Mirror and Lamp: A Poetry Workshop
In this workshop, we’ll collectively look at your drafts from the perspective of both readers and writers, reflecting back what’s working for us and what’s problematic. We’ll also turn our spotlight on the possibilities inherent in the work, looking for where and how you can dig deeper. Not a generative workshop (though we will generate lots of ideas for revision and development); come prepared with drafts of three-four poems you want intense feedback on. We’ll discuss things like focus, imagery, clarity, vulnerability, wildness, revision, and whatever other craft and process concerns are raised by your individual work.
Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry: The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. Her poetry collection Tell Me was a finalist for the National Book Award. She also has two word/music CDS: Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing (with Susan Browne) and My Black Angel, the companion to My Black Angel: Blues Poems and Portraits, a collaboration with woodcut artist Charles D. Jones. Her poetry has been translated into several languages including Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and Hungarian. Collections have been published in China, Spain, Mexico, Lebanon, and the UK. Addonizio’s awards include two fellowships from the NEA, a Guggenheim, two Pushcart Prizes, and other honors. Her latest books are a poetry collection, Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton), and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin). A new book of poems, Now We’re Getting Somewhere, was published by W.W. Norton (March 2021).
Conjunctions of Past and Present
Poetry is the last freedom. You can start anywhere and go anywhere in your imagination which is vested to a large degree in your memory, your past and also your present. How you engage these very elements is also the job of the imagination. Our main question will be: how do we get to immediacy in the poem using the past and present. For example, the present often carries the strongest imprint on the reader; therefore a past telling can sometimes live with more vitality in the present by using present tense verbs. Our class will explore, through writing prompts from a variety of contemporary and past writers, how negotiations of past and present can best enter the consciousness of your reader with impact. Then during the remainder of the classes we will work at revising our generated poems to sharpen and shape them to full dimensionality.
Tess Gallagher’s eleventh volume of poetry, Is, Is Not, was published May 2019 by Graywolf Press. Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems, also from Graywolf, is the most comprehensive offering of her poems to date. Other poetry includes Dear Ghosts, Moon Crossing Bridge, and Amplitude. Gallagher’s The Man from Kinvara: Selected Stories was published fall 2009. Barnacle Soup—Stories from the West of Ireland, a collaboration with the late Sligo storyteller Josie Gray, is available in the US from Carnegie Mellon. Her book of essays: A Concert of Tenses, has long been used to teach what is important to the writing of poetry and available from The University of Michigan Press.Her stories were recently sold for work into episodes for film. During her friendship with director Alejandro Inarritu, Gallagher encouraged his work with Raymond Carver’s poem and story in the Oscar winning film Birdman. She spends time in a cottage on Lough Arrow in Co. Sligo in the West of Ireland where many of her new poems are set, and also lives and writes in her hometown of Port Angeles, Washington.
Turning your Blues into a Muse: How to create art when your world is burning
This workshop is interested in considering how we might use writing as a catharsis for the often-traumatic world around us. Recently, we’ve been called on to endure political, social, and viral pandemic traumas, live an ever-shifting reality, and then imagine how to create art through it all. In exploring the work of both canonical and contemporary Blues poets, we’ll contemplate the ways in which our creative work can thrive when we find ourselves at these various crossroads. More than reaffirming “tortured artist” troupes, we’ll meditate on how writing can be an act of healing, and subsequently an act of love.
Derrick Harriell is the Ottilie Schillig Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. His previous collections of poems include Stripper in Wonderland, Cotton, and Ropes, winner of the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Book Award.
From Confirmations to Affirmations: Writing From The Body With The Haibun
In this workshop we will unabashedly confront and discuss negative self-talk along with pop culture’sincessant negative chatter and impact on our minds and bodies. We will study the format of the Haibun and use it as a conduit to create three Body Haibunpoems to counteract, confront or decolonize the negative messages we’ve received over time. We will be in conversation with Audre Lorde’s “The Cancer Journals” as our daily generative writing prompt. Collectively we will create a powerful manifesto for our present and future bodies of 2023 and beyond.
*Each class participant will receive a small self-care kit prior to the first day of class.
*Digital text or handouts will be provided to workshop participants but having a copy of “The Cancer Journals” before class begins is preferred.
Anastacia Reneé is an award-winning cross-genre writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, TEDX speaker and podcaster. Renee is the author of (v.), (Black Ocean Press), Forget It (Black Radish Press) and Answer(Me), (Winged City Chapbook Press). She has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Mineral School, Hypatia in the Woods and The New Orleans Writers Residency. Anastacia-Renee’s work has been anthologized in, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, Spirited Stone, Lessons from Kubotas Garden, Seismic, Seattle City of Literature, and her poetry, fiction and non-fiction has been in Foglifter, Cascadia Magazine, Pinwheel, The Fight and the Fiddle, Glow, The A-Line, Ms. Magazine, Spark, Obsidian Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, Crab Creek Review, Alta, Catapult and many more.
What to expect:
To learn more about the Port Townsend Writers Conference experience, please click this link to view the PTWC 2023 Catalog.