Scheduled Poets
These poets will be featured at the poetry seminar, NOT the workshops.

Kim Addonizio
John Ashbery
Lucille Clifton
Billy Collins
Robert Creeley
Martín Espada
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Carolyn Forché
Forrest Gander
Dan Gerber
Jane Hirshfield
Carolyn Kizer
Dorianne Laux
Semezdin Mehmedinović
Sharon Olds
Charles Simic
James Tate
Quincy Troupe
Derek Walcott
Richard Wilbur
C. D. Wright

2003 Seminar Main Page
2003 Registration
2003 Workshops
2003 Schedule
2003 Lodging
Give us your input

Literary Seminar Home Page

Key West Literary Seminar

poetry 2003

the beautiful changes
poetry 2003

Writers' Workshops

Workshop Leaders
Click on the name to read a description of the workshop.
Paulette Bates Alden
Alan Cheuse
Sam Hamill
Judith Kazantzis
E. J. Miller-Laino
Judith Minty
Rebecca Seiferle

2003 Writers' Workshops
January 13, 14, 15, 16, 2003

This year we will have seven small writers' workshops—five of which will focus specifically on poetry. After reading workshop descriptions, call us toll free 1-888-293-9291, if you have additional questions.

Voice Lessons 
with Paulette Bates Alden

"I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear...
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else...
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs."
         From "I Hear America Singing" by Walt Whitman

Web Site:
Paulette Bates Alden
Paulette Bates Alden

Often what we're attracted to in a piece of writing - a poem, a memoir, a short story -- is a distinct, original human voice, singing its own "melodious song." Or as Patricia Hampl has written, "We want a voice speaking softly, urgently in our ear. Which is to say, to our heart." We respond to writers who have found a way to put their own individual stamp on their writing. We know, for example, how Jamaica Kincaid or Mark Doty or Mary Oliver sounds. These writers have found their voices or the voice needed to write a particular work.

Voice occurs when a lot of things - personality, content, process, technique, authority, etc. -- come together for the writer. This workshop will consist of "voice lessons" designed to help the writer pull together some of the aspects that help develop voice, whether in poetry or prose. We'll cover such things as trusting the writing process; finding one's own true subject matter; discovering the right tone; testing the writing with the ear; meeting the needs of the listener/audience; and learning ways to add texture and density to our writing. We'll examine various poems and prose excerpts to hear and analyze the voice that draws us in and holds us. We'll imitate some of these models to get the feel for how other writers create a "spoken" voice on the page. We'll read our work aloud to hear whether our voices resonate and to become more aware of when we're writing with "real voice" that actually speaks to a reader.

This workshop is appropriate for writers of poetry, fiction or memoir who are interested in exploring the concept of voice in writing and in developing their own writing voices. Exercises will be designed so that participants can work in the genre of their choice or experiment with a new genre.

"The poem, the story, the already there...before a word is ever put to paper; and the act of writing is the act of finding the magic key that will unlock the floodgates and let the flow begin.... The key, I believe, is literally a key in that it is is the tone of voice, the only tone of voice, in which this particular piece of writing will permit itself to be written."
         Editor and writer Norman Podhoretz in his book, Making It.

PAULETTE BATES ALDEN is the author of two critically acclaimed books, a collection of short stories, Feeding the Eagles (Graywolf Press) and a memoir, Crossing the Moon (Penguin). Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Antioch Review, the Mississippi Review, The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and other magazines. Her awards include a Stegner Fellowship to Stanford University, where she taught for three years as a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing, a Bush Foundation Fellowship, a Loft-McKnight Award and two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. For many years Alden taught creative writing at the University of Minnesota, where she received a University College Distinguished Teaching Award. She has also taught at Carleton College, where she was a Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor; at St. Olaf College; and at the Split Rock Arts Program. Though she loves poetry and has taught poetry writing, she does not claim to be a poet. However, she feels her own writing comes out of the same lyric impulse as poetry.

Alden lives in Minneapolis and critiques manuscripts through her web site: This is Paulette's fourth workshop with the Seminar.

Prose Writing for Poets 
with Alan Cheuse

Web Site:
Alan Cheuse
Alan Cheuse

I have come to believe over the years that the best writing workshop any writer, poet or fiction writer, can take is a workshop in literary journalism and nonfiction writing. Learning the fundamentals of creating publishable newspaper and magazine pieces on literary subjects and mastering the skills required for writing book reviews will serve most writers well, by helping them find ways to make some money from incidental writing while they are focusing on their main writing projects.

For people who may not be poets but want to write about poetry (or, for that matter, anyone who wants to write on any aspect of the arts) such a workshop can only help them to refine and maintain their ideas on the page. For teachers of poetry a workshop like this will help them make the transition from writing scholarly articles to readily available essays and reportage for a more general readership.

We’ll explore, among other practical matters, various strategies for writing in a popular vein about individual poems, and how to research and write such pieces as profiles of literary figures, living and dead, and how to write occasional essays about one’s reading and writing life. And we’ll focus on such essential techniques as narrative flow in nonfiction prose, point of view, use of detail, establishing mood, and clarity of analysis.

ALAN CHEUSE is a fiction writer, journalist, and the book commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” He is the author, among other books, of the novels The Grandmothers’ Club, and The Light Possessed, the short story collections Lost and Old Rivers and The Tennessee Waltz, and a memoir, Fall Out of Heaven. He was written for many national publications on subjects ranging from contemporary literature to the pleasures of reading and writing and travel and has taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, among other places. His latest book is an essay collection titled Listening to the Page. Cheuse currently lives in Washington, D.C. and serves as a member of the writing program at George Mason University.

People can visit his website at for more information about him and his work. This is his second workshop at the Key West Literary Seminar.

The Path and Practice of Poetry 
with Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill
Sam Hamill

I come to poetry as a monk to a temple, believing that the practice of poetry is, of itself, sufficient. In Buddhist practice, it is often observed, “There are ten thousand paths to the Buddha.” And I am reminded that there are ten thousand teachers, most of whom lay claim to a particular lineage. The same may be said for the practice of poetry. It would be misleading not to acknowledge that my literary and philosophical lineage is pretty clearly evident in my translations and essays, especially the ancient Chinese and Japanese, but also the ancient Greek and our own High Modernists. As Basho instructed his students, I follow the ancient masters because I seek what they sought. When Rilke demands that we much change our lives as a consequence of the poem, that transformation begins, I believe, with a clarifying vision or perception. In my own practice, I seek a little daily enlightenment, not big fireworks. I write a lot of throw-away poems of the moment. In re-visioning the poem, it may grow or shrink or disappear. Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” was once 28 lines long, but we know it as a classic with a title and two lines. To be open to transformation is the first duty of any working artist. The second is to develop a lineage. The third is to contribute to it, to make a gift of transformation. And that is the poet’s heritage.

I hope the workshop will develop its own conversation, wherein we can critique a poem or two by each member while still engaging the bigger picture. I encourage participants to send one “finished poem” along with several available for revision, excision, or merely cosmetic surgery.

SAM HAMILL was born in 1943, probably somewhere in northern California. Orphaned during World War II, he grew up on a Utah farm, but spent much of his adolescence in and out of jails and hanging around the “Beat scene” in San Francisco. Following four years in the Marine Corps (wherein he became a Zen Buddhist and a Conscientious Objector), he attended at Los Angeles Valley College and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since 1972 he has served as Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press, during which time he taught short term intensive workshops in American prisons for fourteen years, in public schools for eighteen years, and visited scores of college campuses. For twenty years, he worked with battered women and children and with batterers seeking transformation. He has published fourteen volumes of original poetry, most recently, Dumb Luck; Gratitude; and Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995. Among his more than two dozen volumes of celebrated translations are Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese; Narrow Road to the Interior & Other Writings of Basho; The Essential Chuang Tzu (with J.P. Seaton); The Erotic Spirit; The Spring of My Life & Selected Haiku of Kobayashi Issa; and Lu Chi’s third century masterpiece, The Art of Writing. He is editor of The Gift of Tongues: Twenty-five Years of Poetry from Copper Canyon Press; The Selected Poems of Thomas McGrath; The Collected Poems of Kay Boyle; and (with Bradford Morrow) The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth. Among his many honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation; the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission; and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He lives in a house he built himself in the woods near Port Townsend, Washington, where he directs the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference.

Sam Hamill: A Primary Bibliography: (poetry)
1973 Heroes of the Teton Mythos (Copper Canyon Press)
1975 Petroglyphs (Three Rivers Press, Carnegie-Mellon University)
1976 The Calling Across Forever (Copper Canyon Press)
1978 The Book of Elegiac Geography (Bookstore Press)
1978 Triada (Copper Canyon Press)
1980 animae (Copper Canyon Press
1984 Fatal Pleasure (Breitenbush Books)
1987 The Nootka Rose (Breitenbush Books)
1988 Passport (Broken Moon Press)
1989 A Dragon in the Clouds (Broken Moon Press)
1991 Mandala (Milkweed Editions)
1995 Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995 (White Pine Press)
1998 Gratitude (BOA Editions, 1998)
2002 Dumb Luck (BOA Editions)

1980 At Home in the World (Jawbone Press)
1989 Basho's Ghost (Broken Moon Press)
1990 A Poet's Work: the Other Side of Poetry (Broken Moon Press, 1990) (2nd Ed. Carnegie-Mellon U. Press, 1997)

(poetry in translation)
1985 Night Traveling (from Chinese) Turkey Press
1985 The Lotus Lovers (from Chinese) Coffee House Press
1985 The Same Sea in Us All (from the Estonian of Jaan Kaplinski) Breitenbush Books
1986 The Art of Writing (Lu Chi's Wen Fu) Barbarian Press (Canada)
1986 Catullus Redivivus (Poems of Catullus) Blue Begonia Press
1987 The Art of Writing (Lu Chi's Wen Fu) Breitenbush Books
1987 Banished Immortal (Poems of Li T'ai-po) White Pine Press
1987 The Wandering Border (from the Estonian of Jaan Kaplinski) Copper Canyon
1988 Facing the Snow (Poems of Tu Fu) White Pine Press
1990 The Same Sea in Us All (English reprint) Collins Harvill
1991 The Art of Writing (Lu Chi's Wen Fu ) Revised Edition, Milkweed Editions
1991 Basho's Narrow Road to the Interior Shambhala
1992 Only Companion (Poems from Japanese) Shambhala
1992 The Infinite Moment (Poems from Ancient Greek) New Directions
1992 The Wandering Border (English reprint) Collins Harvill
1993 Endless River: Li Po and Tu Fu (Poems from Chinese) Weatherhill
1994 Midnight Flute (Poems from Chinese) Shambhala
1995 The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson and Issa (from Japanese) Shambhala
1996 Only Companion (expanded edition, from Japanese) Shambhala
1997 River of Stars: Selected Poems of Yosano Akiko [with Keiko Matsui Gibson] Shambhala
1997 The Spring of My Life and Selected Haiku (from Japanese of Issa) Shambhala
1998 The Essential Chuang Tzu [with J. P. Seaton] Shambhala
1998 The Essential Basho (from Japanese) Shambhala
     (In paper: Narrow Road to the Interior & Other Writings)
1999 Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese BOA Editions
2002 The Little Book of Haiku Barnes & Noble (reprint of The Sound of Water)
2003 The Shambhala Book of Zen Poetry (with J. P. Seaton) Shambhala
2003 Tao Te Ching Shambhala

(editor / introduction)
1988 Selected Poems of Thomas McGrath Copper Canyon Press
1991 Death Song (Posthumous poems of Thomas McGrath) Copper Canyon Press
1993 Love Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth, Shambhala
1995 The Erotic Spirit Shambhala
1996 The Gift of Tongues: Twenty-Five Years of Poetry from Copper Canyon Press
1997 Sacramental Acts: The Love Poems of Kenneth Rexroth [With Elaine Kleiner] Copper Canyon Press 2002 Collected Poems of Kenneth Rexroth [with Bradfored Morrow] Copper Canyon

Poetry and Music on CD:
1986/2001 Blue Moves (with Paul Herder, piano, Michael Phillips, acoustic bass) Poetry East/DePaul University
1998 Heart of Bamboo (with Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, shakuhachi; Elizabeth Falconer, koto) Copper Canyon Press

Comments on the work:

“Sam Hamill’s large body of major work in poetry has been inexplicably neglected, although his service to so many other poets as founding editor of Copper Canyon Press is deservedly well known and highly respected, as are his translations from Japanese and Chinese. This substantial collection (Destination Zero) will, one hopes, make his poems (new and out of print) available to a wider audience and give some sense of his music, his range and generosity, the strength and amplitude of this indispensable poet.”
             —Denise Levertov

"This selection of Yosano Akiko's poems [River of Stars] is uncommonly well translated by Hamill and Gibson."
             —Donald Richie, The Japan Times

"The Gift of Tongues is an estimable collection [of poems] chosen with obvious care and relish by Sam Hamill, Copper Canyon co-founder, editor and poet. Hamill's introduction alone may be worth the price of this memorable volume. This confident and feisty individualist has crafted both an inspiring history of Copper Canyon Press' rises to prominence from hopes and poverty, plus a powerful meditation on the impulse to live simply and create art."
             —John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Issa's most-loved work, The Spring of My Life is an autobiographical sketch of linked prose and haiku in the tradition of Basho. Hamill has included more than 160 of Issa's best haiku and an introduction providing essential information on Issa's life and valuable comments on translating (and reading) haiku."
             —Translation Review

"The thing that strikes me most forcibly about Gratitude— and this is damned unusual—is the wisdom in it. Nothing in the least sententious, nothing platitudinous, not a cliché in the whole collection, but such a wonderful compendium of good sense regarding human thought and conduct, presented in simple, natural images. Only language can do this, the verbal nexus, and of course the poems are beautifully written, prosodically and musically—a real pleasure to read. But over and over again I've said to myself, 'That's the truth, that's exactly what we need to do,' recognized with all the shock of perennial originality."
             —Hayden Carruth

"This much admired Taoist classic [The Essential Chuang Tzu] has been given a new lease on life in this fresh translation by Sam Hamill and J. P. Seaton, two of the most talented wordsmiths of their generation. It employs a language that is elegant, vibrant, and colorful, tempering faithfulness to the original with expressiveness in a colloquial American English that is exciting to read."
             —Irving Yucheng Lo

"Like a treasure chest of precious stones, the writings of Chuang Tzu shine with uncommon wisdom and insight. This new translation, which expertly preserves the humor and bite of these ancient teachings, will entice a whole new audience to read—and reread—Chuang Tzu's writings."
             Publisher's Weekly

"The Essential Chuang Tzu, newly translated by Sam Hamill and J. P. Seaton, is a stunning achievement. On the surface it is so elegant and witty, so vividly imaginative, that it is breathtaking, but then the book also wrings the heart and soul with the reality we have shared for thousands of years. This rendering of Chuang Tzu should be used as a morning missal, a lunchtime rejuvenator, an evening's study, and a nighttable reminder, and also offers serenity for the insomniac."
             —Jim Harrison

"Gratitude" is an apt title for Sam Hamill's collection of poems...[he] gracefully incorporates insights gained from Buddhist meditative practices into verse. If work is human necessity—chopping wood, carrying water, and in Hamill's case writing and editing—so is the discipline of prayer... A Benedictine monk once told me that our friendship had taught him that for poets, there are no "little things." Hamill would agree, I think, recognizing that in the tasks of each day it is the poet's job to nourish a sacramental sensibility."
             —Kathleen Norris, Hungry Mind Review

“Hamill’s translations [The Essential Basho] have the flawless clarity of original poetry. Hamill explains Basho’s importance and quotes Basho’s critical precepts, but the best part of this book is the poetry. As we read it, the world seems to fall away. We seem to be peering through a glass brightly, the very one through which Basho himself might have looked.”
             —Bernard E. Morris, Harvard Review

“In Crossing the Yellow River, Sam Hamill remaps Chinese poetry for our time. Anyone who writes poetry, or who cares about it, must have this book. It is one of the essential works of our time.”
             —Jim Harrison

“Anyone who cares about classical Chinese poetry, or who longs to learn more, must have this book. For me, the tragic poems of love and loss by Yuan Chen (779-831), and the wonderfully sensual work of that great woman, Li Ch’ing-chao (1034-1151) were an especial joy and revelation. But his careful corrections of the famous T’ang poems, so often mauled and rearranged by others, make Hamil’s Crossing the Yellow River essential.”
             —Carolyn Kizer

"Sam Hamill has reached the category of a National Treasure though I doubt he'd like the idea. His Dumb Luck is a marvel, well worth reading and re-reading, then picking it up a month later for a fresh look. Much of this work stays close to you so that you adapt it easily to your memories in the manner of fine experiences."
             —Jim Harrison

Passion and Craft 
with Judith Kazantzis

Judith Kazantzis
Judith Kazantzis

Judith Kazantzis will lead a small group of experienced poets in a workshop giving close scrutiny to the poems of each. In a mutually supportive setting, the workshop will emphasize an exploration of the poem's intentions and the strengths each writer brings to their realization. Special attention will be given to stimulating the language of personal imagination at the emotional center of the poetry. The workshop may look at work in progress as well as submitted poetry (unpublished work only). There will be both group and individual sessions.

JUDITH KAZANTZIS is a distinguished British poet who has published eight volumes of poetry, including her Selected Poems 1977-1992 (Sinclair-Stevenson/Chatto: Random House UK). Of her last collection, The Odysseus Poems: Fictions on the Odyssey of Homer, Marina Warner wrote: "[her] sequence of interwoven voices casts the many struggles with monsters, the seductions and loneliness of love, and the long wanderings of heroes into a vivid meditation for our time." Richard Wilbur wrote of her collection The Rabbit Magician Plate, "Although there are many things one might praise about Judith Kazantzis' poems, what strikes me everywhere is the unexpectedness of her word choices... re-encountered, her words surprise again through their unusual accuracy and their nice governance of tone - not derailing the reader (as tawdry surprises do) but putting him precisely on the track." And of her political sequence A Poem for Guatemala , Harold Pinter wrote: "A rare event. A major political poem. A Poem for Guatemala is beautifully wrought, concrete, passionate. It's a most impressive achievement." And Carol Ann Duffy added, "Someone should send this to Colonel North." Judith Kazantzis has led workshops at major British and American venues, including the Arvon Foundation and the Key West Literary Seminar. Forthcoming poetry: In Cyclop's Cave , a translation from Book 9 of Homer's Odyssey (Greville Press Pamphlets); and a just-completed collection, Sunshine. Her first novel, Of Love and Terror, will be published in the autumn of 2002 (Saqi Books, UK). Judith Kazantzis is also a painter and print maker, Her work has featured in Lucky Street Gallery shows, as well as in UK galleries.

Sunshine (just completed)
In Cyclops' Cave - translation from Homer (2002)
The Odysseus Poems: Fictions on the Odyssey of Homer (1999)
Swimming Through the Grand Hotel (1997)
Selected Poems 1977-1992 (1995)
The Rabbit Magician Plate (1992)
The Florida Swamps - pamphlet (1990)
A Poem for Guatemala - poem cycle pamphlet (1988)
Flame Tree (1988)
Let's Pretend (1984)
Touch Papers (With Michele Roberts and Michelene Wandor, 1982)
The Wicked Queen (1980)
Minefield (1977)

Poems on the Underground
An Idea of Bosnia
The Faber Book of Blue Verse
The Virago Book of Love Poetry
The Key West Reader

New Poems Workshop 
with E.J. Miller Laino

E.J. Miller Laino
E.J. Miller Laino

If you’re tired of dragging the same poems from workshop to workshop, in the hope of revising and revising them again, why not try something new.

In this workshop, based to some degree on the Sharon Olds new poems model, we will all write brand new first drafts of poems. The class will work entirely by ear – no photo copies. These new poems will be presented to the group for feedback. The emphasis is on all of us, together, writing brand new drafts of poems. Poets comment on what is working in the poem. Remember the adage: “anyone can criticize; it takes an expert to praise.“ Poets find the energy in the poem and comment on what is successful in the first draft of a poem. This is good place for poets of all levels to explore and expand their poetic voices. Workshop participants will write three or four new poems during the time of the workshop. We will also incorporate some free writing activities. Participants will have a chance to discuss craft and whatever else is “in our mind and heart about poetry.” Poet William Stafford once commented that he would give up all of the poems he ever wrote for the next one. The creative spirit of this workshop exists in writing the next poem. Let’s write some new poems!

E.J. MILLER LAINO’s first book of poetry, Girl Hurt, won the 1996 American Book Award for “an exceptional contribution to American Literature.” “The poems show the speaker exploring anger, disappointment and loss on a difficult journey to maturity…yet there are no victims here; instead the determined voice of a teenager using sex as an escape route…the shorter, lyrical love poems with which the volume ends maintain all the vitality of their predecessors , proving that Laino is no one-theme, one-book poet. (Publishers Weekly) Liinda McCarriston called Girl Hurt, “a vibrant compelling book, less a “collection” than a spiritual memoir in which the stature of poetry restore to the word recovery its full complexity, depth and human resonance.” Martin Espada wrote, “Her poems are startling, from their frank treatment of sex, to the abundance of hard true metaphors.” Laino’s second collection, Turning, was published by in partnership with Barnes and and is the first ebook collection of poetry. Thomas Lux writes about Turning: “E.J. Miller Laino’s book Turning is a vivid and powerful book. The poems are direct enough that you will recognize the humans who live in them and courageous enough that you will want to take these humans, these poems, these poems so full of the human, into your lives.” E.J Miller Laino has published poems in a number of journals and magazines including The American Poetry Review, The Boston Phoenix, The Massachusetts Review, Exquisite Corpse and The Southern Review. Her poems won a Prairie Schooner Readers’ Choice Award. E.J. won a fellowship to The Vermont Studio Center, and was the keynote speaker at the center for Teaching and Learning in Chatham, Massachusetts. She has been a faculty member at the Frost Place in Franconia New Hampshire and has read her poetry across the United States and in England. Her new manuscript, Divine Discontent, is almost completed. E.J. Miller Laino lives and in Key West with her 2 daughters and teaches Creative Writing and Poetry workshops at Florida Keys Community College.

Finding New Depths in Poetry 
with Judith Minty

Judith Minty
Judith Minty

Poetry relies on the unconscious, the imagination, and the world of the senses to bring it to life. Sometimes, in these busy, technological times, we tend to ignore certain impulses which beat as strong as our own human hearts. We may forget that the personal life is intertwined with the natural world, that our neighbors sing in their kitchens, that dogs wag their tails, that hummingbirds sip nectar from the mouths of flowers.

In this workshop we'll try to rekindle that awareness. We'll spend time together discussing some of the poems that you submitted with your application and we'll explore new possibilities as well. You'll have the opportunity to read each other's poems in advance and to write thoughtful, constructive comments on them prior to each workshop session. Participants should have experience in poetry writing before entering this workshop and should be prepared to write new poems during the time that they are in Key West. Applicants are asked to submit, in advance, 5 poems (no more than 10 pages total) that they would like to have critiqued. These should not be perfect poems, rather ones that you feel need help.

JUDITH MINTY is the author of five full-length collections of poetry and three chapbooks. Her first book, Lake Songs and Other Fears, was recipient of the $2000 United States Award of the International Poetry Forum in 1973. Her latest book is Walking with the Bear: Selected and New Poems. Her prose and poetry has appeared in over seventy-five anthologies and in numerous magazines and literary journals. In addition to the US Award, Minty is recipient of the Eunice Tietjens Award from Poetry magazine, the John Atherton Fellowship to Bread Loaf, the Villa Montalvo Award for Excellence in Poetry, two Michigan Council for the Arts Creative Artists Grants, two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, and the PEN/Mead Foundation California Fiction Award. She also recently received The Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contributions to Midwestern Literature from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. Judith as taught at several colleges and universities in the United States, including Syracuse University, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, University of Nebraska Lincoln, and University of California Santa Cruz. She also taught at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, for 13 years where she directed the Creative Writing Program. Most recently, she spent a year as Professor and Visiting Poet-in-Residence at University of Alaska, Anchorage.

She lives along the shore of Lake Michigan in Michigan's Lower Peninsula with her yellow dog named River. When she can, she retreats to her fishing camp on the Yellow Dog River in the Upper Peninsula and lives a happy hermit's life there without electricity, running water or phone.

This is her fourth Seminar workshop.

Comments on Judith Minty and her Poetry "One of my mentors, teacher, shamans is Judith Minty, who finds her sanity stalking wild bears along the Yellow Dog River in Hemingway Country in Northern Michigan."
             --Poet, editor, fiction writer Robert Bixby

"Minty is no mere 'nature poet,' nor is she a regionalist, although the lake country of Michigan inhabits, or haunts, many of her poems. She also writes of California with its mysterious gray whales, earthquakes, rainstorms and giant trees. No matter where she is, Minty is a poet of the ancient elements of earth, fire, water and air.
             --Poet and editor Elinor Benedict

"Minty's poems--capacious, wide-ranging, truth-telling--are works of consummate balance, with one foot in the world of creatures and weathers, the other in the realm of the human heart."
             --Poet and essayist (and 2003 panelist) Jane Hirshfield

"So close is Minty to the natural world that her poems move in and out of lakes and rivers with the agility of fish and the confidence of the grizzly. Trees are her kin; her children, cubs."
             --Poet and past workshop member, Kay Putney Gantt

"Whether in the dark woods, pursuing her bear, or in the less foreboding and often tender labyrinth of the family, Minty's vision and language are precise and incisive. Her poems require us to abandon the world of our cherished comfort and opinions."
             --Poet, editor, fiction writer (and 2003 panelist) Dan Gerber

"I go to Judith's poems and stories almost as prayer. They contain such honest narratives and such a powerful sense of place that with her work I get to turn away from the so-called real world to a real-er, more primal worlds, and to accompany her to Alaskan winters, to California forests, to the Yellow Dog River, and to the interior landscape of being."
             --Poet and teacher Anne Marie Ooman

"The pure breath of America is in her poems which celebrate the body in earthy, Whitmanian complexities. This is American poetry at its very best."
             --Poet and teacher Diane Wakoski

"Judith Minty is a master teacher, fully first-class."
             --Poet, fiction writer and teacher, Jack Driscoll

"Judith is indeed the most insightful and inspiring teacher I've had."
             --Past student, Laurie Simmons

"I can't imagine a more focused and productive poetry class."
             --Past student, Thomas Hjerpe

"Thirteen years later, a teacher myself now, it is Judith's voice I hear as my teacher's conscience. And thirteen years later, as a writer, I still draw on her sound advice."
             --Ariel Dawson

"I consider Judith to be one of the most powerful educators I have known...invariably, from every class she has taught, emerge students with profound new directions to their lives. Judith's ability to gently dismantle the tired, worn-out or listless thinking patterns of her students and replace them with fresh, workable, re-energized takes on their own lives is uncanny, at times almost frightening."
             --Joseph Keller McNeilly
The Poem's Intent 
with Rebecca Seiferle

Rebecca Seiferle
Rebecca Seiferle

Often, a poem has its own intentions, intentions that are at odds with the intentions of the poet. The poet will begin the poem with a certain aim, feeling, perspective, or subject, only to find that the poem veers into unknown territory. Often the preferred method of revision is to 'correct' the poem by deleting or pruning the extraneous material. Rather than suggesting this material be deleted from the text as extraneous, the premise of this workshop is that eruptions of material into the poem, recognizable by the liveliness of the language, mark the real appearance of the poem. We will learn how to recognize these eruptions and how to revise toward them, revising toward the poem's intention in order to make our work take on new life. We will discuss and read the participants' work. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring work with them, particularly 'problem' poems, poems that have resisted efforts at revision or poems where the conventional method of revision by editing and deleting have failed. We will also have writing exercises to generate new work during our stay in Key West.

Rebecca Seiferle's third poetry collection, Bitters, was published by Copper Canyon in October, 2001. The book is nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and received three Pushcart nominations. Poems from the collection were first published in The Southern Review, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, among others.

Poems from Seiferle's previous collection, The Music We Dance To, won the Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America and were included in The Best American Poetry 2000 and The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia 2001). Seiferle is also the author of The Ripped-Out Seam (Sheep Meadow, 1993) which won the Bogin Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Writers' Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, the Writers' Union Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 1993 Paterson Poetry Prize.

Seiferle is also a translator from the Spanish. Her translations of Alfonso D'Aquino and Ernest Lumbreras are included in Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry, forthcoming from Copper Canyon in early 2002. Her translation of Cesar Vallejo's Trilce (Sheep Meadow, 1992) was the only finalist for the 1992 PenWest Translation Award. Her translation of Vallejo's The Black Heralds is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, and a poem from the collection is nominated for a Pushcart by Quarterly West.

Seiferle is Founding Editor and Publisher of The Drunken Boat, an online magazine of international poetry and translation. Seiferle has taught at the Port Townsend Writers' Conference, the Key West Literary Seminar's "Spirit of the Place," Gemini Ink's Summer Festival, as well as private workshops throughout the Southwest. . She has taught at San Juan College since 1990 and is listed with Tumblewords, the New Mexico Arts Program. She lives in Farmington, New Mexico with her husband and three children.

Copyright © 2002 Key West Literary Seminar
Site by Xisle Graphix

Best viewed in Internet Explorer 5+