Faculty & Featured Poets

Applications are now closed.  You may visit the festival schedule to purchase a ticket or ticket package featuring America’s most engaging and award-winning poets virtually! Faculty includes: Kim Addonizio, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Chard deNiord, Mark Doty, Yona Harvey, John Murillo, Matthew Olzmann, and Diane Seuss; our Special Guest Poet is Yusef Komunyakaa. Poet-at-Large is Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Individual conference faculty poets are: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres.

Old School Square is undergoing extensive renovations, and as we transition from a home-bound existence to the resumption of outside social activities, we continue to create community with poets in the virtual setting. Each workshop is limited to twelve participants and up to three auditors who are observers. The festival week’s events and workshops provide world-class opportunities for inspiration and time for you to focus on your work in an intimate virtual setting.

We’d love you to join us for our 18th year of workshops, readings, craft talks, one-on-one conferences, a Special Guest Interview, and the Beloved Poem Panel featuring all the faculty poets. Tuition still includes admission to all events, the Participants Open Mic Reading and access to virtual meeting rooms and a bookstore for connecting with our poetry community. Anyone can book a one-on-one conference. Join us from wherever you are at the virtual 18th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival, January 10-15, 2022, and allow poetry to once again bring us together!

Workshop Faculty
KIM ADDONIZIO
Kim Addonizio is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose. Her most recent poetry collection is Now We’re Getting Somewhere (W.W. Norton). Her memoir-in-essays, Bukowski in a Sundress, was published by Penguin. She has received NEA ... Read more >
SURPRISE ME with KIM ADDONIZIO
Robert Frost famously said, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” As poets, we know the thrill of being surprised by the direction a draft takes; we may say something we never expected to say. As readers, surprise is often one source of delight, taking us somewhere we didn’t know we were going. How can you invite surprise into your own work? We’ll read and study some poems that successfully surprise in various ways, and read your own drafts to consider how you might revise for not only greater clarity and power, but also for various kinds ... Read more >
LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR
Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, Small Gods of Grief, winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry for 2001, and of A New Hunger, an ALA Notable Book. Four Way ... Read more >
OKAY. WAIT. LET ME REPHRASE THIS. with LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR
The focus of this workshop will be on revision: how can we acquire the tools we need to revise our poems on our own? Many aspiring and even experienced poets find it challenging to revise on their own, without the help of a workshop or mentor. Participants will learn how to strengthen and hone their revision skills—systematically and in depth— and address all the elements of a poem: form, syntax, tone, metaphor, images, line-breaks, opening and closings, to name a few. Each student in this workshop should have twelve 4 x 6 index cards ready for the first workshop meeting. ... Read more >
CHARD deNIORD
Chard deNiord is the author of seven books of poetry, In My Unknowing (University of Pittsburgh Press 2020), Interstate (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), Speaking In Turn ... Read more >
WRITING THE OTHER with CHARD deNIORD
Participants in this workshop will focus on the transpersonal self as speaker in the poem, a self that deals with states of consciousness beyond the limits of personal identity. Using Walt Whitman’s eleventh canto, Elizabeth Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room,” Fernando Pessoa’s “The Herdsman,” and Frank Bidart’s “Ellen West,” we will explore a variety of poetic forms as we engage in linear experimentation, fictive intricacy, and lyrical economy. In-class writing exercises will focus on tapping the unconscious for poetic gold. Read more >
MARK DOTY
MARK DOTY is the author of the nine collections of poetry, most recently Deep Lane (W.W. Norton, 2015) and Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins, 2008), which received the National Book Award. His collection, My ... Read more >
UNSCREW THE LOCKS FROM THE DOORS: WRITING NEW POEMS with MARK DOTY
Early in the “language experiment” he called LEAVES OF GRASS, Walt Whitman enjoins his readers to open the locked doors and unscrew the doors from the jambs. In Whitman’s spirit, this workshop is designed to invite poets to experiment by generating new work and developing drafts in various directions. We’ll read and talk about exemplary contemporary poems. The goal is to work and work, diving deep into what we don’t know how to do yet, seeking insight, complexity and strategies that might lead us, like new roads, to new places. We’ll also devote some of our sessions to discussing work ... Read more >
YONA HARVEY
Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collections You Don’t Have To Go To Mars for Love (Four Way Books), winner of the BelieverBook Award, and Hemming the Water (Four Way Books), winner of the Kate ... Read more >
READING BETWEEN THE LINES: THE ART OF TIME BENDING with YONA HARVEY
From Jillian and Mariko Tamaki to Rina Ayuyang to Ebony Flowers, a number of innovative comics and cartooning artists can instruct poets in storytelling and image making.  These artists have been known to set in motion beautiful sequences of flashbacks (and flash-forwards) in their work.  Just as line breaks expand or alter images in poems, so do panel transitions alter and enrich the narratives of comics with time bending effects.  In this generative workshop, we’ll review several instances of time and image manipulation in comics to create new poems, revise poems that may feel “stuck,” and reinvigorate the art of ... Read more >
JOHN MURILLO
John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections, Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher, 2010 & Four Way Books, 2020), finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery  and the Pen Open Book Awards, and Kontemporary American ... Read more >
GIMME THE LOOT: LEARN TO STEAL LIKE A POET with JOHN MURILLO
In this workshop, we will explore strategies by which poets may enrich their own art by deliberately imitating their favorites… and their favorites’ favorites! We will discuss such topics as voice, influence, and originality, as well as the imperative of serving a serious apprenticeship. How apprentice poets attempt to wipe away traces of influence is our final consideration. That is, to cover their tracks! Participants are asked to bring 2 poems by poets whose work they admire to the first workshop session. Read more >
MATTHEW OLZMANN
Matthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems, Mezzanines, which was selected for the 2011 Kundiman Prize, and Contradictions in the Design. His third book, Constellation Route, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in January 2022. A recipient of fellowships from ... Read more >
UNPACKING THE MYSTERIES OF REVISION with MATTHEW OLZMANN
For some, revision can feel like an impossible task. If you look at a poem you wrote two years ago, perhaps you’ll immediately notice some things that need to change. But what if you look at a poem you wrote yesterday? You might feel like a poem is “not done,” but how do you make it better instead of just different? In this class, we’ll consider several approaches to revision, specific and practical strategies one can apply right away to help you revise more confidently, moving forward in ways that can be both bold and effective. The hope is that this process can not ... Read more >
DIANE SEUSS
Diane Seuss’s most recent collection is frank: sonnets (Graywolf Press 2021). Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, (Graywolf Press 2018) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles ... Read more >
POSITIVELY NEGATIVE: DEVELOPING MYSTERY IN POEMS VIA NEGATIVE CAPABILITY with DIANE SEUSS
We will explore Keats’s notion of Negative Capability as it relates to our capacity for “being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason” in our poems. We will engage in conversation, reading, generative exercises, and the consideration of your poems, their themes, thesis, and emotional core, with a goal of moving toward work that could be written by no one but you. Defying the easy-out of closure in poems, we will practice and discuss how memory work, music, and imagination can lead us into our most charged enigmatic spaces, while form and narrative coherence can ... Read more >
Special Guest
YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA
Yusef Komunyakaa’s latest collection, Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New and Selected Poems, will be published in June, 2021, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Note: The following bio is from poets.org) On April 29, 1947, Yusef Komunyakaa ... Read more >
Thomas Lux Memorial Reading: Special Guest YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA
Yusef Komunyakaa is our featured Thomas Lux Memorial Poet for the 18th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival. On Tuesday, January 11th, Komunyakaa will sit for a conversation with poet and consummate interviewer, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, who inspires the most original and interesting stories from our special guests. On the evening of Wednesday, January 12th, he will deliver the Thomas Lux Memorial Reading. From Neon Vernacular, his 1994 Pulitzer Prizing winning collection, to his new collection, Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth, New and Selected Poems, 2001-2021, Yusef Komunyakaa’s voice remains a vital presence in the world of poetry. Located at Maya Lin’s Vietnam ... Read more >
Poet at Large
AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL
AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL (pronounced neh-ZOO / koo-mah / tah-TILL)  is the author of four poetry collections: Oceanic (Copper Canyon 2018), Lucky Fish (2011), winner of the gold medal in Poetry from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and the ... Read more >
2022 Poet-At-Large AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is no stranger to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. She taught workshops here in 2014 and 2018, and next year she returns as the 18thAnnual Festival’s Poet-at-Large. Ideally, the Poet-at-Large visits several schools to share and discuss poetry with hundreds of young people. Since we’ll be virtual again in 2022, Aimee will deliver a remote poetry reading live-streamed into the classrooms of Palm Beach County Schools. On the evening of Saturday , January 15th, she also will present A Reading to Remember to festival participants and the public via Zoom Webinar. Serving as Poet-at-Large places Aimee Nezhukumatathil in the ... Read more >
Conference Faculty
2022 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, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres. Applicants may request a conference with their application or by direct conference application on Submittable. 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 November 15, 2021. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. The cost is $120, payable upon confirmation. A great opportunity!       ... Read more >
LORNA KNOWLES BLAKE
Lorna Knowles Blake is author of Green Hill, her most recent book of poetry and recipient of the 2017 Able Muse Award. She serves on the editorial board at the journal Barrow Street and on the advisory committee for WCAI’s Poetry ... Read more >
2022 CONFERENCE Lorna Knowles Blake
Focus on your work in an individual one-hour conference on up to 10 pages of poetry. Applicants may request a conference with workshop application or by direct application on Submittable. Conference Faculty includes: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. “When I fall down the rabbit hole of a poem, I feel like Alice—too big, too small, bewildered, enchanted, curious and crafty.”      Lorna Knowles Blake   Read more >
SALLY BLIUMIS-DUNN
Sally Bliumis-Dunn’s poems have appeared the New York Times, Paris Review, PBS NewsHour, Plume, Poetry London, Prairie Schooner, RATTLE, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day and Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry. In 2002, she was a finalist ... Read more >
2022 CONFERENCE Sally Bliumis-Dunn
Focus on your work in an individual one-hour conference on up to 10 pages of poetry. Applicants may request a conference with workshop application or by direct application on Submittable. Conference Faculty includes: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. “I think tension creates a mirror of how our minds often work.” Sally Bliumis-Dunn.             Read more >
NICKOLE BROWN
Nickole Brown is the author of Sister and Fanny Says. She teaches as part of the Sewanee School of Letters Program and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she volunteers at several different animal sanctuaries. Since 2016, she’s been writing about ... Read more >
2022 CONFERENCE Nickole Brown
  Focus on your work in an individual one-hour conference on up to 10 pages of poetry. Applicantsmay request a conference with workshop application or by direct application on Submittable. Conference Faculty includes: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. “Writing is one of the most intimate acts of creative art there is, and while revision requires a firm grip on craft, it’s often soul work.” Nickole Brown   Read more >
JESSICA JACOBS
Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books), winner of the Devil’s Kitchen and Goldie Awards, and Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, winner of the New Mexico Book Award. ... Read more >
2022 CONFERENCE Jessica Jacobs
Focus on your work in an individual one-hour conference on up to 10 pages of poetry. Applicants may request a conference with workshop application or by direct application on Submittable. Conference Faculty includes: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. “There is no such thing as a perfect poem. But what pleasure to live a life devoted to getting as close to that ideal as you can.” Jessica Jacobs         Read more >
ANGELA NARCISO TORRES
Angela Narciso Torres is the author of two full length poetry collections; Blood Orange (Willow Books Poetry Prize) and What Happens is Neither (Four Way Books); her chapbook, To the Bone, was published earlier this year by ... Read more >
2022 CONFERENCE Angela Narciso Torres
Focus on your work in an individual one-hour conference on up to 10 pages of poetry. Applicantsmay request a conference with workshop application or by direct application on Submittable. Conference Faculty includes: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Angela Narciso Torres. Requests for conferences may be made early, along with applications. Manuscripts are due to faculty for review by December 10th. “Poetry makes meaning out of the inexplicable, unearthing and recreating what would not normally be accessible.” Angela Narciso Torres             Read more >
Additional Faculty
KWAME DAWES
Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of Ghana, citing in an ... Read more >
Special CRAFT TALK with KWAME DAWES
One of the kindest persons and finest poets and teachers of poetry you’ll ever meet, Kwame Dawes will enlighten us all when he delivers the following craft talk at the 2022 Festival NEWS FROM THE MIDDLE WAY So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years— Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres Trying to use words, and every attempt Grounded in a close reading of a passage from T.S. Eliot’s “East Coker”, Dawes ekes out hidden and exposed lessons about the life and practice of poetry and art as a poet might encounter ... Read more >