What makes a “Southern” poet today? Is it just that she was born in Tennessee or that he writes about his hometown? Does landscape, a region, influence writing, even if the writer never touches on home in their writing? In this class, we'll look at the regional characteristics of Southern poetry, through studying modern Southern poets, such as Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Wendell Berry, and Maurice Manning.
As a subject, writing about parenting and/or our children brings up questions of vulnerability, exposure, confession, and permission, while formally, the poetics of motherhood encompasses craft elements like voice and narrative as well as forms such as odes, elegies, or epistolary poems. This workshop will explore the various ways that the experience of mothering (in any of its forms) intersects with the poem on the page and the artistic act of creating.
One legitimate complaint levied against metrical poetry in the twenty-first century concerns a lack of diversity. Despite the wealth of meters ripe for revisitation, iambic meter remains the most common rhythm in English and, in the minds of many, represents all metrical poetry.
Giving voice to written work can add layers of meaning while specifying our intent and charging the inky symbols on the page with emotional and intellectual substance. Recitation is an art and in this five-hour workshop participants will work with award-winning performance poet, storyteller, and educator David Gonzalez to hone the skills needed to enliven the written page for the performance stage.
Including fabulist elements within a realist world can successfully highlight themes of loss, frustration, love, and belonging. This four week online course will focus on allowing fabulist moments to glimmer within poetry. We will explore how poets take that familiar domestic scene—a kitchen, a laundry room, a vegetable patch—and distort the details to reveal the actual nature of the situation through fabulism.
Join dozens of local book publishers, authors, poets, children’s book writers and illustrators at The Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair, a working collaboration between the Catskill Center, Writers in the Mountain and Poetry Barn. An exhibitors’ tent will feature books from such regional publishers as Black Dome Press, Bushwhack Books, Calling All Poets, Hope Farm Press, McPherson & Co., Post Traumatic Press, Purple Mountain Press and WoodstockArts.
Along with the book fair, the well-appointed Catskill Interpretive Center will be open to help you plan your next hike, water adventure or tour of the Catskills.
Come with friends, family and your picnic baskets to listen to the finest Catskill authors discuss the glories of the Hudson River Valley!
FREE and open to all ages.
"We shall not wilt. Let a thousand flowers bloom." — Abbie Hoffman, Workshop in Nonviolence, May 1967
The expression "flower power" was coined by the American beat poet Allen Ginsberg as a way to re-visualize war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles. Like seeds of flowers, war contains within it all life compressed. Because human beings are fragile in the face of it, time seems to stop. The immediate moment can seem like a year. All that we love becomes more precious even as we are numbed by violent circumstances.
Though war has not gone away despite exhortations of the peaceful, when the lens is brought close to the particulars of a soldier, veteran, or involved civilian’s life, we may see truth and beauty in small daily things, little gems that reflect the whole, a fly’s eye of brilliant perception.
Though largely overlooked and comparatively unknown, the contributions of the female writers, artists, activists of the Beat Generation men—Anne Waldman, Joanne Kyger, Joan Vollmer, Hettie Jones, Diane di Prima, and Carolyn Cassady, among others—were a significant literary force field in the movement's revolution.
Other than being muses, wives, and girlfriends to the likes of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Cassady, what were their contributions to the canon? Did they embrace the freedoms of sex, drugs, and the open road as wholly as their male peers? Why were they not as celebrated as they should have been, despite the merit of their collective voices?
Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel Dharma Bums is a chronicle of some of the greatest Beat and Americana authors of all time. Poets like Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, among others, are all fictitiously portrayed in the Dharma Bums.
This two-day workshop will adopt one of the novel's central points of inspiration—mountains. We will challenge ourselves, in the pursuit of inspiration, with a moderate hike on the Catskill's Ashokan High Point Trail near the Poetry Barn. By focusing on nature, and the simple, short, yet profound image, we will take notes for crafting poems during a morning hike and lunch on the mountain, followed by a late afternoon descent.
Play and experiment with art techniques; process thoughts and feelings; document your life! Art journals combine images and words to express a thought, feeling, or idea, manifesting into your own personal journey of creative expressionism. An Earth Day event.
Poetry Barn will be hosting an off-site reading during AWP! The venue is steps from the convention center - a beautiful and open space with 30-ft high ceilings and a grand central staircase that leads to a mezzanine level (the "Loft") - where our reading will take place with a private bar.
To construct the Ashokan Reservoir, which the Poetry Barn borders, four hamlets were demolished and eight moved, some 2,000 people were forced out to flood the valley, and some 2,000 graves disinterred. Residents thus experienced the loss of their homes as well as their communities and the cornerstones of their society: churches, schools, shops, and railroad stations. We'll learn more about its history, reading and writing poems of place, landscape, the water crisis, ruins, and ghosts.
In this workshop, we'll transform the lushness of the Hudson River School paintings into the "black ink" of haiku. We'll close-read well-known haiku masters and feast our eyes on some of the great Hudson River School paintings. After writing our haiku, we'll literally "paint them in black ink" on a large sheet of paper to take home.
We’ll provide the tools: punch, awl, needles, twine, bone folders, paper. You provide the creativity. You’ll learn two simple methods of creating and binding a book, hands-on, which you can then take home with you. The techniques we will use are the Japanese four-hole stab bookbinding technique and pamphlet-stitching.
From planting to harvest, cooking to eating, food has inspired poets as one of life's most sensual pleasures, and because poetry about food is often just as much about something else: body image, love, yearning, addiction. The Catskills' edible bounty is a feast for the senses. We’ll pair exemplary food poems with delectable local fare, observing the unique characteristics of each food type, and drawing upon all of our senses to write the food poem that could only issue from your throat.
At this event, we’ll pay homage to the Barn's cultural heritage by reading and writing poems about wings, flight, and transformation. Participates will be provided with templates to construct paper airplanes from their poems to keep as objets d’art or to launch on a flight to be found someday by someone who needs to read it at that very moment in time.