Announcing Issue 7 of the OGQ: The Omnium Gatherum Quarterly

The fall issue of our online, in-house, invitation-only, COVID-era quarterly Community of Writers journal arrives, as you will note, with a lot of adjectival explanation.  Fortunately, the writing once again lives up to the hype, with poetry and prose which runs the gamut.  Running the gamut has been a marathon lately, as reflected in personal, political, meditative if reliably artful offerings from this issue’s contributors: poet David Mills, novelist Monica West and nonfiction writers Martina Clark and Kate Nason. Dear friend Kris O’Shee shares an excerpt from her memoir about life and love with longtime staffer Alan Cheuse (1940-2015), with archival photos by Brett Hall Jones and Tracy Hall.  Fiction Co-Director Louis B. Jones starts us off with a seasonal report from the actual Valley. I hope you are delighted, inspired, and affirmed by exemplary work from your Community of Writers pals, whether you’ve met them in real life at the conference or not.

Andrew Tonkovich

Editor, OGQ

Read the OGQ

Quarterly Roundup of Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni Poets and Writers in July – September, 2021.

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums who have published books during the third quarter of 2021! We are delighted to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below. Support these writers and buy their books!

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

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMS

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOP ALUMS

Public Memoir & Narrative Nonfiction Events as Part of our Summer Workshops

August 1 – 6 , 2021 in the Virtual Valley

Join us for craft panels and readings which will take place as part of our workshop week.

Offerings includes craft discussions, panels on editing and publishing, and staff readings, and brief individual conferences.

Please see our schedule below.

These events are free; donations welcome.

All times Pacific.

Monday, August 2

1:00 PM: Panel: Structure and Other Essential Narrative Strategies in Memoir and Nonfiction, with Alex Espinoza, Debra Gwartney, Sands Hall, Julia Flynn Siler, moderated by Frances Dinkelspiel

Register

5:00 PM: Short Takes: Staff read work in progress and talk about issues of craft: Frances Dinkelspiel, Alex Espinoza, Julia Flynn Siler, Martin J. Smith

Register

Tuesday, August 3:

1:00 PM: Panel: Locating and Researching the Story You Need to Tell with Lauren Markham, Julia Flynn Siler, Martin J. Smith, Grace Talusan, moderated by Alex Espinoza

Register

5:00 PM: Short Takes: Staff read work in progress and talk about issues of craft: Sands Hall, Lauren Markham, Grace Talusan

Register

Thursday, August 5:

1:00 PM: Writing About Family and Other Difficult Topics, with Glen David Gold, Sands Hall, Gregory Pardlo, and Grace Talusan, moderated by Debra Gwartney

Register

5:00 PM: Short Takes: Staff read work in progress and talk about issues of craft: Glen David Gold, Debra Gwartney, Gregory Pardlo

Register

Friday, August 6:

1:00 PM: Panel: Short Forms, Hybrid Forms with Frances Dinkelspiel, Alex Espinoza, Debra Gwartney, Martin J. Smith, moderated by Sands Hall

Quarterly Roundup of Alumni Books

Books published by Alumni Poets and Writers in April – June, 2021.

Congratulations to these Community of Writers Alums who have published books during the second quarter of 2021! We are delighted to share their success with you. You can explore these books by clicking the book cover images below. Support these writers and buy their books!

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

NEW BOOKS FROM POETRY WORKSHOP ALUMS

NEW BOOKS FROM WRITERS WORKSHOP ALUMS

Conversations from the Virtual Valley featuring David Ulin and Laura Cogan

We are pleased to present another Conversation from the Virtual Valley with ZYZZYVA‘s Laura Cogan and Air/Light‘s editor David Ulin.

The Community of Writers continues its series of literary conversations as part of our online literary journal, The OGQ: The Omnium Gatherum Quarterly.

With the release of its Los Angeles-themed issue, Bay Area-based ZYZZYVA provides our “Conversations from the Virtual Valley” video-cast series an opportunity to see how one Northern and one Southern California magazine consider and, at times, reconsider Los Angeles. ZYZZYVA editor Laura Cogan joins editor, author and anthologist David Ulin, whose new online magazine Air/Light is devoted to Southern California writing, to talk about, share, and critique the literary scene in Los Angeles. In this Conversation, these two experienced and engaged literary pals, and friends of the Community of Writers, talk about their projects, offer insights, celebrate writers, and encourage readers of, and possible contributors to, each of their magazines.  And, ultimately, invite you to become subscribers to both journals!  
View Conversation

The 50th Anniversary Poetry Anthology featured in the newest issue of Blue Door magazine

Read about the anthology in the Blue Door magazine:

“The poems tell a California story and the story of the American West and American poetry,” Alvarez says. “Contributors include some of the country’s most acclaimed poets, along with those just starting out, each with something to say about where and how we live together.”

From The Blue Door, Issue 14

“The poets in the (Poetry) program are being celebrated in a new anthology published by Heyday Books: Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers. The title comes from a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell, who directed the Poetry Program for 17 years: “Then why to these rocks/ Do I keep coming back why.”

Read More at Blue Door (pgs. 38-39)
More Details about the Anthology
Order the Book

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.

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
Order Book

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

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.