August 31 – September 2, 2024
Annual Gathering of Poets

On Zoom – Not open for registration yet
Come back in July

Instructors will be Michelle Bitting, Danusha Lameris , Mary O’Donnell, Ed Pavlic, Claire Wahmanholm 

Just $100 for all 5 workshops

Seating is limited.
Fill out the form below to inquire if there is a spot open:

2024 Sessions:

 

Sunday September 1, 2-4pm ET: Danusha Lameris Getting to the Marrow

What’s happening inside your poem? Is there something you feel you can’t quite get to? Something just out of reach? How do you access that deeper subject matter? We’ll focus on getting to the grit in your writing. The thing that masks you gasp. Or take a deep breath. That changes you. The marrow in our bones produces approximately 500 billion blood cells per day that sustain our blood. When we write from the marrow, we bring nourishment to the page. We’ll explore new ways to expand our writing and surprise ourselves. This is a generative workshop open to all levels. Appropriate for prose too.

 
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Saturday August 31, 10-12am ET: Michelle Bitting Writing Without Boundaries and Constraints: Unexpected Sources for Opening Worlds on the Page

Form is a reliable and favorite friend of mine, for sure, but first comes fire and surprise. In this workshop we will throw the windows wide and consider multiple works potent for their generative inspiration, exploring text, visual, dramatic, and musical examples that strike a nerve, raise the stakes, and pry us open to the vital human, prompting flow, identification, and revelation in our own new writing. What artists and writers like Natalie Diaz, Shakespeare, Charles Simic, Francis Bacon, Beethoven, and Federico Garcia Lorca, among others, tap into through paradox, defamiliarization, and emotional contrast, where the nervous system is deliciously disrupted, logic abandoned, and imagination stoked so a new way of seeing and sensing enters. Robust samples, prompts, and scribbling time provided with optional participant sharing alongside a brief reading by instructor.

 

Saturday August 31, 2-4pm ET: Mary O’Donnell Poetry and Displacement

A sense of displacement occurs almost automatically in most of our lives, whether this is personal displacement, social displacement, or political displacement. The aim of this workshop is to consider how poetry allows writers to examine ideas on displacement in their work. To this end we will:
– Consider the value of the concrete image in poetry of displacement;
– Consider the power of tone;
– Examine the role of poetry today and what our ‘displacements’ offer the world.
Poetry  sent in advance will include work from several countries—Ireland, England, Palestine, Poland, the USA.

PS: I’ve been called ‘kickass’ by some, but I guarantee we’ll have serious fun.

 

Sunday September 1, 10-12am ET: Claire Wahmanholm NONCE/SENSE

This generative workshop will focus on inventing poetic forms—or stretching existing ones—that feel intuitive, necessary, and urgent rather than gimmicky or affected. We will read through packets of contemporary nonce forms, alongside interviews/essays/explanations by their authors, as we consider how to best marry form and content in our own work.

 

Monday September 2, 2-4pm ET: Ed Pavlic Struggle for New Consciousness

This workshop will focus on poetry and writing understood as tools for exploring changing (rather than “expressing”) our minds, our lives, and our worlds. We’ll read and discuss brief packets of writings by recent and contemporary writers grouped under four headings: Craft, Depth, Change, and Relation. After a consideration of various insights into craft based on a handful of very brief readings that examine methods and goals of writing as a practice, we’ll turn to the three packets of poems: the first packet explores ways to achieve the quality of “Depth” by using words, and building images, that resist stable categorical, at times logical, frames; the “Change” packet traces poems in which the goal is to dislodge and set in motion (rather than fix) or sense of perception; the “Relation” packet pursues the vitality of living social, at times intimate, experience as an alternative to the overriding association between lyrical language and solitude. I’ve assembled these packets with works I consider formative by Raymond Williams, Adrienne Rich, Yusef Komunyakaa and Michael Ondaatje accompanied by poems by contemporary writers such as Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Kiese Laymon, Shauna Barbosa, and Joy Priest. I’ve also included at least one of my poems in each packet so we’ll have instances of my approach to discuss.

 

Faculty Bios

Danusha Laméris is a poet and essayist raised in Northern California and born to a Dutch father and Barbadian mother. Her first book, The Moons of August (Autumn House, 2014), was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. She’s also the author of Bonfire Opera, (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), which was a finalist for the 2021 Paterson Poetry Prize, and winner of the 2021 Northern California Book Award. Some of her work has been published in The Best American Poetry, The Sun, The New York Times, The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, POETRY Magazine, Ploughshares, The American Scholar, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and Orion. Recipient of the 2020 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, she is on the faculty of Pacific University’s Low-Residency MFA Program. Her third book, Blade by Blade, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.

Michelle Bitting was short-listed for the 2023 CRAFT Character Sketch Challenge, the 2020 Montreal International Poetry Prize, the 2021 Fish Poetry Contest judged by Billy Collins, and a finalist for the 2021 Coniston Prize and 2020 Reed Magazine Edwin Markham Prize. She won Quarter After Eight’s 2018 Robert J. DeMott Short Prose Contest and was a finalist for the 2021 Ruminate Magazine, 2019 Sonora Review and New Millennium Flash Prose contests. She is the author of five poetry collections, Good Friday Kiss, winner of the inaugural De Novo First Book Award; Notes to the Beloved, which won the Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award; The Couple Who Fell to Earth; Broken Kingdom, winner of the 2018 Catamaran Poetry Prize; and Nightmares & Miracles (Two Sylvias Press, 2022), winner of the Wilder Prize and recently named one of Kirkus Reviews 2022 Best of Indie. Her chapbook Dummy Ventriloquist is forthcoming in 2024, and she is hard at work on a novel focused on the life of her great-grandmother, stage and screen character actress Beryl Mercer. Bitting is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literature at Loyola Marymount University.

Mary O’Donnell’s work has been published in Ireland, the UK, and internationally since 1990, including nine poetry collections, four novels and three short story collections. Her poetry collection Massacre of the Birds (Salmon) appeared in 2020 and has recently been translated and published in Brazil by Arte y Letras. In 2023 she received the Irish Book Award in the Poem of the Year category for her political poem ‘Vectors in Kabul’. Her selected short stories will be available in Argentina in 2024 in a new translation from Ediciones Godot. Her most recent publication is a limited edition chapbook of poems, ‘Outsiders, Always’ (2023) from Southword Editions, Cork. Her essay, ‘My Mother in Drumlin Country’, was listed among the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2017 in Best American Essays (Mariner). She has held residencies at the Irish College in Paris (2012), at the Irish College in Leuven (2022), in Varuna House (Australia), and in the VCCA (USA). Guest editor of Poetry Ireland Review until April 2024, she is also a member of Ireland’s affiliation of elected artists, Aosdána.

Claire Wahmanholm is the author of Wilder (Milkweed Editions 2018), Redmouth (Tinderbox Editions 2019), and, most recently, Meltwater (Milkweed Editions 2023), which was a finalist for the 2024 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the 2024 Minnesota Book Award. Her work has most recently appeared in, or is forthcoming from, High Country News, Blood Orange Review, The Anarchist Review of Books, and The Hopkins Review. A 2020-2021 McKnight Writing Fellow, and the winner of the 2022 Montreal International Poetry Prize, she lives in the Twin Cities.

Ed Pavlić is author of thirteen books written across and between genres the most recent of which are Call It In the Air (2022), Outward: Adrienne Rich’s Expanding Solitudes (2021), Let It Be Broke: Poems (2020), and Another Kind of Madness: A Novel (2019). He lives in Athens, GA where he works as Distinguished Research Professor of English, African American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.


Past Years

Thirteenth Annual Gathering of Poets – 2023

2023 Workshops:

Leila Chatti – Masterclass in Poetry
Francesca Bell – Singing in Another’s Voice: The Uses and Pleasures of Writing in Persona
Kevin Prufer – The Meaning of Music
Chloe Honum – All for “You”: Poetry of Direct Address
Natalie Eleanor Patterson &  Richard Krawiec – Is it prose or is it poetry?

Twelfth Annual Gathering of Poets – 2022

2022 Workshops:

Diane Seuss – Formal Improvisations
Tony Medina – The Person(a)l, The Political, & The Blues
Liz Quirke – The Queer Art of Poetry
Catherine Pierce – The Capacious Poem
Richard Krawiec – Hybrid Writing

Eleventh Annual Gathering of Poets – 2021

2021 Workshops:

Jaki Shelton Green – The Poet as Documentarian, Historian, and Agitator
Luisa A. Igloria – Nurture, Nourish, Sustain
Jill McDonough – Writing in Meter = Listening to Yourself
Rasaq Malik – Yoruba Song / Nigerian Poetry
Carolyn Forché – Talking Poetry

Tenth Annual Gathering of Poets – 2020

2020 Workshops:

Ilya Kaminsky – Conversations in the Air
Kamilah Aisha Moon – Objects as Portals into Memory
Traci Brimhall – Between Wilderness and Clarity: How to Tune Your Tension
Hélène Cardona – Unlocking the Mysterious Universe of Dreams
Brian Turner – Figure Studies
Jessica Traynor – Dramatising the Self


Ninth Annual Gathering of Poets – 2019

2019 Workshops:

Li-Young Lee – Poetry Masterclass
Marilyn Nelson – The Stone Soup Sonnet
Kaveh Akbar – Mining the Poetic Unconscious
Lynn Melnick – Writing Truth from Memory
Annemarie Ní Churreáin – Write What Burns You
Renee Emerson – Poetry of the Personal: Exploring the Confessional Poem


Eighth Annual Gathering of Poets – 2018

2018 Worskshops:

Lynn Emanuel – Obsessional Poetics: No One Writes Just One Poem
Patricia Spears Jones – Basic and Bold: The Uses of Contemporary Poetry
Sandra Beasley – What We Talk About When We Talk About Voice
Zeina Hashem Beck – The Ghazal and the Poetic Leap
Gary Fincke – Everything Matters: Deepening Experience in Narrative
Maggie Anderson – The Poet in the World: Writing Political Poetry


Seventh Annual Gathering of Poets – 2017

2017 Workshops:

Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar – As From a Quiver of Arrows
Lauren K. Alleyne – Self and World: Writing the Poems That Matter
Rickey Laurentiis – Reseeing (Re)vision
Stuart Dischell – Walking the Line
Anya Silver – From the Personal to the Poem
William Wright – Activating the Imagination: The Versatility of the Lyric Poem


Sixth Annual Gathering of Poets – 2016

2016 Workshops:

Kathryn Stripling Byer – The Legato Line: A Master Class on Sound
Lola Haskins – On Editing
William Wright – Reclaiming the Deep Image
Joe Mills – The Worst Things Ever: Metaphors, Similes, and Beautiful Dangerous Images
Howard Craft – The Poetic
Robin Greene – Frameworks: A Workshop on Contextualizing Poems