is a poet whose work frequently appears in The New Yorker and The Sun. Among her many books are Like a Beggar (poetry) and the best-selling The Courage to Heal. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she teaches in Pacific University’s MFA program.
“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.
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. —Martha Graham