Calliope Craft Workshops
(in collaboration with the West Falmouth Library)
Saturdays, 11 AM – 2 PM, Lower Activity Room
West Falmouth Library, 575 West Falmouth Highway (Rt. 28A)
$25 each. Register and prepay through the website,
or by check, made out to “Calliope,” P.O. Box 957, West Falmouth, MA 02574
A Monastic Approach to Writing and Abundance
Justen Ahren, instructor
In this workshop, we will discuss how cultivating a devotional writing practice can lead to surprising revelations. This workshop isn’t religiously affiliated in any way, monasticism is simply a metaphor for the writer-at-work—questioning, doubting, seeking, receiving, engaging the Mystery. We will explore how taking on the mind of devotee can lead to larger, more daring writing than we ever thought possible. In a word, we may find we are writing Abundance.
Justen Ahren is West Tisbury Poet Laureate. He is founder and director of the Noepe Martha’s Vineyard Center for Literary Arts and leads writing workshops in Italy and on Martha’s Vineyard. He is the author of Strange Catechism (2013). His poems have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and have been published in Comstock Review, Fulcrum, Texas Poetry Review and other journals.
How to Be a Good Public Reader of Your Own Writing
Patrick Donnelly, instructor
Have you ever been to a reading where the reader mumbled, read too quickly or softly for comprehension, lost the audience’s attention shuffling through a sheaf of pages, or read long past the allotted time? In this seminar, the first hour will be spent reviewing the elements and skills of reading poetry or prose. The rest of the session will be devoted to one-on-one coaching. You’ll leave with strategies for dealing with nerves, tips for pleasing audience, and—perhaps most importantly—yourself. Come prepared to read a short poem (about 20 lines) or a passage of prose (one paragraph). Coaching with be master-class style, while the audience learns from watching. Open to both poets and prosers.
Patrick Donnelly trained as an actor and singer at Oberlin Conservatory and has taught public speaking skills for writers at Colby College, Grub Street, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Frost Place and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. He is the author of The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003) and Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2012). He is director of the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place and Associate Editor of Poetry International.
The Music of Syntax
Jennifer Barber, instructor
Donald Davie, in his classic book, Articulate Energy, describes the syntax of a poem as its “silent music, a matter of tensions and resolutions, of movements sustained or broken, of ease and effort, rapidity and languor.” In this workshop, we will examine some of the different ways that syntax operates in a poem. We will use works by contemporary poets as examples and complete some exercises that involve experimentation and play with syntax.
Jennifer is the author of Given Away (2012) and Rigging the Wind 2003). Her work has appeared in many journals, including AGNI, Field, Harvard Review, the New Yorker and Upstreet. She teaches literature and creative writing at Suffolk University in Boston and is founding and current editor of the literary journal Salamander.