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Posts tagged ‘Poet’

Writing and Knowing

Writing and Knowing

9th Annual Poetry Workshop
with Dorianne Laux, Joe Miller and Ellen Bass

August 4-9, 2013
Esalen, Big Sur
California

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There is a world inside each of us that we know better than anything else, and a world outside of us that calls for our attention. Our subject matter is always right with us. The trick is to find out what we know, challenge what we know, own what we know, and then give it away in language.

We will write poems, share our writing, and hear what our work touches in others. We’ll also read model poems by contemporary poets and discuss aspects of the craft. But mainly this will be a writing retreat—time to explore and create in a supportive community. Though the focus is on poetry, prose writers who want to enrich their language will find it a fertile environment.

“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy . . . that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist… It is not your business to determine how good it is. . . . It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”—Martha Graham

The focus of this workshop is on generating new poems. Dorianne, Joe, and Ellen will each give a talk on craft to help us extend our skills and inspire our writing. Although the emphasis is on poetry, this workshop is open to prose writers too. Rich, textured, evocative language is the province of all writers, so this workshop will be applicable to writers of fiction and memoir as well.

Please join us if:

*You’ve hit a plateau in your writing and want to break through to the next level.

*You’re just beginning and want to get started with supportive teachers.

*You’re an experienced writer and just want a chance to learn more from the best.

*You’re in a dry spell, due to lack of inspiration or time.

*You love to write and want a gorgeous, inspiring retreat.

Lastly, there’s Esalen itself. If you’ve been to Esalen before, you already know it’s one of the most magnificent places on the planet. If you haven’t, don’t postpone it. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and deeply nourishing.

Esalen fees cover tuition, food and lodging and vary according to accommodations–ranging from $650 to $1250 (and more for single or premium rooms). The least expensive rate is for sleeping bag space which can be very comfortable, but it’s limited, so you need to sign up for it early. Some work-scholarship assistance is available, as well as small prepayment discounts and senior discounts.

All arrangements and registration must be made directly with Esalen. Please call Esalen at 831-667-3005 or visit www.esalen.org.

If you have questions about the content or structure of the workshop itself, please email <a href="Ellen Bass “>Ellen.

ELLEN BASS‘s poetry includes Like A Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), which was named a Notable Book by the San Francisco Chronicle, and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002), which won the Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Progressive, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Sun and many other journals. Last year she was featured on the cover of American Poetry Review. Among her awards for poetry are a Pushcart Prize, the Elliston Book Award, The Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, the Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, and the New Letters Prize. She is part of the core faculty of the MFA writing program at Pacific University. ellenbass.com

DORIANNE LAUX’s most recent books of poems are The Book of Men, winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize, and Facts about the Moon, recipient of the Oregon Book Award and short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and Smoke. Her work has received two “Best American Poetry” Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2001, she was invited by late poet laureate Stanley Kunitz to read at the Library of Congress. She teaches poetry and directs the MFA program at North Carolina State University and she is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program. doriannelaux.com

JOSEPH MILLAR grew up in western Pennsylvania and was educated at Penn State and the Johns Hopkins University, where he earned an MA in poetry writing. He worked as a commercial fisherman and telephone repairman for more than 25 years, and his accessible narrative poems often take working life as a means of engaging themes of class, family, and romantic love. Millar is the author of three full poetry collections: Blue Rust, Fortune, and Overtime, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program The Writer’s Almanac, and has won a Pushcart Prize. He has taught at Pacific University’s low residency MFA and Oregon State University and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, poet Dorianne Laux. josephmillar.org

Writing With Deena Metzger

The 2013 Writing and Story Intensive
A week=long exploration with Deena Metzger
May 25-31 in Topanga, California (near Los Angeles)
Applications Open

Entering The Work

deena-metzger1This intensive is envisioned as a circle, a small group of women and men gathered to devote themselves to their work, that is to the work.

Many beautiful and profound works and explorations have been launched through these intensives in the last 13 years. Many writers have emerged and many have been transformed, their lives deepened and made soulful by this intense, often luminous writing experience augmented by the qualities of medicine walks and quest, by community and solitude.

This Intensive provides an opportunity to begin, as well as to enter more deeply into a manuscript. It calls us to find our own true voices, to break open the forms, to explore hidden realms, to devote ourselves to the stories and manuscripts that are calling to us. It is an opportunity to experiment and dare. This intensive honors the stories that must be told whether one is beginning the exploration or has delved deeply into a manuscript. What is called for is devotion and commitment to bringing the story to the page.

Many participants will be experienced, even published writers, looking for inspiration, direction or support for new or on-going work. For some this Intensive may be a beginning. Often people who have not thought of themselves as writers become aware that there is a book they are called to write. We call such people Story Carriers.
Imagination and the Future

For every writer, the imagination can be a real place. The real life and our future reside there. When we enter this sphere, the writing experience calls self and other(s) into dynamic relationships on the page. This writing can be like a council that holds all the voices, including our ancestors and descendants, the visible and invisibles and the beings of the natural world, as cohorts. It develops from the intrigue that we can each imagine and enter a new literature that looks to and helps create a vibrant and beautiful future.

But each of us is required, given the state of our world and the transformative possibilities of 2012, to consider our assumptions and understanding about who we are as writers, peacemakers, and members of a community of beings. Story carriers, writers, and artists living in these times of grief and possibility are called to imagine and commit to a new literature and a new culture so that the lives of the humans and non-humans and the earth itself will be vital again. Our words can destroy or restore. What we write matters. Together and as individuals we will seek out new forms resonant with the land and these times to engage with the world, the future and the spirits.

We will be actively seeking new language, new forms and new visions. On behalf of our writing and the word, we will engage storytelling, dream telling, ethical reflection, prayer, meditation, silence, music, divination, indigenous and wisdom traditions and the voices of both the visible and invisible presences, on behalf of a vital and sustainable future for all beings.

In this week we will address the issues that must be addressed, explore our lives, souls, minds, and creative work through formal and informal teaching, directed and spontaneous writing, circle work and individual sessions, solitude, time on the land, visioning, ritual and ceremony as appropriate.

For more information email or call Danella Wild at 310-815-1060 for details, fees and how to apply.

Song of Love

From The Treasured Writings of Kahil Gibran. Translated by Anthony Rizcallah Ferris and edited by Martin L. Wolf (1951).

Song of Love by Kahil Gibran.

I am the lover’s eyes, and the spirit’s
Wine, and the heart’s nourishment.
I am a rose. My heart opens at dawn and
The virgin kisses me and places me
Upon her breast.

I am the house of true fortune, and the
Origin of pleasure, and the beginning
Of peace and tranquility. I am the gentle
Smile upon the lips of beauty. When youth
Overtakes me he forgets his toil, and his
Whole life becomes reality of sweet dreams.

I am the poet’s elation,
And the artist’s revelation,
And the musician’s inspiration.

I am a sacred shrine in the heart of a
Child, adored by a merciful mother.

I appear to a heart’s cry; I shun a demand;
My fullness pursues the heart’s desire;
It shuns the empty claim of the voice.

I appeared to Adam through Eve
And exile was his lost;
Yet I revealed myself to Solomon, and
He drew wisdom from my presence.

I smiled at Helena and she destroyed Tarwada;
Yet I crowned Cleopatra and peace dominated
The Valley of the Nile.

I am like the ages – building today
And destroying tomorrow;
I am like a god, who creates and ruins;
I am sweeter than a violet’s sigh;
I am more violent than a raging tempest.

Gifts alone do not entice me;
Parting does not discourage me;
Poverty does not chase me;
Jealousy does not prove my awareness;
Madness does not evidence my presence.

Oh seekers, I am Truth, beseeching Truth;
And your Truth in seeking and receiving
And protecting me shall determine my
Behaviour.

The Beauty of Death

From Rumi: Poet and Mystic 1207-1273. Translated from the Persian with Introduction and Notes by Reynold A. Nicholson (1950).

The Beauty of Death

He who deems death to be lovely as Joseph gives up his soul in ransom for it; he who deems it to be like the wolf turns back from the path of salvation.

Every one’s death is of the same quality as himself, my lad: to the enemy of God an enemy, to the friend of God a friend.

In the eyes of the Turcoman the mirror is fair; in the eyes of the Ethiopian it is dark as an Ethiopian.

Your fear of death is really fear of yourself: see what it is from which you are fleeing!

‘Tis your own ugly face, not the visage of Death: your spirit is like the tree, and death like the leaf.

It has grown from you, whether it be good or evil: all your hidden thoughts, foul or fair, are born from yourself.

If you are wounded by thorns, you planted them; and if you are clad in satin and silk, you were the spinner.

Know that the act is not of the same complexion as its result; a service rendered is not homogenous with the fragment given in return.

The laborer’s wage is dissimilar to his work: the latter is the accident, while the former is the substance.

The latter is wholly toil and effort and sweat, the former is wholly silver and gold and viands.

When the worshiper has sown a prostration or genuflection here, it becomes the Garden of the Blessed hereafter.

When praise of God has flown from his mouth, the Lord of the Daybreak fashions it into a fruit of Paradise.

Trying To Wear Pants

From The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master. Translations by Daniel Ladinsky.

Trying to Wear Pants

You are
A royal fish
Trying to wear pants
In a country as foreign
As land.

Now there’s a problem
Worth discussing.

Your separation from God has ripened.
Now fall like a golden fruit
Into my hand.

All your wounds from craving love
Exist because of heroic deeds.

Now trade in those medals;
That courage will help this world.

One needs to love those they have yet to love
To stand near the Friend.

Why
Be a royal fish
Trying to wear pants?

Hafiz,
What are you talking about?
Has something happened to your once
Brilliant
Mind?

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