April Poetry Symposium

Literary programming at Centrum in 2011 begins with the April Poetry Symposium, happening April 14-17Erin!

Led by Copper Canyon Press poet Erin Belieu, the Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, this intimate workshop is designed for poets wanting to take existing poems to the next level and create new work in an intense, nurturing weekend environment. This workshop is now full. To be placed on the waiting list, please call 360-385-3102, x131.

Erin’s Class Description

“Vision and Revision”
As most of the heavy lifting when making a poem happens in the revision process, we’ll spend our time in this workshop discussing strategies and techniques for taking drafts to the next level. Why do some poems refuse to stand up straight? How do I construct a narrative to support the story my poem tells? Is my poem telling the best part of the story? How and why does a lyric work? What other formal choices that might suit the voice and imagery with which I’m working? There are constructive strategies one can learn to help answer these questions, ones that will keep you writing well beyond our workshop. My goal is to give you new tools for your tool box that will help you solve these conundrums when you’re working on your own. This process may involve generating new poems during our time together at the conference as well as discussing the two poems you are encouraged to send in ahead.

Tuition for the Symposium is $395. Optional housing at Fort Worden is $195 for the three nights.


Thursday, April 14
Check-in from 3:30 pm until evening
5-7 pm: Welcome gathering, wine and hors d’oeuvres
7-9 pm: Evening workshop

Friday, April 15
9 am-12 pm: Morning workshop
1-5: Personal writing time
7:00 pm: Erin Belieu reading downtown at the Northwind Arts Center

Saturday, April 16 
9 am-12 pm: Morning workshop
1-5: Personal writing time
7-9: Informal participant reading

Sunday, April 17 

Erin Belieu bio:

Erin Belieu is the author of three collections of poetry. Her first book, Infanta (1995), was a winner of the Nationa Poetry Series, selected by Hayden Carruth. Infanta was also chosen as a best book of the year by The Washington Post and Library Journal

Her second collection, One Above & One Below, was the winner of the Midland Authors Prize in poetry and the Ohioana prize, and her most recent collection, Black Box, was a finalist in 2007 for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is presently Director of The Graduate Creative Writing Program at Florida State University.

Belieu is also the coeditor of The Extraordinary Tide, an anthology published by Columbia University Press that features the work of contemporary American women poets. She has worked extensively in literary publishing and was previously the managing and poetry editor for AGNI magazine, as well as the founding editor of Hotel Amerika

In addition to her writing, editing, and teacher, Erin Belieu is the co-founder and co-director of VIDA, a literary organization that seeks to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities.

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