Why To These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers
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 the High Sierra during the annual workshop week.
Edited by Lisa Alvarez, and introduced by long-time poetry director and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Hass. 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 the Place; Scrupulous Mercy: Poems about the Process; and After Surfacing: Poems Produced by the Process in the Place.
Contributors include both workshop staff and participants, among them Kazim Ali, Don Mee Choi, Lucille Clifton, Toi Derricotte, Rita Dove, Cornelius Eady, Juan Felipe Herrera, Brenda Hillman, Cathy Park Hong, Forrest Gander, Major Jackson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, Gregory Pardlo, Evie Shockley, Al Young, Kevin Young, C.D. Wright, Matthew Zapruder, a never-before-published poem by Galway Kinnell, and many more.
This collection 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 the 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.
The Community of Writers, formerly the “Community of Writers at S*** Valley”, was founded over five decades ago by California writers Blair Fuller and Oakley Hall, who wished to foster a literary culture in the West that would be conversant with the publishing establishment of the East Coast. Galway Kinnell re-envisioned the Poetry program as new kind of workshop, where only new work was discussed, and poets were free to try anything in their work.
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Major support for this project has been provided by Ken Haas; the California Center for the Book, a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian; and the alums and friends of the Poetry Workshop of the Community of Writers. Thank you!
Past Virtual Anthology Events
(Thanks to the Mill Valley Library and the Marin Poetry Center for providing recording.)
Books & Totes
As you know, the publication date has been delayed for the anthology. The hard-cover book will be available on April 13. You can pre-order your book and/or order your Anthology Tote from the Community of Writers.
Order your book and tote from the Community of Writers
To order a a tote go to the Community of Writers. You can buy books there too. Books and totes will begin shipping out on or after April 15. Patience will be called for.
50th Anniversary Slideshow of Poetry Week
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