“This week will be an opportunity to engage our greatest resources: attention, courage, precision, imagination,” says Ellen Bass. “We’ll strive for language that is accurate, fresh, and alive and we’ll learn strategies to help us write poems whose form, music, rhythm, diction, and meaning work together to bring new poems into being. We'll read model poems by contemporary poets and discuss specific aspects of the craft. We'll help each other to become clearer, go deeper, take new risks. With the safety, support, and inspiration of this gathering, you may surprise yourself in creating poems that are more vivid, more true, more complex and powerful than you’ve ever written before. Both experienced and beginning poets are welcome, as well as prose writers who want to enrich their language.”
In the words of Martha Graham: “There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy . . . that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist… It is not your business to determine how good it is. . . . It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
Recommended reading: Addonizio and Laux, The Poet’s Companion; Bass, Like a Beggar; ed. Dawes, When the Rewards Can Be So Great.