Workshop Focus

The cultivation of close and permeable attention will be the taproot of this advanced-level workshop. We will bring an open, intimate, and tenacious looking to words, worlds, and the craft-informed relationship between them where poetry begins. The workshop sessions will include generating a variety of poetic “starts” (whether rough drafts or near-finished poems) and also group attention to one previously written poem by each participant. In both, we’ll be making conscious the nameable elements of craft that underlie poetry’s power to conjure, transform, delve, evoke, counter, move, unravel, expose, augment, and surprise. Both mystery and generosity are part of any genuinely creative act. These are ungovernable and ultimately undomesticable forces. Yet they too can be invited, welcomed. A permeable and acute attention is the door through which unforeseeable energies slip into good poems.

The morning workshop will include writing experiments, close-reading responses to poems, and conversation on craft. Afternoons and evenings will be free for writing, reading, and exploring Key West. Please bring with you writing materials, four poems not your own (one page or less in length) which you particularly admire, and copies for the full group of one recent poem of your own for workshop discussion.


This workshop is full. Click here to join the waitlist.
This workshop is intended for practicing poets with some craft vocabulary, familiarity with the workshop process, and some strong intention toward a deepening relationship with the investigative art & investigative play of poems. Admission will be based on a writing sample. To be considered, please submit no more than 4 pages of poetry and a cover note (one page or less) as a single word document. Please name the .doc “HirshfieldSub_YourName.doc” and upload it when you register.

About Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield’s most recent book of poems is Come, Thief, published by Knopf in 2011; two new books, poems and a new book of essays, will appear from Knopf in spring 2015. In 2011 she also published The Heart of Haiku, a best-selling e-book exploring the origins of haiku and the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Basho, named an Amazon “Best Book of 2011.” Her sixth collection, After (HarperCollins), was named a “best book of 2006” by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England’s Financial Times. Her other books include Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), The Lives of the Heart, The October Palace, and Of Gravity & Angels. Her many honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2004 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an honor previously held by Elizabeth Bishop, William Carlos Williams, and Robert Frost. In 2012, she received the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Award in American Poetry, and was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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