Each quarter we are pleased to highlight some of the books published by members of our community. For a full chronology of alumni news, visit our Omnium Gatherum & Alumni News Page, which is always up to date with the latest alumni news.
Are you an alumnus of the summer workshops or a former teaching staff member? Do you have news to share? You can send us your news any time here.
This will be a particularly special year for the Community of Writers. We had intended to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary with all of you in our valley two years ago. While the past two years have been incredibly difficult for our Community, we also feel that we have demonstrated a capacity to come together as poets and writers regardless of our circumstances.
This will be our fifty-third year as a Community, but our fiftieth year together in our valley.
The Poetry Workshop is founded on the belief that when poets gather in a community to write new poems, each poet may well break through old habits and write something stronger and truer than before. The idea is to try to expand the boundaries of what one can write. In the mornings we meet to read to each other the work of the previous twenty-four hours, and in the late afternoons we gather for a conversation about some aspect of craft.
The Writers Workshops assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing. The week offers daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, as well as brief individual conferences. The morning workshops are led by staff writer-teachers, editors, or agents. There are separate morning workshops for Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction/ Memoir. In addition to their workshop manuscript, participants may have a second manuscript read by a staff member who meets with them in an individual conference.
This summer we are lucky to have a terrific teaching staff joining us in our valley, including poets, writers, teachers, agents and editors. We also anticipate this year to feature a cohort of extremely talented poets and writers – all of whom represent our community’s depth, diversity, talent and commitment to cultivating friendships that boost one another’s writing lives and careers.
This pandemic has caused every member of our broader community to endure tremendous difficulties. We want those of you who will join us here in the valley to consider it a refuge, and a safe place in general. Therefore certain measures will be taken to ensure the safety of all of our community members. Please refer to our health guidelines over the coming months for up-to-date information on our evolving safety strategy.
Year-Round Online Opportunities
As we gear up for our first summer back in the valley since the pandemic began, we will continue to put out messaging to keep you abreast of the exciting year that is to come. In the meantime, we encourage you to engage with our virtual offerings. Now, we are building the infrastructure for year-round programming that is affordable and accessible to anyone through our Virtual Valley and through the Writers’ Annex, which is currently offering weekly courses offered by Community of Writers staff – all online and interactive. This month, Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet, Robert Hass is teaching a six-week intensive course on the life and work of Polish Poet Czesław Miłosz. Later this spring, Community of Writers Staff Poet Kazim Ali will teach a short course called “The Poetry & Poetics of Lucille Clifton.” Over the course of four weeks (Thursday evening sessions, live on Zoom), Ali will guide us through the work of long time Community of Writers staff poet, Lucille Clifton. The Writer’s Annex will continue to offer programming year-round as we seek to cultivate a broader and more inclusive community that is not limited to those who can attend the summer workshops. Likewise, we are exploring ways in which our in-person events can be made available online in some capacity moving forward, whether streamed or available as a Video On Demand after the fact.