Workshop Focus

This workshop is designed to help poets, from beginners to the more advanced, move forward in their creative process. Helping poets take “the next step” is the overall goal of this workshop; however, individual poets will identify what “the next step” signifies for them. Some might want to create stronger images and better line breaks, while for others it could mean achieving more tension in a poem, or creating a layered narrative. There may be others who are not sure how to define this next step, but are sure they want to get there. The common denominator is the poets’ desire to write better poems by using the practice of writing itself.

During this workshop, poets will write first drafts of poems using various prompts, some inspired by the participants themselves. Poets will read their drafts aloud and the group will comment on each poem in order to identify what is working in these first drafts. The focus is on the PRACTICE: the excitement of taking the risk to write something new, and possibly breaking through to “the next step.”


This workshop is open to all levels. You will be expected to bring with you to the workshop in January the most recent poem you’ve written.

About E.J. Miller Laino

E.J. Miller Laino’s first book of poetry, Girl Hurt, won a 1996 American Book Award for outstanding literary achievement. She has published poems in a number of journals and magazines, including The American Poetry Review and New York Quarterly, and is the winner of a Prairie Schooner Readers’ Choice Award. She has received a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, delivered the keynote address for the Center for Teaching and Learning in Chatham, Massachusetts, and has been a faculty member at the Frost Place in Franconia New Hampshire and the Key West Literary Seminar. Thomas Lux called Laino’s second collection, Turning, "a vivid and powerful book," and wrote that "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, so full of the human, into your lives." Her fourth book, Cracking Open, is forthcoming. She lives in Key West and teaches creative writing and poetry workshops at Florida Keys Community College.
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