Faculty & Featured Poets

PBPF_2016_8POETS_WEB_1100X35012th Annual Festival Faculty includes: Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Carl Dennis, Denise Duhamel, Carol Frost, Thomas Lux, Tom Sleigh, Mary Szybist, and Kevin Young. Special Guest is Robert Hass, and performance poets are Dominique Christina and Mark Kelly Smith, founder of the poetry slam. Conference Faculty are Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, and Ginger Murchison.

Workshops are limited to 12 qualified participants and three auditors to provide a meaningful level of discussion, and careful, informed attention to your work. Beginning poets, or those shy about sharing their poems, may consider auditing as a great way to learn by observing and listening. Apply online to attend a workshop as a participant or auditor.

Scroll down for 2016 faculty bios and workshop descriptions:

Workshop Faculty
LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR
LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR is the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, of Small Gods of Grief, which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry, and of A New Hunger selected as an ALA Notable Book for 2008. With her ... Read more >
WAIT… LET ME REPHRASE THIS with LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR
This very inter-active workshop will focus on revision and techniques: how can we acquire the tools we need to revise poems on our own? Many aspiring and even experienced poets find it challenging to revise their work without the help of a workshop group or mentor. Participants will learn how to strengthen and sharpen their revision skills which will — systematically and in depth — address the craft elements of a poem: form, syntax, tone, metaphor, images, line-breaks, titles, closure, etc. I will also offer prompts and exercises. Please bring three poems of yours that need help, that you feel ... Read more >
DOMINIQUE CHRISTINA
DOMINIQUE CHRISTINA is an award-winning writer, performer, educator, and activist. She holds five national poetry slam titles, including the 2014 & 2012 Women of the World Slam Champion and 2011 National Poetry Slam Champion. She has performed and conducted workshops for hundreds ... Read more >
CARL DENNIS
Carl Dennis is the author of twelve books poems, most recently, New and Selected Poems, Another Reason, and Callings. For many years he was a faculty member of the writing program at Warren Wilson College and of the English Department ... Read more >
IT’S YOUR WORK: RECENT POEMS & GENERATING POEMS with CARL DENNIS
We will spend about half our time looking at the three poems that students send me by regular mail, by December 18th, before the Festival begins. Poems should be typed, not hand written. Students should bring at least 17 copies of each poem to the class, each poem on a separate page. The other half of the time I will be making two writing assignments to be handed in during the week, and we will go over the poems that result. I’ll be handing out model poems for the assignments. The last class will be given over to looking at ... Read more >
DENISE DUHAMEL
Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other books include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), Queen for a Day: Selected ... Read more >
LAYING THE FOUNDATION: CONCRETE IMAGERY IN POETRY with DENISE DUHAMEL
Using Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to things” (“Oda a las cosas”) as our maxim, we will explore arrivals to the sublime via naming and detail. William Carlos Williams wrote, “No ideas but in things,” and Pound applied “imagism” to H.D. who was influenced by Sappho’s compressed lyrics. This is to say there are many ways to achieve what Mark Doty calls “metaphor meaning—and meaning intensely.” Poems about any subject are welcome with the understanding that this class will do its best to veer away from abstraction. Please bring along three poems, (17 copies), for discussion. We will also generate new poems ... Read more >
CAROL FROST
CAROL FROST’s books include Pure, Love and Scorn, Honeycomb, winner of the Florida Book Awards Gold Medal, and Entwined: Three Lyric Sequences (2014). She has received awards and honors from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Elliston Award, Poets’ ... Read more >
RIVERS THE LIKE SOUL MY GROWN HAS DEEP with CAROL FROST
Our workshop, while discussing the design of each workshop poem and its performance in that design, will also be concerned with matters of syntax. How far can we pull language? What ambiguities and potential exist for the poet in dislocation, elision, repetition, qualification, and delay? We’ll look at various examples of syntactic symmetry and surprise in poems by poets as diverse as Milton, Dickinson, Ronald Johnson, Langston Hughes, Kinnell, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly, in order to think about the poet’s premeditated and rote placements of words (and ideas) in sentences and across lines; about the extra force of a surprising order; about degrees of obscurity ... Read more >
THOMAS LUX
Thomas Lux is Bourne Professor of Poetry at The Georgia Institute of Technology. He directs the McEver Visiting Writers Program and Poetry@Tech. He has published over a dozen books of poetry; his most recent is Selected Poems 1982-2012 (Bloodaxe Books, ... Read more >
WORD BY WORD, LINE BY LINE with THOMAS LUX
We will pay close attention, in minute detail, to all the elements that go into writing a poem. So: we’ll do word by word, line by line readings. Frost said that the primary way to get to the reader’s heart and mind is through the reader’s ear. The sound, the noise of a poem, demands our attention. We must be tough, honest and direct with each other’s work and also be generous, thoughtful and never condescending or dismissive. A good workshop can do both. Bring in three or four poems, seventeen copies of each, for discussion. Read more >
TOM SLEIGH
Tom Sleigh‘s books include Station Zed, Army Cats, winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters John Updike Award, and Space Walk, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award. Far Side of the Earth won an AAAL Academy Award, The ... Read more >
NEW THRESHOLDS, NEW ANATOMIES! with TOM SLEIGH
How do the kinds of sentences you write open up new areas of experience? What is and isn’t your material? How is that material linked to your idea of yourself as a poet, and what you will or won’t allow yourself to say? By using four exemplary poets as a springboard, this workshop will give you new approaches to process and language, syntax and line, description and figuration, music and voice, as well as encouraging you to face into new areas of experience that will keep you going once this workshop is over. We’ll use imitation as a way to ... Read more >
MARC KELLY SMITH
MARC KELLY SMITH is creator/founder of the international Poetry Slam movement for which he received the nickname Slam Papi. A “strand of new poetry began at Chicago’s Green Mill Tavern in 1987 when Marc Smith found a home for the ... Read more >
MARY SZYBIST
Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.  She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Rockefeller ... Read more >
UNSETTLING AND REMAKING with MARY SZYBIST
This workshop will draw inspiration from the counsel of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” In this spirit, we will experiment with different generative exercises and look to contemporary as well as canonical poems to guide us, to challenge us, and to spur us on.  Our workshop discussions will devote time to carefully considering the ambitions, achievements, and possibilities of poems by each workshop participant, and we will look at some examples of revision processes by well-known poets to aid us in developing strategies for ... Read more >
KEVIN YOUNG
Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry and prose. His most recent poetry collections are Book of Hours, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels; and Dear Darkness. Jelly ... Read more >
THE HUNGRY EAR: POEMS OF FOOD, DRINK & DESIRE with KEVIN YOUNG
In this workshop we will use food as raw material and metaphor for our writing, discovering its many meanings. We will treat the workshop like a test kitchen, looking for fresh ingredients for poems and new approaches to older forms. Kevin Young’s anthology The Hungry Ear will serve as a sourcebook for our reading and our writing. Bring three poems in progress to the first workshop, though we’ll also look at work you produce during the workshop. Writers will emerge from the workshop with a sense of poems as sustenance and necessity, focused on the possibilities of line, rhythm, and the lyric. Read more >
Special Guest
ROBERT HASS
ROBERT HASS is a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force, whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native Northern California. He brings the kind of energy in his poetry to his work as an essayist, translator, and ... Read more >
Conference Faculty
SALLY BLIUMIS-DUNN
SALLY BLIUMIS-DUNN teaches Modern Poetry at Manhattanville College. She received her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence e in 2002. Her poems have appeared in  Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, the NYT, Paris Review, PBS NewsHour, PLUME, Poetry London, Prairie Schooner, The ... Read more >
One-On-One Conferences
Workshop applicants may reserve a one-on-one conference to focus attention on up to 10 pages of poetry, with Sally Bliumis-Dunn, teacher at Manhattanville College, Nickole Brown, formerly of Sarabande Books; or Ginger Murchison, Editor, The Cortland Review. Appointments will be confirmed upon acceptance. Requests for conferences will be accepted until December 1st. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $95, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity!   Read more >
NICKOLE BROWN
NICKOLE BROWN’s books include her debut, Sister, a novel-in-poems (Red Hen Press, 2007) and Fanny Says, a biography-in-poems of her grandmother to be published by BOA Editions in May 2015. She studied at Oxford University as an English Speaking Union ... Read more >
OPTIONAL ONE-ON-ONE CONFERENCES
Additional focus on your work is available in individual one-hour conferences on up to 10 pages of poetry. Conference Faculty: Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, and Ginger Murchison. Applicants may request a conference with their application. Appointments will be confirmed upon acceptance to a workshop, first-come-first served. Requests for conferences will be accepted until December 1st. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $95, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity! You may submit an application between now and November 9, 2015.       Conferences are available to accepted participants and auditors, not to the ... Read more >
GINGER MURCHISON
Ginger Murchison together with Thomas Lux, founded POETRY at TECH, where she served as associate director five years and has been one of its McEver Visiting Chairs in Poetry since 2009. A three-time Pushcart nominee, she is a graduate of ... Read more >
OPTIONAL ONE-ON-ONE CONFERENCES
Additional focus on your work is available in individual one-hour conferences on up to 10 pages of poetry. Conference Faculty: Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, and Ginger Murchison. Applicants may request a conference with their application. Appointments will be confirmed upon acceptance to a workshop, first-come-first served. Requests for conferences will be accepted until December 1st. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $95, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity! You may submit an application between now and November 9, 2015.       Conferences are available to accepted participants and auditors, not to the ... Read more >
Performance Poets
DOMINIQUE CHRISTINA
DOMINIQUE CHRISTINA is an award-winning writer, performer, educator, and activist. She holds five national poetry slam titles, including the 2014 & 2012 Women of the World Slam Champion and 2011 National Poetry Slam Champion. She has performed and conducted workshops for hundreds ... Read more >
MARC KELLY SMITH
MARC KELLY SMITH is creator/founder of the international Poetry Slam movement for which he received the nickname Slam Papi. A “strand of new poetry began at Chicago’s Green Mill Tavern in 1987 when Marc Smith found a home for the ... Read more >
Other
MARC KELLY SMITH
MARC KELLY SMITH is creator/founder of the international Poetry Slam movement for which he received the nickname Slam Papi. A “strand of new poetry began at Chicago’s Green Mill Tavern in 1987 when Marc Smith found a home for the ... Read more >