Photo credit: Jason Squire





APRIL 26-30




Tuition: $500

Room and Board: $500

Running from APRIL 26-30, 2023 INESCAPABLE GEOGRAPHIES is an immersive, on-sight intensive for all writers who look to dig deeper into lyrical forms. Located at Fort Worden State Park, participants will work with each poet throughout the week and will also have dedicated time to write. Descriptions and faculty bios below.

We offer a range of Fellowships and Scholarships to participants of all ages, ethnicities, gender identities and orientations. Our Diversity Scholarships aim to alleviate the financial need of groups who have been historically underrepresented at Centrum writing workshops.

Staying at Fort Worden: For those attending the spring poetry workshop, on-site meals and accommodations are recommended. Vaccinations are recommended. Room and board is $500.

Inescapable Geographies: 

                                             poetry of place

                                                                                                with Claudia Castro Luna
Social Media places the world at our fingertips. In seconds scrolling through an instagram feed we can be on the streets of Jakarta or on an early morning walk on Orcas Island. You’d think that this accessibility might put placedness in the rear seat of writer’s concerns. But quite the opposite is true. Writing landscape today means engaging with environmental degradation and conservation and with the complicated intersections of our lives: race, class, gender, access. Like air, geography is inescapable. Our lives are rooted to placewe exist in relationship to other humans and to the natural world. In these workshops we will engage with these themes and together write and consider the poem’s geography as well as our own.


Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2021) and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2018). Castro Luna is the author ofCipota Under the Moon(Tia Chucha Press, 2022);One River, A Thousand Voices (Chin Music Press); the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry, and the chapbook This City(Floating Bridge Press). Her most recent non-fiction is inThere’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis (Vintage). Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle on unceded Duwamish lands where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.


                                             prosody of place

                                                                                                with CMarie Fuhrman
My morning window offers songs for which we crave words. Robin, meadowlark, soughing trees and osprey and once the grunt of a bear cub. Beautiful songs arise when the wind moves through the tops of conifers, through the throat of coyote, through the sigh of another when they to a field of spring. Language offers us words which seek song– and when the two meet, we have poetry. Through the poems of W.S. Merwin,Joy Harjo, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Derek Sheffield, Claudia Castro Luna, Jane Hirschfield, and others we will listen to howsound life poems from the branch of the page with rhyme, gurgle with onomatopoeia, chatter in meter, and move us the way wind move the tops of trees. We will tune our inner ear to the way the poem not only speaks of nature, but with the music of nature, echoing the place and the beings that share the land where we live. Carefully curated prompts will invite our poetic voice to play with prosody in the lines of our poems and create songs of our own to release through windows to our readers.


CMarie Fuhrman is the author of Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate 2020) and co-editor of Native Voices: Indigenous Poetry, Craft, and Conversations (Tupelo 2019). She has forthcoming or published poetry and nonfiction in multiple journals including Emergence Magazine, Platform Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Cutthroat a Journal of the Arts, Whitefish Review, Poetry Northwest, as well as several anthologies.  CMarie is a regular columnist for the Inlander, translations editor for Broadsided Press, non-fiction editor for High Desert Journal and Upstreet, and Director of the Elk River Writers Workshop. CMarie is the Director of Poetry Western Colorado University, where she also teaches Nature Writing. She is the 2021-2023 Idaho Writer in Residence and she resides in the mountains of West Central Idaho with her partner Caleb and their dogs Carhartt and Cisco.

                                             outer and inner


                                             of place

                                                                                                with Holly J Hughes

For centuries, poets have turned to the natural world for inspiration, whether writing poems about nature or finding metaphors for the complex workings of our inner lives. What does this mean in 2022, when the natural world is not the idyllic, pastoral landscape of centuries past, but a world on fire?  As poets and citizens of the earth, how do we turn to nature now—and how do we give back?  In this workshop, we’ll explore the dynamic between outer and inner geographies of place, examining how a variety of contemporary poets continue to draw on imagery from the natural world to give voice to both their inner landscapes and a changing earth. We’ll consider how we might envision a reciprocal relationship so that the outer geography isn’t just a projection of our human desires, but instead, is made up of sentient beings in a complex web we’re only beginning to understand. Weather allowing, we’ll walk mindfully through the outer landscape, paying attention to how our inner one resonates by responding to a variety of writing invitations. Together, we’ll move fluidly between these two geographies, writing poems that are rich in the details of attentive observation, while honoring our inner voice. In doing so, we’ll explore on how we might move toward reciprocity, and give back the gifts we receive from the natural world.


Holly J. Hughes is the author of Hold Fast, Sailing by Ravens, coauthor of The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, and editor of the award-winning anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease. Her fine art chapbook Passings received an American Book Award in 2017. Most recently, she guest edited The Madrona Project: Keep a Green Bough: Voices from the Heart of Cascadia. She’s a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University’s MFA program, where she served on the staff for 13 years in addition to teaching writing at the college level for several decades. She now leads writing and mindfulness workshops, consults as a writing coach/editor and directs Flying Squirrel Studio, which offers writing residencies for women. She divides her time between her home in the Chimacum valley and a log cabin in Indianola and acknowledges the S’klallam, Chemakum and Suquamish nations for their ongoing stewardship of these lands and waters.



The Port Townsend Writers Conference is located at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, WA. The land on which Fort Worden sits and the waters that it borders are the traditional territory of the S’Klallam and Chemakum people. Centrum and the Port Townsend Writers Conference strives to honor the Salish Coast People’s thriving culture and their efforts to sustain their homelands.