It’s Pub Day! Our 50th Anniversary Anthology is Available Now!

More than two years ago we set out to create an anthology to celebrate the story of our fifty-year-old summer writing workshop. It has been more work than we could ever have imagined, and an utter joy, but we did it. With help, advice, encouragement, and support from dozens of people and organizations, we can now announce that finally, today is PUBLICATION DAY for Why to These Rocks: Fifty Years of Poems from the Community of Writers from Heyday Books.

As editor Lisa Alvarez writes in her introduction: Why to These Rocks tells part of the story of the Community of Writers through work produced in the valley by both staff and participant poets, using three self-explanatory lenses: Over the Mountains: Poems About Place; Scrupulous Mercy: Poems about the Process; and After Surfacing: Poems Produced by the Process in the Place. Reading them will begin to answer the question posed by Kinnell in his poem “The Old Moon” and paraphrased here: Why to these rocks do we return?”

It speaks to our special community nurtured in this stunning setting, one that has inspired poets worldwide — many of whom developed significant bodies of award-winning work in its creative and generative atmosphere.Contributors include both workshop staff and participants, among them Kazim Ali, Don Mee ChoiLucille CliftonToi DerricotteRita DoveCornelius EadyJuan Felipe HerreraBrenda HillmanCathy Park HongForrest GanderMajor JacksonYusef KomunyakaaHarryette MullenSharon OldsGreg PardloEvie ShockleyAl YoungKevin YoungMatthew Zapruder, a never-before-published poem by founder and former long-time director, Galway Kinnell, and many more. 

We think the book is really handsome with a hard cover, and a lovely woodcut image courtesy of the artist Tom Killion.

Join us as we celebrate our five decades of Poetry.

PS: Heyday Books is offering our buyers a 20% discount use promo code: WTOTFRIENDS
ORDER BOOK

2021 LARB Publishing Workshop

After many years of hosting founder Tom Lutz and other members of the Los Angeles Review of Books staff during the summer workshops, we’ve now begun making institutional collaborations of mutual benefit together.

This summer, in addition to featuring members of LARB’s editorial staff and contributors at our own writer’s workshop in the Virtual Valley, we’re pleased to promote the 2021 LARB Publishing Workshop and further this support with a scholarship for a past fellow to attend the Community of Writer’s workshop this summer.

Applications for the 2021 program close April 15

Apply today and join us from June 27 – July 30 for an intensive dive into the world of publishing with incredible speakers and hands-on training in book and magazine production. LARB Publishing Workshop Fellows learn from 60+ leading industry professionals from all over the country including Nicole Counts (One World), Nicole Chung (Catapult), Evette Dionne (Bitch Media), Dennis Johnson (Melville House), Jennifer 8. Lee (Plympton), Ismail Muhammad (New York Times Magazine), Jyothi Natarajan (The Margins, Asian American Writers’ Workshop), Niko Pfund (Oxford UP), Rebecca Saletan (Riverhead), Joshua Trannen (Duke UP), and many, many more. Our curriculum and program of speakers reflect LARB’s commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and independent literary production.

More Details and to Apply

The 50th Anniversary Poetry Anthology featured in The San Diego Union-Tribune

Read about the anthology in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“The works featured in this rich new anthology are all the product of the Community of Writers, an annual gathering of poets who hunker down in the wooded beauty of [Olympic Valley] for a week of intensive workshops, writing marathons and readings in the most beautiful setting possible.”

From The San Diego Union-Tribune. Sunday, April 11, 2021

“The anthology celebrates the 50th anniversary of the program with poems from its staff poets, a powerhouse group that includes Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds and UC San Diego professor Kazim Ali. There are also poems from writers who have participated in the program, a stellar group that includes Cal State San Marcos professor Brandon Cesmat, SDSU professor Blas Falconer and Imperial Valley native Jennifer Givhan.”

Read More at the Union-Tribune
More Details about the Anthology
Order the Book

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Quarterly Roundup of Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni Poets and Writers in January – March, 2021.

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums and staff members who have published books during the first quarter of 2021!

We are thrilled to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMS

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOP ALUMS


New Upcoming Readings for our 50th Anniversary Poetry Anthology

We’re delighted to announce two new poetry readings to celebrate the publication of our 50th anniversary poetry anthology, Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers.
• April 11: At the Sierra Poetry Festival online. More details
• April 16: At Skylight Books reading series online. More details.

The Community of Writers celebrates fifty years of its annual poetry workshop with an extraordinary collection by some of the country’s most prominent contemporary poets. “Why To These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers” includes over 140 poems inspired by or written in High Sierra during the annual workshop week. Read more.

Pre-Order Book

At the Sierra Poetry Festival!

Sunday, April 11 | 11:30 AM (Pacific)

The Community of Writers will join the Sierra Poetry Festival online for a virtual poetry reading for Heyday’s release of Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers.

Introduced by: Lisa D. Alvarez, the anthology’s editor.

Both teaching staff poets and alumni poets of the storied annual summer Poetry Workshops of the Community of Writers will read from the first section of the anthology, “Poems about Place.” In addition to reading from their own work, each featured poet will also select another poem to read. Although the place where these poems were first written unifies these poems, they are as varied and distinctive in their lyricism, voice, and scope as the watershed of the Sierra itself.

Join Chris Davidson, Christina Hutchins, Patricia Spears Jones, Francisco Márquez, Sharon Olds, Maw Shein Win, and Matthew Zapruder for another celebration of the publication of this extraordinary anthology, as they read and discuss poems first written during the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop.

REGISTER TO ATTEND EVENT SIERRA POETRY FESTIVAL

At SkyLight Books!

Wednesday, April 21 | 6:30 PM (Pacific)

Virtual event on Crowdcast. Registrants will be sent a Crowdcast link upon registration.

The Community of Writers will join SkyLight Books online for a virtual poetry reading for Heyday’s release of Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers. The evening will celebrate fifty years of poetry written during the Poetry Workshop in the High Sierra.

Emcee: Lisa D. Alvarez, the project’s editor.

Join Francisco Aragón, Joan Baranow, Katie Ford, Jay A. Fernandez, Lester Graves Lennon, Michelle Brittan Rosado, Vickie Vértiz, Sholeh Wolpé, and Charles Harper Webb for another celebration of the publication of this extraordinary anthology, as they read and discuss poems first written during the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop.

REGISTER TO ATTEND SKYLIGHT READING
Pre-Order Book

Statement Against Anti-Asian Violence

We are horrified at the violence against Asian American and Pacific Islanders this country has recently witnessed, and our hearts are broken by the fear and pain this has created.
The Community of Writers is united with the AAPI communities in the fight against hate and racism. We need to all work together to stop it.

Please join us in condemning this violence and working against it in our own communities and beyond.

Learn More

Take action:

Celebrating 50 years: A Community of Writers feature in the SF Chronicle’s Datebook.

The Community of Writers turns 50 this year. A new book highlights how the Olympic Valley retreat steered California’s voice.

“In late 1969, California’s literary scene was in trouble.” Two couples founded the Community of Writers to save it. In this article from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Datebook, written by Scott Thomas Anderson, read about our 50-year history and our new poetry collection from Heyday Books celebrating this milestone called Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers. Read the article here.

The 2021 PEN Emerging Voices Scholarship

The Community of Writers is delighted to announce two scholarships for PEN Emerging Voices Fellows who require financial aid to attend the Community of Writers Summer Workshops this summer.

Dates:
Poetry: June 19 – 26, 2021
Fiction Workshop: July 11 – 17, 2021
Narrative Nonfiction and Memoir Workshop: August 1 – 6, 2021

Deadline to apply: March 28, 2021

Each scholarship will be for the full tuition cost of each workshop ($900 for Poetry, $880 for Fiction, and $850 for Narrative Nonfiction and Memoir).
Interested Emerging Voices Fellows will need to apply to the workshop by March 28, and request this scholarship in the application form. Fellows offered scholarships will need to submit a $100 deposit (which will be refunded on the first day of the workshop.) This is a scholarship for poets and writers who have not previously attended the Poetry Workshop.

More Details

The 2021 Cave Canem Poetry Scholarships to attend the Community of Writers

The Community of Writers is delighted to announce three scholarships for Cave Canem Fellows who require financial aid to attend the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop this summer.

Dates: June 19 – 26, 2021
Deadline to apply: March 28, 2021

Each scholarship will be for $900, which is the full tuition to the 2021 Poetry Program.
Interested Cave Canem Fellows will need to apply to the workshop by March 28, and request this scholarship in the application form. Fellows offered scholarships will need to submit a $100 deposit (which will be refunded on the first day of the workshop.) This is a scholarship for poets who have not previously attended the Poetry Workshop.

More Details

Announcing the KIMBILIO l Fiction Scholarships

The Community of Writers is delighted to announce scholarships for KIMBILIO Fiction Fellows who require financial aid to attend the Community of Writers Fiction Workshop this summer.

Dates: July 11 – 17, 2021
Deadline to apply: March 28, 2021

Each scholarship will cover: $880 Tuition to Fiction Program.
Interested Kimbilo Fiction Fellows will need to apply to the workshop by March 28, and request this scholarship in the application form.

More Details

Announcing our 2021 Summer Writing Workshops

The Community of Writers is pleased to announce the 51st Anniversary of our Summer Writing Workshops in Poetry and Fiction, Nonfiction and Memoir.
We are now accepting applications.

 THE POETRY WORKSHOP:

June 19 – 26, 2021

The Poetry Program at the Community of Writers 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. Although we can’t gather in person, nonetheless we will work together to create an atmosphere in which everyone might feel free to try anything. Director: Brenda Hillman.

Click on the author portraits to learn about these poets and their work. Or View as List

Kazim Ali • Blas Falconer • Forrest Gander
Brenda Hillman • Sharon Olds • Evie Shockley

Visit the Poetry Workshop Page

THE FICTION WORKSHOPS
July 11 – 17, 2021

These 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, and brief individual conferences.The morning workshops are led by staff writer-teachers, editors, or agents. In addition to their workshop manuscripts, participants may have a second manuscript read by a staff member who meets with them in individual conferences.

Special Guests

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  Or View as List

Fiction Workshops Teaching Staff

Authors

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  Or View as List

Visit the Fiction Workshop Page

THE NONFICTION & MEMOIR WORKSHOP

August 1 – 6 , 2021

These workshops are designed to assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing. The week includes daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, and brief individual conferences. The morning workshops, led by staff writer-teachers, comprise tracks devoted to both memoir and narrative nonfiction. In addition to having a manuscript addressed in workshop, participants may have the same manuscript read by a staff member, discussed in individual conference. This is not the conference for travel, self-help, how-to, or scholarly works.

Teaching Staff

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  Or View as List

Visit the NonFiction/Memoir Workshop Page

Quarterly Roundup of New Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni and Staff Authors in October – December, 2020.

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums and staff members who have published books during the fourth quarter of 2020!

We are thrilled to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMNI

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOP ALUMNI


 

Announcing Issue 4 of the OGQ: The Omnium Gatherum Quarterly

andrew tonkovich
Welcome to our final installment of our first year of the online quarterly of the Community of Writers. In this issue, we celebrate our history of community, and engage its vigorous, diverse and transformative new manifestations in essays, poetry and fiction chosen to encourage and inspire. Longtime staffer Elizabeth Rosner meditates, generously and insightfully, on the enduring individual and community imperative to describe, explain, transform, complain, criticize, celebrate and, most of all, collaborate.  Elizabeth was meant to deliver this gorgeous essay as a talk in an anniversary event postponed due to the pandemic. Novelist and activist Jervey Tervalon, founder of LitFest Pasadena, tells the story of its origins and explores the political economy of creating community as an answer to cultural hegemony, racism, and Hollywood’s disappointing lack of imagination. Jonathan Cohen’s meditation on grief and loss considers the possibilities of incompleteness, with a vividness and empathy that offers so much beauty and, yes, completion. Poet and scholar Therí A. Pickens shares three beautiful poems of self-instruction, analysis and memory: “Linger at the lost spaces of not and undoing.” Finally, Caroline Kim, whose collection The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories won the 2020 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, gives us a short story of spooky or only everyday political and cultural alienation.

Please stay safe, and by all means share our journal.

Andrew Tonkovich
Editor, OGQ

Read the OGQ

Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2019

It’s here!

We are delighted to announce the publication of Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2019.  This annual anthology is made up of poems first written during the 2019 Poetry Workshop, and is available now! Proceeds benefit the Poetry Workshop’s Scholarship Fund.

Each June at the Community of Writers, poets gather in the Sierras to write and share their new work. Participants and teaching staff poets alike write a poem each day and then bring their new draft to workshop the next morning. Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2019 is an impressive collection of all of the extraordinary poetry to come out of the 2019 Poetry Workshop. Once again, volunteer editors, alumni from the same annual workshop, sort through all of the participant submissions and select the poems that appear in the Review. The 2019 Poetry staff featured Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo, with special guest Robert Hass. This edition of Written Here was edited by Veronica Corpuz, Jeanne Morel, Jon Riccio, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, and Leah Xue. Many thanks to Cody Gates and Maureen Forys at Happenstance Type-O-Rama for the beautiful book design and production.

Poets included in the issue:

Threa Almontaser • Laura Atkinson • Kyce Bello • Ambriel Floyd Bostic • Robin Burrows • Brian Carey Chung • Nate Clute • Veronica Corpuz • Beth Ford • Kirk Glaser • Katy Gurin • Ken Haas • J.J. Hernandez • Ethan Heusser • Brenda Hillman • John Hines • Leslieann Hobayan • Lauren Howard • Danny Kraft • Deborah Krainin • Lester Graves Lennon • Helena Li • Sarah Maclay • Holaday Mason • Jane Miller • Matthew Moniz • Jeanne Morel • Julie Murphy • Sharon Olds • Emilie Osborn • Jessica Reed • Jon Riccio • Yiskah Rosenfeld • Gini Savage • Diane Schenker • Richard Sime • Arthur Solway • Benjamin Voigt • Lisa Wenzel • Roberta Werdinger • Amelia L. Williams • Mary Winegarden

Give the gift of poetry this holiday season!
The book is available through a print-on-demand site for $16.

Buy Now

We are delighted to tell you that the long-awaited Why to These Rocks: The 50th Anniversary Poetry Anthology will be published by Heyday Books in March, 2021. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead. 

More Anthologies 


 

Quarterly Roundup of New Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni and Staff Authors in July – September, 2020.

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums and staff members who have published books during the third quarter of 2020!

We are thrilled to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMNI

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOP ALUMNI


 

2020 Alumni Reading Series (Prose)

Each summer, recently published alumni are invited to return to the Valley to read from their books and talk about their journey from unpublished writers to published authors. This year we’ve decided to hold the reading online in the Virtual Valley! 

The Community of Writers is delighted to celebrate the success of these writers and to present them to the participants, staff, and the public.

Please join us! The event is free and will be presented on Zoom.

2020 Alumni Readers

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  View as a List


Our Emcee for the evening is Jimin Han.

 

 

Buys books from these authors on Bookshop.org.

Reserve Ticket Now

(You will be eventually be asked to register for this event at Zoom.)

Alumni who have been part of this reading series include Anita Amirrezvani, Eddy Ancinas, Michael AndreasonRamona Ausubel, David Bajo, Aimee Bender, Mauro Cardenas, Jade ChangDavid Corbett, Charmaine Craig, Frances Dinkelspiel, Heather Donahue, Laurie Ann DoyleCai Emmons, Alex Espinoza, Carole Firstman,  Joshua Ferris, Amy Franklin-Willis, Jamie Ford, Vicki Forman, Alison Singh Gee, Tanya Egan Gibson, Alan Grostephan, Glen David Gold, Jimin HanJudith Hendricks, Susan Henderson, Sara J. Henry, Vanessa HuaRhoda Huffey, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Alma Katsu, Stephanie KeganMary KurylaKrys Lee, Paulette Livers, Regina Louise, Michael David Lukas, Peyton Marshall, Marisa Matarazzo, Mark Maynard, Christina Meldrum, Nayomi Munaweera, Janis Cooke Newman, Jessica O’Dwyer, Aline Ohanesian, Marian Palaia, Victoria Patterson, Ismet Prcic, Frederick Reiken, Andrew Roe, Robin Romm, Brian Rogers,  Elizabeth Rosner, Adrienne Sharp, Alice Sebold, Julia Flynn Siler, Jordan Fisher Smith, Scott Sparling, Ellen Sussman, Kimball TaylorLisa Tucker,  Juan Alvarado Valdivia, Brenda Rickman Vantrease, Mary Volmer, Dora Calott Wang, M.D., Heather Young, Andrew Winer, Alia Yunis, and Désirée Zamorano among others.

 


 

Conversations from the Virtual Valley for Banned Books Week

We are pleased to present another Conversation from the Virtual Valley with ALA and PEN America in celebration of Banned Books Week.

For our second broadcast, we engage our commitment to intellectual freedom, free expression, free speech, and solidarity with organizations which defend those, especially as they relate to the creative arts, civic literacy, and social change discourse.

This forty-minute Conversation features expert activists from two of our favorite advocacy and rights organizations along with CW’s own Andrew Tonkovich. From the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and sponsor of Banned Books Week, Ellie Diaz, Program Officer. And from PEN America, James Tager, Deputy Director of Free Expression Research and Policy, and author of groundbreaking research, analysis and recommendations, most recently the report “Literature Locked Up: How Prison Book Restriction Policies Constitute the Nation’s Largest Book Ban.”

Please watch our commemorative broadcast celebrating Banned Books Week 2020, September 27 through October 3, and visit the websites of both PEN America and the ALA for more ways to be involved.

View Conversation

Literary Arts Emergency Fund Grant for the Community of Writers

We are delighted to announce the Literary Arts Emergency Fund has provided the Community of Writers a grant for $15,000 to help us weather these difficult times.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the organizers of the Fund: the directors of Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazine & Presses, and the National Book Foundation.

Read more details and a complete list of the other organizations who benefitted from these grants.


Fiction First Aid – Private Consultations

This Friday, join us for private consultations: Fiction First Aid
August 28, 2020, between 10 am and 3 p.m (Pacific)

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our finest writer-teachers, including Leland Cheuk, Janet Fitch, Glen David Gold,  Vanessa Hua, Michael Jaime-Becerra and Victoria Patterson. Come with a question. Or come with a page! Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Sign up for a consultation today. You will be paired with one of these generous and talented writer-teachers. (You may request your top two choices of staff member, subject to availability. ) If there is a time of day (between 10 AM – 3 PM Pacific) that doesn’t work for you, please let us know.

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours.

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

To read a bio, click on the image below, or view them all as a list.

Sign Ups open close 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 27. (Pacific)

SIGN UP

Once you register, we will be in touch with your appointment details.

Please make sure you’ve downloaded and installed the most recent version of Zoom and have good audio and video available.

(Cancellations for full refunds, to be considered, must be requested before 6 pm on Thursday, July 27.)

*Thanks to Sharon Olds who originally coined this term for the Poetry Workshop’s “Poem First Aid.”


 

The Newest OGQ is Here!

The third issue of OGQ: Omnium Gatherum Quarterly, the new quarterly online magazine from the Community of Writers, is here.

In this issue, we present an essay from one of our Community’s legends, the much-esteemed late novelist and journalist Robert Stone. It’s an excerpt from a just-released collection of his nonfiction. Longtime member Molly Fisk shares two poems, one each from two anthologies she’s featured in, one of which she edited. Leland Cheuk makes us all smarter and less America-centric with a journal of his recent internationlist reading. And, finally, we feature two gorgeous fictions from recent participants on the way up. Lyndsey Ellis‘s short story is a musically-structured experiment in association and observation by a mortuary technician. Her novel arrives next year. Elison Alcovendaz offers a poignant story of quotidian loss and emotional discovery.  

We’re also pleased to announce the inaugural episode of Conversations from the Virtual Valley, our new series featuring author interviews, readings and panels.  Our first features Michelle Latiolais in conversation with Ryan Ridge

Conversations from the Virtual Valley is hosted by Andrew Tonkovich and produced by Laura Howard

OGQ Issue 3

To get the next issue sent directly to your inbox, subscribe today.


 

Quarterly Roundup of New Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni and Staff Authors in April – June, 2020

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums and staff members who have published books during the second quarter of 2020!

We are thrilled to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMNI

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOP ALUMNI


 

Memoir Workshop Public Events in the Virtual Valley

Join Us for the Memoir Workshop Week with Virtual Panels and Readings!

Please join us for the Public Events at the Community of Writers
during Memoir Week in the Virtual Valley.

Events are on the Zoom platform.

Panels:

Monday, 8/3, 4:00 PM (Pacific): “Effective Strategies for Memoir & Nonfiction,” featuring:
Debra Gwartney • Elizabeth Rosner • Grace Talusan
moderated by Sands Hall

Tuesday, 8/4, 4:00 PM (Pacific): “Who Am I This Time? Revisioning Memoir,” featuring:
Alex Espinoza • Christine Hemp • Sands Hall • Amy Tan
moderated by Debra Gwartney

RESERVE TICKET

Ticket reservations will close one hour before the event. Reserve early.

Readings:

Our Memoir staff talk about and read from their memoirs:

Tuesday, 8/4, 5:30 PM (Pacific):
Debra Gwartney • Sands Hall •  Grace Talusan

Thursday 8/6, 5:30 PM (Pacific):
Alex Espinoza • Christine Hemp • Elizabeth Rosner

RESERVE TICKET

Ticket reservations will close one hour before the event. Reserve early.


 

Film Adaptation Seminar

Film Adaptation Seminar for Writers
August 17-21, 2020

Open to all!  $350 – Register by August 10

Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – Noon (Pacific)

Led by screenwriter Laura Harrington, this film adaptation workshop will consist of five three-hour online seminars. The focus will be on story structure, character development, scene creation, and uses of dialogue; the crucial elements of screenwriting, which will help lay the groundwork for your future book, screenplay, or series adaptation.

Even if you don’t plan on adapting your novel into a dramatic work, learning the skills vital to a screenwriter—writing visually vivid and emotional scenes; creating structure that invisibly marries plot to character development; revealing character through action; advancing connected themes; creating organic twists; creating a sense of urgency; creating a sensory, memorable world with the kinds tensions that reveal character — are useful skills for every writer

No application necessary. Simply register. Please include a one-page synopsis of your story, novel, memoir or nonfiction manuscript.
Deadline to Register: August 8
Register Now

 

Fiction First Aid Private Consultations

This Friday, join us for private consultations: Fiction First Aid*
July 31, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

View as a list

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our finest writer-teachers, including Alex Espinoza, Janet Fitch, Sands Hall, Dylan Landis and Krys Lee. (We are sorry, but Glen David Gold is no longer participating.) Come with a question. Or come with a page! Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Below are the Times When the Writers Are Scheduled
(Subject to availability)

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Alex Espinoza
Janet Fitch (sold out)

1:00 – 3:00 PM
Sands Hall

3:00 – 5:00 PM
Dylan Landis
Krys Lee

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours.

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

Sign Ups open  12:00 Noon Monday, July 27,
and close 5:00 on Thursday, July 30. (Pacific)

SIGN UP

You may request your top three choices of staff member, subject to availability. Once you register, we will be in touch with your appointment details.

(Cancellations for full refunds, to be considered, must be requested before 5 pm on Thursday, July 30.)

*Thanks to Sharon Olds who originally coined this term for the Poetry Workshop’s “Poem First Aid.”


 

“Short Takes” Fiction Staff Readings in the Virtual Valley

The Community of Writers Fiction Workshop in the Virtual Valley is proud to present

“Short Takes” Fiction Readings

These readings are presented to the public as part of our first-ever Fiction workshop held entirely online.
These readings are free to attend. Donations needed and welcome.

Tuesday, July 21st • 5:30 PM Pacific

Tom BarbashDevi S. LaskarKrys Lee •  Kirstin Valdez QuadeGregory Spatz
Emcee: Tom Lutz

Thursday, July 23rd • 5:30 PM Pacific

Janet FitchMichael Jaime-Becerra • Dana JohnsonTom LutzMargaret Wilkerson Sexton
Emcee: Oscar Villalon

Register Now!

David Perlman (1918 – 2020)

David Perlman at the Community of Writers, 1974  .(Photo by Barbara E. Hall)

David Perlman, the last of the three founders of our conference, has died, at the age of 101, in San Francisco. Fifty years ago here, editor Blair Fuller and novelist Oakley Hall were regularly spending their summers in the Valley, and David Perlman had a house here, too. It was a small village at the time, and people met up. Oakley had made a great reputation as a novelist; Blair Fuller was an editor at The Paris Review, and the three of them decided to have some fun inventing a week-long summer writers conference. Anne Perlman – who preceded her husband in death by two decades – was a serious, accomplished poet, who had been very respectably published, and in the early days she worked on the Poetry program with Galway Kinnell and Phil Levine and Mark Strand.

Originally a New Yorker, graduate of Columbia, David fell in love with San Francisco early, and migrated early. His first job on the West Coast was as a copyboy at the Chronicle. That was 1940. After WW II military service, he spent some time in Paris and New York, writing for the New York Herald Tribune, but soon devised a way back to San Francisco, where he got hired at the San Francisco Chronicle as a reporter.

He retired from the paper only three years ago, at 98, having worked full-time all those years. He kept arduous regular hours even deep into his 90s, spoke until the end with sharp wit and a rich understanding of the world, and even walked with a spring in his step. On his last day at the Chronicle, he decided to allow himself the unprecedented luxury of leaving fifteen minutes ahead of time, and went to his editor’s office to say he was going to “slide early.” But he was of course noticed slipping out, and everybody in the newsroom got to their feet applauding.

David and Anne gave up their house in Olympic Valley at some point. After that they seldom came up to the workshop, but he always thought of this organization as one of his happiest achievements. The thing he loved most, which kept him at his desk in San Francisco, was explaining science to readers. Elucidating our tectonic jolts, AIDS, moonshots, climate change, he earned a reputation over the years as a “dean of science journalism,” having resolved in his twenties that science journalism was “the most glamorous thing in the world.”

The last story he filed for the Chronicle was a typically long piece (the Chronicle always gave him plenty of space, all he wanted), explaining the total eclipse of eclipse of the sun.

Daylight will turn to midnight. The summer air will turn chilly,
birds will chirp uneasily in the unexpected darkness and the
stars will emerge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the San Francisco Chronicle’s appreciation for David Perlman.


 

Black Lives Matter: A Time for Action, not Words

This summer as the Community of Writers comes together as we have done for 50 years, we do so at a time of urgently needed social and political change. We honor the scores of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest the systemic racism and injustice.

It has always been our goal to create, out of our summer meetings, a community that nourishes and supports a diversity of writers and poets at all stages of their development. We are a seasonal gathering, each member belonging to other home communities, aligned with other institutions. There, many of us are deeply engaged in the streets, classrooms, community centers, the halls of government and, of course, as we are writers, on the page.

Part of our mission has been to erase obstacles for emerging writers, especially Black writers and poets, to attend a workshop such as ours.
In light of recent national debates surrounding equity and systemic racism, we are even more committed in our efforts to build new, and sustain current essential partnerships which will help us reach deeper into underserved communities to find poets and writers with voices that contribute to the diversification of the country’s narrative.

We will continue to do what we have done that has worked – raise funds to support writers of color, especially Black writers, and work to further diversify our board and staff. We will also look at those policies and practices, formal and informal, that have weakened these efforts. We will examine the Community’s culture that allows for participants to experience exclusion, disrespect, and microagressions at all levels of our organization, including, but not limited to, the workshop itself.

As part of our ongoing evaluation, we changed the name of our conference, previously scheduled to have been announced this Spring at our anniversary celebrations. Just as protesters and social justice advocates have called for the dismantling of Confederate symbols and statues because of their racist connotations, we recognize the painful and derogatory legacy of the word “squaw” as a slur, a word that is disrespectful to the Native American Community. We acknowledge that this word is offensive, that it goes against everything we stand for and believe, thus, we will no longer be branding ourselves as such and will now be known as the Community of Writers.

We are grateful to the participants and staff who care enough about the integrity of the Community to have communicated their concerns with us.  We hear you.

We have always felt that what we were doing addressed the multicultural life of this country in deep ways and we have reason to be proud of the stories, poems, essays, films that have been produced over fifty years by the staff and participants in this community, including work by some of our most gifted Black, Latinx,  Asian American writers, disabled and LGBTQ+. This last painful month has made it clear that, whatever we have been doing, it hasn’t been enough. Just as it hasn’t been enough not to be racist or to practice modest and benign forms of affirmative action. New behaviors require new visions. Our mission is to support new visions and we have work to do.

-The Community of Writers

Summer Writing Workshops in Squaw Valley Cancelled (But New Opportunities Available!)

Dear Friends,

We are sorry to report that we have been forced to cancel our summer workshops in Squaw Valley due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was to be our 50th Anniversary session, and so we’re particularly sad that we won’t be able to get together.

Image of a tree - Omnium Gatherum PageOur participants and teaching staff come in from all over the country, and a dozen foreign countries as well. They live together in houses and condos during their stay, eat dinner together, meet for lectures and panels, and in smaller workshops where they sit close together. It was a hard decision to make but we feel it would be impossible to run the workshops and still keep everybody safe.

Please visit our program pages for more information.

 

POETRY:

The Community of Writers will offer the Poetry Workshop entirely online this year. June 20 – 27, 2020. It will be the very same intensive week of writing, craft talks and individual conferences.
More details can be found on the Poetry Workshop page.


WRITERS WORKSHOPS

The Writers Workshops week is entirely too complex and large to shift over to the online format as is, so we will be postponing the 50th Anniversary session to July 5 – 12, 2021.  Mark your calendars!  Our plan is also to put together some online offerings for 2020. More details can be found on the Writers Workshops page.
*  *  *  *  *  *
We don’t yet know how this pandemic will play out in 2021, but we hold out hope that we will be in a position to hold the workshops again then. We will miss workshops this summer in our beloved valley, we’ll miss getting acquainted with all of you, and we will miss the thin mountain air, those bluest of skies, and gathering under the stars together in the evening. Here’s hoping we can all be together next summer and that this worldwide nightmare will be behind us.

2007 – The Closing of the Follies. Pictured here too many to name, but there’s James D. Houston on the upright bass, and Al Young, and Alan Cheuse. In the foreground is Louis B. Jones, Greg Spatz, Caridwen Spatz, Sands Hall, Sue Miller. Some day we will sit together again and talk about poetry and prose. Some day soon we will stand together again and sing.


Quarterly Roundup of New Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni and Staff Authors in January – March, 2020

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums and staff members who have published books during the first quarter of 2020!

We are thrilled to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMNI

And congratulations to Poetry Workshop alum Diannely Antigua, who was recently awarded the Whiting Award for Poetry!

 

 

 

 

 

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOPS ALUMNI

NEWS AND NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY AND WRITERS WORKSHOPS TEACHING STAFF

And a special congratulations to Poetry Program co-director, Brenda Hillman, who was recently awarded the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This award goes to a poet of progressive, original, and experimental tendencies.

Do you have a forthcoming publication? Send us your news, and and we will post it in our Omnium Gatherum: Alumni News.  And if your news is a book publication, we’ll include it in our next quarterly 2020 New Alumni Books Update here.

The Newest OGQ is Here!

The second issue of OGQ: Omnium Gatherum Quarterly, the new quarterly online magazine from the Community of Writers, is here.

In this issue, Robin Romm gives us her previously unpublished recent Community of Writers craft talk, to instruct and amuse. In three poems, Danusha Laméris esteems both beauty and pain, with simultaneous dignity, humor and wild enthusiasm.  Ted Fowler offers vulnerability and empathy in an elegantly precise chapter from a loving memoir of his late wife. (Watch for the small plane at its conclusion!) Finally, fiction fabulist Ryan Ridge leads a smart, darkly funny romp through real and unreal worlds of social, literary and political imagination.

Visit the OGQ to read the latest issue, and subscribe to get the next issue sent directly to your inbox!


Announcing our 2020 Summer Writing Workshops

The Community of Writers is pleased to announce the 50th Anniversary of our Summer Writing Workshops in Poetry and Fiction, Nonfiction and Memoir.
We are now accepting applications. 

 THE POETRY WORKSHOP:
June 20 – 27, 2020

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.On several afternoons staff poets hold brief individual conferences. Director: Robert Hass.

Camille Dungy  •  Robert Hass  •  Brenda Hillman
Major Jackson  •  Ada Limón  •  Matthew Zapruder

Financial Aid Available.
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020. 

More program details, bios, logistics, and application form:

Visit the Poetry Workshop Page

THE WRITERS WORKSHOPS
in Fiction, Nonfiction & Memoir
July 6 – 13, 2020

 These 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, and 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 manuscripts, participants may have a second manuscript read by a staff member who meets with them in individual conferences.

TEACHING STAFF

 Lisa Alvarez  •  Tom Barbash  •  Michael Carlisle  •  Jane Ciabattari  •  John Daniel  •  Leslie Daniels  •  Cai Emmons  •  Alex Espinoza  •  Joshua Ferris  •  Janet Fitch  •  Karen Joy Fowler  •  Lynn Freed  •  Molly Giles  •  Sands Hall  •  Michael Jaime-Becerra  •  Dana Johnson  •  Louis B. Jones  •  Dylan Landis  •  Krys Lee  •  Edie Meidav  •  Patricia K. Meyer  •  Kirstin Valdez Quade  •  Jason Roberts  •  Elizabeth Rosner  •  Margaret Wilkerson Sexton  •  Julia Flynn Siler  •  Martin J. Smith  •  Gregory Spatz  •  Elizabeth Tallent  •  Andrew Tonkovich  •  Oscar Villalon  

SPECIAL GUESTS

Max Byrd  •  Meg Waite Clayton  •  Selden Edwards  •  Richard Ford  •  Diana Fuller  •  Anne Lamott
Diane Johnson  •  Michelle Latiolais  •  Kem Nunn  •  Amy Tan

PLUS

Literary Agents – Book & Literary Magazine Editors and more

INTRODUCING PUBLISHED ALUMS

Robin Page  •  Shobha Rao  •  Marci Vogel  •  Alia Volz  •  Kate Wisel

Financial Aid available.
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020

More program details, bios, logistics, and application form:
Visit the Writers Workshops Page

Quarterly Roundup of New Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni Authors published in October – December, 2019

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums who have published books during the fourth quarter of 2019!

We are delighted to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMNI

 

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOPS ALUMNI

Do you have a forthcoming publication? Send us your news, and and we will post it in our Omnium Gatherum: Alumni News.  And if your news is a book publication, we’ll include it in our next quarterly 2020 New Alumni Books Update here.


 

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Awards Grant!

We are pleased and honored to announce that the good folks at the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation have awarded the Community of Writers a $5,000 grant to support the work of our organization.

This remarkable organization is a tremendous community leader in so many ways. They really do make our area a better place to live and work by supporting a wide range of nonprofits and community-minded projects.

Thank you to Chief Impact Officer Phyllis McConn, the CFRE Stacy Caldwell, and the Board of Directors for all they do for the Community of Writers and the Tahoe Truckee region!


 

Quarterly Roundup of New Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni Authors published in July – September, 2019

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums who have published books during the third quarter of 2019!

We are delighted to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below.

Visit our Omnium Gatherum to explore all the recent alumni news.

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMNI

 

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOPS ALUMNI

Do you have a forthcoming publication? Send us your news, and and we will post it in our Omnium Gatherum: Alumni News.  And if your news is a book publication, we’ll include it in our next quarterly 2019 New Alumni Books Update here.


 

Images from the June 2019 Poetry Benefit Reading

After a long delay, we have finally uploaded images from the 2019 Benefit Poetry Reading. The Benefit was held in Grass Valley at the historic Saint Joseph’s Cultural Center on June 21 to an overflowing and enthusiastic crowd.

The 2019 Benefit Reading featured poets Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo, emcee Maxima Kahn, and were welcomed by Judy Crowe.
The Benefit Reading is held every year on the night before the Poetry Workshop in Squaw Valley to raise important funds for the Community of Writers Scholarship Fund for Poets.

Many thanks to the coordinator Eva Melas, as well as YubaLit’s Rachel Howard, and all the volunteers who made the event such as success.

Special thanks to Adrian Schneider for the photographs! You can view more of his work on his website: Adrian Schneider Photograhy.

View Photos

Join us at San Francisco’s LitCrawl for an Alumni Poetry Reading

Join the Community of Writers for an Alumni Poetry Reading during Phase 3 of the 2019 LitCrawl in San Francisco!

Saturday, October 19th, from 8-9 PM

Red Poppy Art House
2698 Folsom at 23rd,
San Francisco

www.litquake.org

Come celebrate the publication of Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2018, where alumni poets continue the tradition of publishing a collection of poems conceived in Squaw Valley during the Poetry Workshop at the Community of Writers.

Featured readings by

Joan Baranow • Marcene Gandolfo • Masha Lisak • Jesse Nathan • Emily Wolahan

In addition to readings from our featured poets, other poets published in the anthology will be chosen to read via draw of the hat:

Jeremy Cantor •  Jolie Clark • Armen Davoudian • Rosa de Anda • Rob Lipton • Diane K. Martin
Florencia Milito • Jacqueline Hughes Simon

 

In Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review, alumni poets continue the tradition of publishing a collection of poems begun during the Poetry Workshop. Poets from the most recent workshop submit three poems, revised or the same as the day the poem was first imagined. Volunteer editors, alumni from the same annual workshop, select the poems that appear in the Review. Proceeds benefit the Poetry Workshop Scholarship Fund.

The 2018 edition of Written Here was edited by Masha Lisak, Judy Brackett Crowe, Christine H. Cummings, Nancy Kangas, Diane Martin, Joan Baranow, Ted Lardner, Jack Martin, and Kate O’Neill. Book design and production by Cody Gates and Maureen Forys at Happenstance Type-O-Rama. The cover photograph was taken by Christopher Upham.

Copies of Written Here 2018 will be available for purchase!

Hope to see you there!

Thank You For An Extraordinary Summer!

Brett Hall Jones and Lisa Alvarez get ready for the writers workshops!

Thank you to all who helped make the 2019 summer of workshops happen!

2019’s Summer Workshops and events were a tremendous success.

Poems, photocopiers, poetry elves, vegan muffins, handmade tablecloths, softball games, nature walks past roaring snowmelt waterfalls, quaking aspen trees, anthologies, manuscripts, festooned pinecones, the Paul Radin Memorial Dream Wagon, music and the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates and her brilliant reading of her story “Assassin!”

Lisa Alvarez and Alex Espinoza present Vanessa Hua with a special festooned pinecone.

This year in particular stood out among many wonderful sessions.  The high caliber of the work, and the deep commitment to community, made this session particularly memorable.

We are grateful to our generous teaching staff members in PoetryFiction and Nonfiction who make the summer workshops an unforgettable and productive experience. And in particular I want to thank our program directors: Lisa AlvarezMichael Carlisle, Brenda Hillman, Diana Fuller, and Louis B. Jones. And thanks to Sands Hall for her leadership and for organizing the fabulous Follies!

Joyce Carol Oates, Daniel Halpern and Amy Tan in discussion after their readings.

And thanks to our Special Guests for the gift of their presence in the Valley: Daniel Halpern, Robert Hass, Michelle Latoiolas, Joyce Carol Oates, and Amy Tan.

Patricia K. Meyer joined us in the valley again this summer to teach her special class “The Alchemy of Adaptation.” A big thank you to Diana Fuller, who founded and shepherded this program from a full screenwriting program to an adaptation program for fiction and nonfiction writers. Thanks to Whitney Fuller and Christopher Upham for taking wonderful photographs. Thanks to Chris, also, for his technical support.

At the Tom Rickman tribute: Christopher Upham, Diana Fuller, Tom’s daughter Meghan Rickman Zola, Patricia K. Meyer and Tom Rickman’s granddaughter Lily. (Photo by Whitney Fuller.)

We mourned the loss of two of our beloved friends this summer: Burnett Miller and Tom Rickman. Many thanks to poet Gary Short for his moving comments about Burnett. And thanks to our friends Diana Fuller and Patricia K. Meyer for helping us to celebrate Tom’s life and history with the Community of Writers. We were so pleased and honored to be joined by the families of Burnett and Tom.

We are deeply grateful to the Capital Public Radio’s generous and remarkable Beth Ruyak for leading panels and interviews during our Writers Workshop week.

Heaps of gratitude again to Andrew Tonkovich, who was essential every step of the way: from the management of all the manuscripts during registration, to moderating panels, he was central to it all. He is also invaluable as we work toward celebrating our 50th Anniversary.

Julia Flynn Siler reads from the deck of the Paul Radin Memorial Dream Wagon.

A big thank you to Julia Flynn Siler and Charlie Siler for all of their work on the 50th Anniversary Oral History Project, including interviewing longtime staff members and filming panels and readings, videotaping them and making them available to us as we move into our 50th year.

We are grateful for the outstanding work done by Kaitlin Klaussen coordinating our participant and staff housing. Many thanks to Livia Keene, who worked our pop-up bookstore in the Dream Wagon during the Poetry Program. Thanks also to Lindsey Gordon and Tracy Hall for documenting the goings-on with their cameras (including the photos here). And thanks to Tracy, Dashiell Jones, and Kat Feiling, for creating a bit of home in our humble snack bar.

Eva Melas, Jesse Bedayn, Sean Hamilton, Kat Feiling, Dash Jones, Lindsey Gordon, and Hunter Jones.

Our Elves (and all-around helpers) were Jesse Bedayn, Kat Feiling, Lindsey Gordon, Sean Hamilton, Jesse Israel, Dashiell Jones, Hunter Jones, Remy Mickelson, Livia Keene, Audrey Rawson, and Louis Tonkovich. With high energy and good spirits, they all made things happen seamlessly. Special thanks to Eva Melas for the myriad of projects she managed. We would be lost without her. Details below.

Hunter and Dashiell helped us record events and will soon be putting them on our website as podcasts. Eva organized the Poetry Picnic this year at Meeks Bay along with the help of Lindsey Gordon and Hunter Jones. Indispensable also at the Poetry Picnic was our grill-master Leslie Hobayan who barbecued with confidence and good humor. A big thank you to all of our work-waivers Matthew Moniz, Andrew Dally, Nathan Cheng, Brian Chung, Benjamin Voigt, and Jennifer Steinorth for their help all week. Thanks to Karen Terrey  for helping with local publicity. And a special thanks to Poetry program work-waiver Nicholas Nichols for documenting the week through his lens.

Poetry staff members Sharon Olds, David Tomas Martinez and Gregory Pardlo celebrate with their team after the annual Poetry softball game. Photo by Nicholas Nicols. View more photos by N.N. here. 

The Benefit Poetry Reading took place in Grass Valley in June and many thanks are in order, especially to Maxima Kahn who emceed the event, Judy Crowe who introduced the event, as well as the seven participating poets: Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds and Gregory Pardlo. 

Special thanks to the Event Coordinator Eva Melas who, with the brilliant help of Rachel Howard at YubaLit, and  Don Rogers (publisher of the Grass Valley Union Newspaper) were instrumental in making sure we had a robust audience in such a small town. Thanks so much to our sponsors Grass Valley Courtyard SuitesYubaLit, and Nevada County Arts Council. Thanks to Copper Canyon Press, New Directions Press, Sarabande Books, and Wesleyan University Press for donating books.Thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers: Lindsey Gordon, Lisa Malsam, Emily Malsam & Michael MelasLydia & Jim Seely, and Mary Vogt. And special thanks to our friend Tom Taylor (lights and sound) who climbed a terrifying ladder to set the lights for the event. Thanks to Adrian Schneider for his wonderful photos. Elias Funez (Union Newspaper) also took some terrific photos from that night.

Members of the 50th Anniversary Committee gather at the home of Carlin and Jim Naify in Santa Cruz. From left: Jim Naify, Hunter Jones, Andrew Tonkovich, Eddy Ancinas, Sands Hall, Carlin Naify, Brett Hall Jones, Laura Howard, Nancy Teichert, and Julia Flynn Siler.

We would like to acknowledge our friends who have been tremendously generous with their time and local support over the years:  Mimi Miller, Eddy & Osvaldo Ancinas, and Amy Tan & Lou Demattei. Thanks also to alum and friend Bob Austin for his generous wine donation. Thanks also to Ben Preston for being so helpful with our conference move, and for his masterful management of the sound during the Follies.

Many thanks to the Board of Directors: a person in my position couldn’t ask for a more responsive, generous and wise Board, especially president Jim Naify.  I am grateful to our Events Committee (Carlin Naify, Nancy Teichert and Ruth Blank) who made great things happen during the programs. Special thanks this year to my comrades Michael Carlisle and Michelle Latiolais, who are always there with advice, support and friendship. This year we welcomed one new Board Member: poetry workshop alum Ken Haas.


And to our Donors: What a community this is! Your support is essential to this thing we do.

With love and gratitude,

-Brett Hall Jones
Executive Director

An Evening With Janet Fitch

The Community of Writers
and
Stories on Stage Sacramento
are proud to present the return of  New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander, and The Revolution of Marina M. 

Janet Fitch

Friday, July 26th, 2019, at 7:00 PM

The Auditorium at CLARA

1425 24th St., Sacramento

Come celebrate the release of the second volume of Janet Fitch’s sweeping saga of a young woman’s coming of age during the Russian Revolution. Featuring Capital Public Radio’s Beth Ruyak in conversation with the author, highlighted by readings of vital passages in the book by Carissa Meagher.

Doors Open at 6:30 pm

  • Reception to follow with Russian sweets and vodka (and wine and beer). Souvenir shot glass included with ticket price.
  • Copies of Chimes of a Lost Cathedral will be available for sale
  • Janet Fitch will sign copies during the reception.
  • Beaucoup Chapeaux will perform Eastern European and Balkan traditional folk songs. (See video below.)

Proceeds will support the Community of Writers and Stories on Stage. 

Tickets:

  • Tickets $30/Students $15      
  • Advance Premium Tickets (first 2 rows only) $40
  • Group Tickets Available for $20. (10 Ticket Minimum.) To purchase group tickets call 530-470-8440 or contact us by email.

(Online/advance ticket sales will end at 1pm on the day of the event, July 26.)

Buy Tickets

Readings and “in conversation with” begin at 7:00, with a reception to follow at 8:30.

We will have Russian fare including caviar, Russian pastries, vodka, wine and waters!

Books will be available for purchase before and during the reception.

The band Beaucoup Chapeaux will take us to Eastern Europe and the Balkans will their music!


Directions and Parking:

The Auditorium at CLARA (E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts) is located at 1425 24th Street, Sacramento (on 24th Street between N and O Streets) in midtown Sacramento.  Street parking is plentiful, and free on weekends. You may also use the free lot behind the Auditorium. The entrance to the lot is on O Street, between 24th and 25th streets.

Please enter The Auditorium at CLARA from the door on 24th Street (closest to O Street), or from the parking lot. We will mark both entrances with balloons and fliers.

Accessible parking: Available from the lot behind the Auditorium. The Auditorium can be entered from the ground level.

Janet Fitch

Janet Fitch’s first novel, White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film.Her second novel, Paint It Black, hit bestseller lists across the country and has also been made into a film. She was a Community of Writers participant in Fiction in 1998, the Poetry Workshop in 2017, and returns regularly to teach during the Writers Workshops at the Community of Writers. www.janetfitchwrites.com

 

Beth Ruyak

Beth Ruyak is the host of Capital Public Radio’s Insight. www.capradio.org

 

Beaucoup Chapeaux

Beaucoup Chapeaux, a Nevada City, CA based quartet, plays music and blends of music from many countries and cultures–including their own. Maggie McKaig, accordion; Randy McKean, clarinet; Murray Campbell, violin; Luke Wilson, plectrum banjo.  More information. (Please note Murray Campbell is unable to participate that evening.) See video

 

Dramatic Readings by Carissa Meagher

Carissa Meagher has appeared in Antigone (Big Idea Theatre); Brilliant Traces (Ovation Stage); An Octoroon and Anna Karenina (Capital Stage) and Steel Magnolias (Sacramento Theatre Company.) She’s also appeared in The Little Prince and Henry IV  at The Theater at Monmouth in Maine. She earned her BFA in acting from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and an MFA In Playwriting from Ireland’s Lir Academy.

 

Stories on Stage, Sacramento

Sacramento’s award-winning reading series, Stories on Stage, features short fiction by established and emerging writers from Sacramento and surrounding areas, introduced by their authors and read by actors.  More information.

Beers Books

Many thanks to Beers Books who will be on hand to sell books for the event. For over seventy years, Beers has served Sacramento and Northern California. They buy, sell, and trade books everyday, and pride themselves on fair prices and ample selection. Their stock is perpetually changing, so frequent visits may yield amazing finds. More information.

 

Thanks to the support of our friends at YubaLit in Nevada City.The reading series where Sierra foothills literature lovers gather to celebrate the written word.

 

 

The Community of Writers

Proceeds will support the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, a not-for-profit organization which, for 48 years, has  been one of the premier writers conferences  in the country, assisting talented writers and poets with diverse cultural perspectives. More information.


For more information about this event,  call 530-470-8440 or contact us by email.

Buy Tickets

 

2019 Poetry Benefit Reading

An Evening With Beloved Poets

Nationally Known Poets return to Nevada County

Click on the author portraits to learn about these poets and their work. Or View as List

Forrest Gander  •  Brenda Hillman  •  David Tomas Martinez
Jane Miller  •  Sharon Olds •  Gregory Pardlo • with special guest Robert Hass

This year we are pleased to welcome seven extraordinary poets including four Pulitzer Prize winners, a recipient of the Griffin International Prize, a recipient of the Wallace Award for Poetry, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, a National Book Award winner, and a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.

Click here to view bios.

Community of Writers Poetry alum Maxima Kahn will Emcee the Event.

Friday, June 21, 2019
7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:00)

St. Joseph’s Cultural Center

On Friday, June 21, 2019, acclaimed poets Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo will read from their poetry at the St. Joseph’s Cultural Center

410 S. Church Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

This gathering of the tribe—all staff poets from this year’s Community of Writers’ Summer Poetry Workshop in Squaw Valley—will raise money for the Poetry Program’s financial aid and scholarships. Join us for a reading, signing, and reception with the poets. Books by the poets will be available for purchase before and after the reading.

We are delighted to report that St. Joseph’s Cultural Center is air-conditioned!

For more information contact us.

TICKET PRICES

General Admission: $25 advance/$30 at the door

Students: $12 advance/$15 at the door for students (with current student ID)

Premium Seats (first 2 rows): $45

Groups (10 or more purchased at the same time): $20/ticket
** Advance Ticket Sales end at 10:00 AM on June 21 ** 

If you would like to purchase tickets over the phone, call 530-470-8440

Tickets

Directions

St. Joseph’s  is located at 410 S. Church Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945.  For location map and directions, please visit the St. Joseph’s Cultural Center’s website.

Parking

St. Joseph’s has a parking lot. If full there are several other lots in Grass Valley as well as street parking.

Parking for visitors with disabilities can be found in St. Joseph’s lot.

This venue is wheelchair accessible.


Get Involved!

Become a Sponsor or Give to the Poetry Scholarship Fund

We are looking for volunteers! We need help with:

  • Promoting the event during the months of April and May.
  • Crowd-wrangling on the evening of June 21.

If you are interested in helping (and in a free ticket to the event), please contact us.

Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2017

It’s here!

We are delighted to announce the publication of Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2017.  This annual anthology is made up of poems first written during the 2017 Poetry Workshop, and is available now! Proceeds benefit the Poetry Workshop’s Scholarship Fund.

Each June at the Community of Writers, poets gather in the Sierras to write and share their new work. Participants and teaching staff poets alike write a poem each day and then bring their new draft to workshop the next morning. All of the poems in Written Here 2017 first emerged during the Poetry Workshop week. This edition of Written Here contains a historic first for the Community: it contains work by each and every one of the poets who attended in 2017, as well as poems by each of the staff poets: Francisco Aragón, Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo. The result is an astonishing look into what this generative and supportive week can yield. Congratulations to the volunteer alums who made this happen: Editor, Aaron Graham; managing editor Roger Soffer; photographer, Ananda Lima; and Cody G. Gates, the book’s designer.

Poets included in the issue:

Allison Albino · Amy Antongiovanni · Francisco Aragón · Gene Berson · Judy Bertelsen · Rebecca Black · Allyson Boggess · Jennifer Swanton Brown · Sammi Bryan · Lucy Burns · Anita Ann Cabrera · James Cagney · Brian Cochran · Susan Cohen · Alana de Hinojosa · David R. Dixon · Ryan Dzelzkalns · Janet Fitch · Neil Flatman · Kari Flickinger · Tracy Fuad · Josie Gallup · Forrest Gander · Aaron Graham · Kelsey Gutierrez · Susie Hammond · Kim Harvey · Robert Hass · Zakia Henderson-Brown · Brenda Hillman · Jackie Hymes · Alisha Kaplan · Michele Karas · Stefan Karlsson · Hannah Perrin King · Elizabeth Lapin · Lester Graves Lennon · Raina J. León · Ananda Lima · Yuxi Lin · Bonnie Long · Antonio Lopez · Jami Macarty · Dean Wilfred Martineau · Max McDonough · Dawn McGuire · Maggie Millner · Penelope Moffet · David Moody · Madeleine Mori · David Mucklow · Robin Myers · Kimberly Nunes · Sharon Olds · Gregory Pardlo · Therí Pickens · C. Pirloul · Laura Post · Henry Rappaport · Nicholas Reiner · Laura Rosenthal · Deborah Dashow Ruth · Brynn Saito · Cintia Santana · Matthew Schmidt · Vernon Small · Roger Soffer · Carl Steen · Jeanine Stevens · Cameron Stuart · Gabriella R. Tallmadge · Jan Verberkmoes · Marci Vogel · Katie Walker · Jeff Walt · Paul Watsky · Randy White · Annette Wong · Emma Winsor Wood

The book available through a print-on-demand site for $18

Buy Now

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Dream Manifested: The Paul Radin Memorial Dream Wagon

Today we want to  celebrate the construction and near completion of the Paul Radin Memorial Dream wagon. Construction started in early 2018, but months of planning, researching and fundraising came first.

Please scroll down and see the dozens of photos we’ve posted. We will take you from initial planning to the finished project.

An homage to our neighbor, the late Paul Radin, this Tiny House on wheels offered a practical answer to the problem of limited space and time constraints for a bookstore in the Valley. The Dream Wagon is a multipurpose tiny house on wheels. It is hard to believe we actually accomplished this project in so little time, and the endeavor was a delightful project once we saw clearly how to make it happen.

The Dream Wagon had its debut during the workshops last summer, and even in its not-quite-finished state, it was a success in every way.  As a bookstore and as a stage for our readers and performers, it met and exceeded all our expectations. Imagine our authors giving readings from the stage. Then, when the reading is over, the audience can move inside to purchase that author’s book.

After the summer,  it arrived back in Nevada City where it was settled under the canopy of a pear tree. Each fall it will serve as our headquarters until next spring when it will be towed to the Valley again.

We’re deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to its creation, whether with donations, labor, advice or materials. Now that it is (mostly) complete, we’re proud to show it off. The process of inventing and bringing it to fruition was risky, stressful, and deeply satisfying.  It responds to a long-standing need for a moveable office, archives, and bookstore space. It helps us look to the future as a charming and unforgettable evocation of our place in the writing world. Scroll down to see pictures of the construction process and join us on our journey!

Deep thanks to the family of Paul Radin for major funding of the project and for providing the initial burst of inspiration and enthusiasm, and to the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation for the last funds that kept us under budget. (See the full list of project donors below.)

When he died in 2005, Paul Radin left to the Community of Writers a small box of books labeled “Paul Radin Library.” Now, in his honor, the Community has dedicated a mobile bookstore, office and library in his name.

Lots of planning went into the Dream Wagon. Brett visited several  tiny houses and researched styles extensively, making sure this little dream wagon worked for a variety of purposes all year round.

It was time to raise support for this project and we needed an image. Thanks to artist and writer Stephanie Taylor for this perfect imagining of the project. She even added staff writer Greg Spatz and his wife Caridwen. Those who have attended the Writers Workshops know what amazing musicians they are!

Most tiny houses sit on trailers with an 8 1/2 foot width, but given the many purposes of the Dream Wagon, we needed something wider, so we went with a trailer with a 10-foot width. This allows more space for bookcases, desks and mobility in the tiny house. Damon at TrailerMade Trailers gave us a terrific discount in late 2017 and then delivered it to us.

And here it is in place in Nevada City, the build site. This photograph was taken January of 2018. It would only be a few months before the tiny house made its debut at the 2018 session of the Community of Writers in Squaw Valley.

After leveling, spray foam insulation goes into the floor of the trailer. That stuff is expensive!

With the floor down, the framing starts to go up. Journeymen Dave and Larry lift the inaugural wall. This will be the wall of Brett’s office in the tiny house with two windows looking out at the meadow and the garden.

During framing, this is the board designated to be in the middle of the wall where Brett’s desk would sit.

Starting to look like a house!

A view of the rafters being installed.

Rafters on!

Another view of the rafters.

Roof on!

It is coming together. The unique curve of the roof was to evoke the traveling “caravan” or “vardo” without being too derivative. For a while the front door (right) was planned with a curved entryway, but the arch was later rejected to get the ‘staircase’ effect of the two windows and the door on the front of the tiny house.  The archway on the side is for the french doors which will open up onto the fold-down deck/stage. This will allow conference participants to enter the bookshop interior.

Stained glass windows. A Craigslist find. These were salvaged from a 1910 cottage in Berkeley.

Hand-built windows arrived from Portland! Single paned to avoid glass problems with moving the structure up over Donner Summit. Carl Kagy of Designs for People made these by hand, and then, because he had other stops to make in California, delivered the windows himself.

Spray foam insulation in, and the windows can be installed. Here is our contractor, Jim, installing a window.

Windows going in.

Hunter staining the cedar siding. The siding is from local incense cedar trees and was milled in Nevada City and beveled on the spot.

The good stuff. The siding was stained with Sikkens ‘dark oak.’

With the windows in and the siding stained, the exterior can start to come together.

More cedar was used to follow the curvature of the roof on the front and back overhangs of the roof. It’s cut to 3 1/4″ strips to match what will be the interior ceiling boards.

The deck/stage made by Preston Williams arrives. It weighs 500 pounds!

Deck on! It will fold up for transport and cover the french doors. The platform will be made out of plywood sheets.

Reclaimed door for the entryway.

Siding on the front of the tiny house.

On to the interior. Here’s Lindsey sanding down the salvaged boards that will compose the ceiling of Brett’s (under loft) office. She’s a scientist in real life.

And priming the interior walls. Because the tiny house has to move and flex in transport, drywall is too heavy and brittle to hold up. Auburn Hardwoods gave us a deal on these sheets of baltic birch plywood. It’s sturdy and lightweight. Here they are getting primed before they get installed.

The ceiling is made from the remaining incense cedar used for the siding, cut to 3 1/4″ width to match the curvature of the roofline. This was a beast to install for Hunter and Lindsey who weren’t sure it would ever end. Days of holding board after board above their heads and checking and rechecking for straightness.

They did it! Ceiling done! Over time the cedar will deepen in color.

And now that the floors are in, bookcases can be installed. More Craigslist bargains: The four bookcases were $100 for the four; the mahogany wainscoting was torn out of a 1950s Eichler home in Marin County. All the wood was $35.