Fail Up—

What often keeps our competent poems from becoming captivating ones is a fear of failure, an instinctual aversion to risk. In this class, we’ll work at unlearning this impulse, priming ourselves to jump headlong into what we’ve previously side-stepped. We’ll look at poems that risk embarrassment, shame, and censure and create our own pieces that just may not work, all as a way to open ourselves up to the possibilities that failure can reveal. We will fall on our faces, and it will be glorious.

Biography

Erin Adair-Hodges is the author of Let’s All Die Happy, winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and published in 2017 as part of the Pitt Poetry Series. A Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholar in Poetry, Sewanee-Claudia Emerson scholar, and winner of the 2014 Loraine Williams Prize from The Georgia Review, her work can be seen in journals such Kenyon Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner and more. An educator at all levels for nearly twenty years, she is currently a visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Central Missouri and is the poetry editor at Pleiades

Erin Adair-Hodges's picture
June 3 to June 28, 2019

Fail Up—

Erin Adair-Hodges

Fail Up—

What often keeps our competent poems from becoming captivating ones is a fear of failure, an instinctual aversion to risk. In this class, we’ll work at unlearning this impulse, priming ourselves to jump headlong into what we’ve previously side-stepped. We’ll look at poems that risk embarrassment, shame, and censure and create our own pieces that just may not work, all as a way to open ourselves up to the possibilities that failure can reveal. We will fall on our faces, and it will be glorious.

Biography

Erin Adair-Hodges is the author of Let’s All Die Happy, winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and published in 2017 as part of the Pitt Poetry Series. A Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholar in Poetry, Sewanee-Claudia Emerson scholar, and winner of the 2014 Loraine Williams Prize from The Georgia Review, her work can be seen in journals such Kenyon Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner and more. An educator at all levels for nearly twenty years, she is currently a visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Central Missouri and is the poetry editor at Pleiades

Erin Adair-Hodges's picture
April 1 to April 26, 2019

Fail Up—

Erin Adair-Hodges

Starting the Novel

Starting with "Chapter One" often leads to freezing up in panic long before reaching "Chapter Two." In this workshop, we'll will focus on crafting scenes of your story, regardless of where they may fall in the finished novel. We'll talk about strategies for creating and sustaining tension both in scenes and across the novel, through using timelines, ticking clocks, and chapter endings. We'll begin by critiquing students' overall plans for their novels, and then move into critiquing individual scenes from the novel. We’ll refer to E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel.

Biography

 

Sarah Van Arsdale’s fifth book, The Catamount, a narrative poem with her watercolor illustrations, was published by Nomadic Press in 2017. She is the author of four books of fiction: In Case of Emergency, Break Glass (Queens Ferry Press, 2016),  Grand Isle, (SUNY Press 2012),  Blue, winner of the 2002 Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel,  (University of Tennessee Press), and  Toward Amnesia, (1996,  Riverhead Books). She serves on the board of the Ferro-Grumley Award in LGBTQ Fiction, and curates BLOOM: The Reading Series at Hudson View Gardens. Her poetry and essays have been widely published in literary magazines; she has an essay on setting and atmosphere in fiction in a forthcoming issue of the AWP Writer’s Chronicle, and a memoir piece in a forthcoming issue of Bayou Magazine. She teaches creative writing in the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University, at New York University, and privately; in January, 2019, she’ll be co-leading a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

 

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January 7 to February 1, 2019

Starting the Novel

Sarah Van Arsdale

The Fiction of Truth/The Truth of Fiction

Where is the line between memoir and fiction? How much can you fabricate in memoir, and how much can you steal from your own life in fiction? In this workshop, students will submit their work---whether it's fiction, memoir, or a hybrid---for critique, while participating in a discussion about the question of veracity and imagination, using texts that play with the line of fiction and memoir. We will look at each submission with an eye to the points of craft, and to what works in the piece, and what doesn't, regardless of where it falls on the spectrum of fiction and memoir.

Biography

 

Sarah Van Arsdale’s fifth book, The Catamount, a narrative poem with her watercolor illustrations, was published by Nomadic Press in 2017. She is the author of four books of fiction: In Case of Emergency, Break Glass (Queens Ferry Press, 2016),  Grand Isle, (SUNY Press 2012),  Blue, winner of the 2002 Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel,  (University of Tennessee Press), and  Toward Amnesia, (1996,  Riverhead Books). She serves on the board of the Ferro-Grumley Award in LGBTQ Fiction, and curates BLOOM: The Reading Series at Hudson View Gardens. Her poetry and essays have been widely published in literary magazines; she has an essay on setting and atmosphere in fiction in a forthcoming issue of the AWP Writer’s Chronicle, and a memoir piece in a forthcoming issue of Bayou Magazine. She teaches creative writing in the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University, at New York University, and privately; in January, 2019, she’ll be co-leading a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

 

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November 5 to November 30, 2018

The Fiction of Truth/The Truth of Fiction

Sarah Van Arsdale

The Quest of Poetry: An 8-Week Master Class on Reading, Writing, and Revising Poems

In this 8-week master class in poetry, we will focus on ways in which the work of both canonical and contemporary poets can feed our creativity and help us hone revision strategies. By approaching William Shakespeare, Amy Lowell, Tim Seibles, A. E. Stallings, and others as colleagues, we not only learn from their discoveries but also become more confident of our own place in the long continuum of poetry.

Biography

Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She is author or editor of eight books of prose and poetry and has received grants and fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Writer's Center, and the Maine Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Sewanee Review, the Threepenny Review, and many other journals. In addition to writing, editing, and teaching, Dawn sings and plays fiddle with the band Doughty Hill. She lives in Portland, Maine, with photographer Thomas Birtwistle.

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March 25 to May 17, 2019

The Quest of Poetry: An 8-Week Master Class on Reading, Writing, and Revising Poems

Dawn Potter

Interesting Minds: An 8-Week Revision Workshop for Essayists

The essayist Philip Lopate has said, “The reason I read nonfiction is to follow an interesting mind.” In this 8-week revision workshop, we will tighten our nonfiction drafts by concentrating on the twists and turns of our own interesting minds. We will focus on learning from each other’s observations, questions, and suggestions about details, organization, structure, sentence flow, and other elements of prose.

Biography

Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She is author or editor of eight books of prose and poetry and has received grants and fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Writer's Center, and the Maine Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Sewanee Review, the Threepenny Review, and many other journals. In addition to writing, editing, and teaching, Dawn sings and plays fiddle with the band Doughty Hill. She lives in Portland, Maine, with photographer Thomas Birtwistle.

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January 7 to March 1, 2019

Interesting Minds: An 8-Week Revision Workshop for Essayists

Dawn Potter

The Bright Light of Possibility:  Four Essays

Biography

MICHAEL KLEIN’s fourth book of poems and some prose is When I Was a Twin (Sibling Rivalry Press).  His second and third book of poems--then, we were still living (GenPop Books) and The Talking Day--were both Lambda Literary Award finalists.  His first book, 1990, tied with James Schuyler to win the award in 1993. A collection of short, lyric essays, States of Independence won the 2011 BLOOM Chapbook contest in non-fiction judged by Rigoberto Gonzalez. He has also written two memoirs: Track Conditions, based on his experience as groom to Kentucky Derby winner; Swale; and The End of Being Known, a book of linked essays on the subjects of sex and friendship--both published by the University of Wisconsin Press.  His poems, essays and interviews with American poets have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, BLOOM, Fence, Tin House, Ploughshares, Provincetown Arts, Poets & Writers, and many other publications.  He has taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Binghamton University, Manhattanville and for the last 15 years has been part of the writing faculty at Goddard College, in Vermont.  For many years he was on the faculty of the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was a fellow in 1990.

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January 28 to February 22, 2019

The Bright Light of Possibility:  Four Essays

Michael Klein

The Intention of the Risk:  An Autobiographical Essay Workshop

Biography

MICHAEL KLEIN’s fourth book of poems and some prose is When I Was a Twin (Sibling Rivalry Press).  His second and third book of poems--then, we were still living (GenPop Books) and The Talking Day--were both Lambda Literary Award finalists.  His first book, 1990, tied with James Schuyler to win the award in 1993. A collection of short, lyric essays, States of Independence won the 2011 BLOOM Chapbook contest in non-fiction judged by Rigoberto Gonzalez. He has also written two memoirs: Track Conditions, based on his experience as groom to Kentucky Derby winner; Swale; and The End of Being Known, a book of linked essays on the subjects of sex and friendship--both published by the University of Wisconsin Press.  His poems, essays and interviews with American poets have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, BLOOM, Fence, Tin House, Ploughshares, Provincetown Arts, Poets & Writers, and many other publications.  He has taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Binghamton University, Manhattanville and for the last 15 years has been part of the writing faculty at Goddard College, in Vermont.  For many years he was on the faculty of the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was a fellow in 1990.

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November 19 to December 14, 2018

The Intention of the Risk:  An Autobiographical Essay Workshop

Michael Klein

Cut to the Quick: Flash Nonfiction

 

Biography

D. Gilson is the author of I Will Say This Exactly One Time: Essays (Sibling Rivalry, 2015); Crush with Will Stockton (Punctum Books, 2014); Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013); and Catch & Release (2012), winner of the Robin Becker Prize. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas Tech University, and his work has appeared in POETRY, Threepenny Review, The Rumpus, and twice as a notable essay in Best American Essays.

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November 12 to December 7, 2018

Cut to the Quick: Flash Nonfiction

D. Gilson

Haunting and the Haunted: Finding and the Honing the Poetry of Place

How do we use image, language, form, and sound to set down our towns, our neighborhoods, and the cities we live in such a way that words capture the truth of a place? How do we resist sentimentality while perhaps welcoming a place’s own particular mythology? Tyler Malone has written, “The city resists being seen as pure architecture or pure activity. We mistake the city if we take it for mere setting or plot.

Biography

Matt W. Miller is the author of the collections The Wounded for the Water (Salomon Poetry), Club Icarus, selected by Major Jackson as the winner of the 2012 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize and Cameo Diner: Poems. He has published poems and essays in Harvard Review, 32 Poems, Narrative Magazine, Notre Dame Review, Adroit Journal, Southwest Review, and crazyhorse, among other journals. Winner of the River Styx Microbrew/Microfiction Prize and Iron Horse Review's Trifecta Poetry Prize, he is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Poetry at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. He teaches English at Phillips Exeter Academy and lives with his family in coastal New Hampshire.

 

 

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November 5 to November 30, 2018

Haunting and the Haunted: Finding and the Honing the Poetry of Place

Matt Miller

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