Faculty & Featured Poets

The 2018 Festival Faculty includes poetry writing workshop faculty: Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Chard deNiord, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ross Gay, Rodney Jones, Phillis Levin, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Tim Seibles. (Scroll down for the workshop descriptions and faculty bios)

Special Guest is Coleman Barks. Conference Faculty includes: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, and Nickole Brown. Performance events will feature Elizabeth Acevedo and George Yamazawa.

The festival will be held for the 14th year at Old School Square in Delray Beach Florida, January 15-20, 2018. Join us for another extraordinary week of poetry, poets, and poetry events. Apply today using Submittable online!

 

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 ... Read more >
TWELVE STEPS TOWARD REVISION with LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR
This very interactive workshop focuses on how to strengthen and hone your revision skills by systematically and individually addressing all the elements of a poem including structure, tone, line-breaks, form, syntax, sounds, and more. I will also give prompts or exercises to do during the week or later at home.  Mostly, this workshop should be inspiring, motivating and fun – so bring your sense of humor, imagination and three poems that need work.  Please also bring a poem, not written by you, that you particularly love. Please bring fifteen 5 x 8 index cards & 17 copies of your poems. ... Read more >
GABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI
GABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart and Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is an Editor at Large at Los ... Read more >
POEMS FOR THE FIRST AND LAST DAY OF THE WORLD with GABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI
A GENERATIVE AND CONTEMPLATIVE JOURNEY Rilke tells us we must change our lives but what the heck does that mean? How can our poems help us meet the great mystery of what comes next? We will look at and write poems that engage, welcome, and resist moments of great change. In a mix of reading and writing, the workshop will function like a lab. Experimenting with form and structure, we’ll work to generate enough poems and exercises to take you through at least a season of adventure and possibility. We will think about how poetry, our own and others, might ... Read more >
CHARD deNIORD
CHARD deNIORD is the Poet Laureate of Vermont and author of six books of poetry, including Interstate, (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), Night Mowing (University of ... Read more >
THE TRANSPERSONAL SELF with CHARD DENIORD
This workshop will focus on reading and writing poems whose speakers place another before them, and then make charged figurative connections to what Walt Whitman called “the other I am.” We will read each other’s poems line by line, examining line breaks, poetic strategy, form, intention, imagery, tropes, verbal music, and what John Keats described as “negative capability,” the ability to “exist in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Participants will bring 4 poems to the workshop with our goal to workshop at least 3 during the week. In addition to writing poems with transpersonal ... Read more >
BETH ANN FENNELLY
BETH ANN FENNELLY, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at the University of Mississippi. Her first book of poetry, Open House, won the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize and the Great Lakes College ... Read more >
SOUND, SYNTAX, STANZA, MAGIC, NUTS AND BOLTS with BETH ANN FENNELLY
This intensive, interactive workshop will combine craft classes with generative prompts, in-class writing, and workshopping. Our goal will be to leave our time together with four new drafts, one of which will be workshopped, and four poems written prior to the festival being brought to the table. Day 1: Four Ways Poets Can Use Sound to Make Meaning; Assignment: Sound Poem, Workshop. Day 2: Syntax and Diction. Assignment: Syntax Poem, Workshop. Day 3: The Line, the Stanza, the Page. Assignment:, Kinesology Poem, Workshop. Day 4: The Magic of Metaphor, Assignment: Metaphor Poem, Workshop. Day 5: Nuts and Bolts. Workshop and ... Read more >
ROSS GAY
ROSS GAY was born on August 1, 1974 in Youngstown, Ohio. He received a BA in English/Art from Lafayette College, an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and a PhD in English from Temple University. ... Read more >
MYSTERY BEFORE MASTERY with ROSS GAY
This workshop takes as its central premise that the making of interesting poems requires an engagement with and a pursuit of what the poet does not know.  But how do we pursue what we don’t know?  How do we make things out of un-knowing?  We will be looking at a number of texts that seem to ask this very question, using them as (unfixed) models, as questions for how we might make beautiful, puzzling things.  All participants should bring three poems of their own that puzzle them.  And be prepared to experiment.   Read more >
RODNEY JONES
RODNEY JONES’s Salvation Blues is his eighth book of poetry, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, 2007. Previous collections include Kingdom of the Instant: Poems (2004); Elegy for the Southern Drawl (1999); Things That Happen ... Read more >
REALPOETICS with RODNEY JONES
This workshop will focus on language fueled by necessity and the intention to  characterize what is genuine. In critiques we will study how each poem sounds, its individual noise and music. Does it speak to us? What precision, passion, and original behavior  qualify it as singular?  In critiques, participants should be forthright, but never neglect great stuff, and never settle for consensus. We are here to encourage and to have serious fun. Aside from close critiques, each class will feature readings, writing exercises, and discussions of individual process, revision, flow, and poem generation.  Participants should submit 4-7 poems in advance ... Read more >
PHILLIS LEVIN
PHILLIS LEVIN’s fifth poetry collection, Mr. Memory & Other Poems (Penguin Books, 2016), was a finalist for the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is the author of four other poetry collections: Temples and ... Read more >
VOICE & VISION with PHILLIS LEVIN
What gives texture, momentum, and character to a poem? Together we focus on drafting and revising new work while exploring key elements of the craft: dynamics of lineation, the power of syntax, realms of the stanza, the drama of rhetorical form. We consider each poem as an ecosystem and critique all work in that light. Most of class time is spent discussing your own poems, forces at play within: rhythm, diction, image, figure, tone. We begin each day’s workshop by reading several touchstone poems whose strategies, when internalized, spur stylistic development and open unforeseen ways of sounding/shaping/re-envisioning what you compose. ... Read more >
AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL
AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL‘s recent honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of three poetry collections: Lucky Fish (2011), winner of the gold medal ... Read more >
MAKING POEMS THAT SNAP, CRACKLE, AND POP with AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL
Building upon Audre Lorde’s idea that “the sharing of joy…forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference,” we will spend our time in workshop generating poems that sing and celebrate the various big and small delights of this earth. We will also discuss each other’s poems in workshop and each day learn a new poetic practice to help keep you generating new work long after you return home. Come prepared to roll up your sleeves and dig in! Submit 1 ... Read more >
TIM SEIBLES
TIM SEIBLES is the author of several poetry collections including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, and Buffalo Head Solos. His latest collection, One Turn Around the Sun has just been released. His first book, Body Moves, (1988) has ... Read more >
DEJA-VERSE with TIM SEIBLES
Often, after writing a poem, we become a bit intoxicated by it.  Our emotional investment in the developing drafts may blind us to the flaws and greater possibilities of what we have begun.  This workshop will focus on revision, on the seeing again of poems.  The goal is to sharpen our sense of works in progress, so that we might compose pieces that fully engage our audience. Everything is in play as a poem takes shape: subject, imagery, lineation, tone, duration, diction, and more.  Each of these facets affects what and how a poem does what it does. With closer scrutiny, we can maximize the power ... Read more >
Special Guest
COLEMAN BARKS
Coleman Barks, born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, went to school at the University of North Carolina and the University of California, Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for thirty ... Read more >
Conference Faculty
LORNA KNOWLES BLAKE
Lorna Knowles Blake was born in Havana, Cuba and spent her childhood in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Puerto Rico before coming to the United States. Her collection of poems, Permanent Address, won the Richard Snyder ... 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: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, and Nickole Brown. Applicants may request a conference with their application. Appointments will be confirmed upon acceptance to a workshop, first-come-first served. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications and will be accepted until December 1st. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $99, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity! You may submit an application between now and November 10, 2017.       Conferences are ... Read more >
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, ... 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: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, and Nickole Brown. Applicants may request a conference with their application. Appointments will be confirmed upon acceptance to a workshop, first-come-first served. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications and will be accepted until December 1st. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $99, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity! You may submit an application between now and November 10, 2017.       Conferences are ... 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 ... 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: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, and Nickole Brown. Applicants may request a conference with their application. Appointments will be confirmed upon acceptance to a workshop, first-come-first served. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications and will be accepted until December 1st. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $99, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity! You may submit an application between now and November 10, 2017.       Conferences are ... Read more >
Performance Poets
ELIZABETH ACEVEDO
Elizabeth Acevedo’s poetry is infused with her Dominican parents’ bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and a MFA in Creative Writing from ... Read more >