Poetry Workshop Teaching Staff Information – In the Virtual Valley

We are so happy you will join us on staff in the Virtual Valley June 2020!

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

This webpage is here for your information. If you have any questions, please let Brett know.



View /Print Sample Schedule of Events

Typical Daily Schedule (when we are in the Valley)

8:00 – 9:30     Poetry Elves collect and photocopy poems for the Morning Sessions
9:30                  Staff Poets send or bring poems in to be copied; pick up poems to take to Morning Session.
10:00 – 12:00  Morning Sessions
4:00 – 5:00     First Aid  (Your schedule will be available on arrival. You can expect to be scheduled 3 or 4 days)
5:30 – 6:30      Craft Talk (Except Wednesday when it will be at 12:30 pm)
6:30                  Dinner

Due to the different time-zones, may have different specific hours.

Wednesday late afternoon and evening are a break in the usual schedule. There won’t be anything scheduled for you then.

Daily Workshops

The emphasis is on generating new work. We ask all participants including the staff to bring a draft of a new poem to a Daily Workshop every day during the week. The Daily Workshop (groups 0f 12) meet from each and the poets read each other their new drafts and give and get feedback with the understanding that these are drafts, not necessarily finished poems.

Morning Session Schedule

You will be asked to lead a Morning Session on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings from 10:00 – noon. The Morning Session on the final Saturday is held early and tends to be over by 10:30 am, due to its being a travel day. Most of the 72 Poetry participants will cycle through the Morning Sessions you lead, so that by the end of the week you will have worked with almost every participant.

Craft Talk

Please plan a 45-50 minute talk to present during the week on some aspect of craft. Let us know if you have a preference. If you will have hand-outs, please email those to us in advance for copying.

Schedule of Craft Talks (TBD)

  • Sunday:
  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:

Poetry First Aid

At 4pm each day a few staff poets hold very brief (6 minute) individual conference sessions so that participants can ask specific questions about current poems. You can expect to hold a consulting hour 3 or 4 days during the week. (Schedule will be available on arrival.)

Bookshop and Your Books

Every summer, the Community of Writers creates a popup bookstore for the week of the Poetry Workshop. The bookshop will be open for the convenience of participants and staff. Because we run our own bookshop, we will be somewhat limited in the number of titles we can carry.  Make sure you have provided a list of up to three titles for us to order for the bookshop.  If books are no longer in print, you can always consign.

Benefit Poetry Reading: Friday, June 19, 2020

Thank you for participating in the Benefit Reading. It will be held before the Poetry week, Friday night, June 21, location TBD. The reading will begin at 7:00 pm. More details to come. Proceeds from the Benefit will go to the 2021 Community of Writers Poetry Scholarship Fund, which will grant partial tuition waivers to help talented poets attend. On June 20, you will make your way by car to Squaw Valley. We will work out ride-sharing details among you.

Code of Conduct

The Community of Writers will not tolerate any instances of discrimination, harassment, or any other form of mistreatment in conjunction with any of our programs.  Respect and consideration for others, both within and outside our sessions, are core values to be upheld by all participants and teaching staff. Harassment or disrespect of community members on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or disability is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Should a staff member, volunteer or program participant be found to violate any aspect of the organization’s code of conduct, the Community of Writers reserves the right to dismiss her or him from the program.


We have an extensive scholarship program and we are always in need of more funding. If you are interested in donating a portion of your honorarium, we would be very grateful. All donations are tax-deductible.


You may be interested in our alumni. Please visit our Omnium Gatherum Alumni News page. You can view just poets by selecting Poets from the left-side panel.

And please visit our impressive Notable Alumni Poets page.

Poetry Review

An annual poetry anthology is published each year of poems written during the week in Squaw Valley. It is compiled and edited by volunteer editors from the ranks of that year’s participants. We hope you will submit poems when the time comes.


Community of Writers
PO Box 1416
Nevada City, CA 95959
Brett at communityofwriters dot org
Office: 530-470-8440
Cell: 530-205-8779