole cloth, relying on the germ of an idea which led them to paint multicolor universes with their words. Click on the following link for fiction stories published throughout the year. Enjoy!

Fiction—2023

Images from fiction stories

It was impossible to reference every story we received and published this year, but each memoir, poem, photo, story or commentary was eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by our many subscribers. And we want more OLLI members to subscribe. Please share this blog with as many of your friends as you can and ask them to use the subscription box below to join the fun….as readers….and writers.

Happy New Year…..see you in 2024!



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5 Replies to “2023 — A Look Back”

  1. Thank you to the OLLI Connects volunteers and contributors! What a diverse, inspiring and thoughtful collection of stories for 2023. I look forward to reading many more.

  2. Olli Connects is such a positive force and in so many ways–a grateful thanks to the editors for making it happen (EVERY WEEK, no less). Happy New Year!

  3. I echo Diane’s graceful words! And a special note of appreciation and gratitude to the OLLI Connects editors, Theresa and Al, for your editorial gifts, your labors of love, the many hours you devote to making this blog a thing of wonder, in its variety, its clarion call to our better selves. Thanks as ever for enhancing the written word with illustrations that not only center the tales but also add beauty, dimension, transformation, imagination and inspiration.

  4. IT IS RATHER DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS WHEN YOU GET UP FOR THE DAY LATER THAN MARILYN–I WOULD JUST LIKE TO DITTO HER FEELINGS AND LET THERESA AND AL KNOW THAT I TOO APPRECIATE THE MANNER IN WHICH YOUR STILL PICTURES ENHANCE AND MAKE THE STORY RACE TO THE FINISH LINE—THANK YOU ALL—BRUCE

  5. Thank you, Al and Theresa, for your diligence, encouragement, and artistic input into our stories at OLLI. You make a world of difference!

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