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Dharma Bums: Hiking & Haiku

  • Poetry Barn 1693 New York 28A West Hurley, NY, 12491 United States (map)

Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The 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. Although it will be impossible to take a tour of the famous mountains Ray Smith does in The Dharma Bums, we will challenge ourselves, in the pursuit of inspiration, with a beautiful two-mile hike on Phoenicia's Tanbark Trail.

By focusing on nature, and the simple, short, yet profound image, we will take notes for crafting poems during the afternoon hike. Following our descent, we'll relax beside the Esopus Creek at the Emerson Resort & Spa, an extraordinary spot inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson. That evening, feel free to take in one of the area's many events, or relax and write in your choice of nearby accommodations.

The next day, we will have a poem to work on, or some notes with which to start shaping them. We'll come together to share the poems in workshop with The Heron's Nest editor John Stevenson, and end our day with a collaborative renga and short walk around the Ashokan Reservoir, just minutes from the barn.

Suggested donation: $30 (includes two meals)

Teaching Artist: John Stevenson, Managing Editor, The Heron's Nest
Trail Guide: Will Nixon, author, Walking Woodstock


Saturday, 9/2

12:00-12:30: Meet & Greet
12:30-2:00: Lunch & Lecture
2:00-5:00: Hike & Write
5:30-7:00: Refreshments & Reflections
Evening to yourself

Sunday, 9/3

12:00-2:00: Haiku & Brunch
2:00-4:00:  Reservoir & Renga

Earlier Event: July 23
The Company We Keep: Words & Music
Later Event: March 21
#MeToo: The Future is Female