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Mountain Writers Series

Writing Workshops 2018

 

 

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If you have questions or wish to withdraw from a workshop, please call our message phone 503.232.4517 or write to programs@mountainwriters.org and we will get back to you soon.

If a reservation for a class or workshop is canceled 3 days or more prior to the start of a class or workshop, a refund of 75% will be made, less a $25.00 administrative fee. The reservation may be converted to a credit for an upcoming class or workshop, good for one year, if preferred. For any cancellation 48 hours or less before a class or workshop is scheduled to begin, no refund will be made, nor will a credit toward a future workhop or class be given.


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John Brehm

 

Poetry & Poetics of Robert Frost

Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, January 3 - February 7, 2018


The pleasures of Frost’s poetry are inexhaustible, and the insights to be found in his essays and letters are invaluable. Far from the persona of the simple farmer-poet dispensing country wisdom that he himself promoted, Frost was a highly sophisticated artist and the most brilliant formalist of the 20th century. In this six-week course, we’ll read and discuss a broad selection of Frost’s poetry and prose, focusing on the many ways it can inform and deepen our own writing. Two of our six class sessions will be devoted to discussing participant poems inspired by or written in response to Frost’s work. Our text will be Robert Frost: Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays (Library of America).


  • Meets: Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, January 3 - February 7, 2018

  • Cost:  $300 (Six three-hour sessions)
  • Enrollment:  Minimum 4, Maximum 12.
  • Location: Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland

John Brehm is the author of two books of poetry: Sea of Faith and Help Is on the Way, both from the University of Wisconsin Press. Brehm is the associate editor for The Oxford Book of American Poetry (OUP, 2006), and the editor of The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy (Wisdom, 2017).  His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Boulevard, Gulf Coast, The Sun, New Ohio Review, The Best American Poetry 1999 & 2017, and many other journals and anthologies. He has taught at Cornell, Emerson College, and Portland State University and received fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts and Yaddo. 



 

 

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Gay Monteverde

 

Writing for the Stage

 

Writing for the Stage. This is a beginning playwriting workshop for the eager amateur, the emerging professional, or the curious writer exploring a new medium. No previous experience with playwriting necessary (although it's good if you've seen some plays). We will read and discuss plot, character, dialogue, theme, spectacle and pace, as we write and workshop scenes and scripts.

 

  • Meets: Mondays, 6:30 - 9:30 PM, February 5 - March 12, 2018
  • Location: Room 23/12/23:  Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland
  • Cost:  $290 for 6 sessions

 

Gay Monteverde is the author of two published plays: Harriet Tubman: An American Moses (a finalist for the American Alliance of Theater and Education's Best New Play Award) and The Arabian Nights (a finalist for the Oregon Book Award's Angus Bowmer Award for Drama). Both plays premiered in Portland, are published by Playscripts, Inc. in New York City, and have had productions in locations as far-ranging as Tasmania and Kentucky. Gay's third play, a contemporary comedy based on Pride and Prejudice, is looking for a theater company. Her fourth play is coming soon. Gay's third play was part of HART's recent Page to Stage showcase. She teaches writing at Portland Community College and Mt. Hood Community College.

 

 

 

 

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Sandra Scofield

 

"Aboutness" - A Workshop for Novelists and Narrative Memoirists

 

You can write a narrative all the way to the end and still not be able to say what it is about. Uh-oh. Learn how to capture the essence of a story in a few clear sentences. That analysis becomes a North Star for your character and plot development. It is your way into drafting or revising a story, and it's your way into convincing someone they really should read it.

In this session you will learn to:

  • articulate the subject and idea of your story.
  • make an umbrella statement of the action and its impact.
  • describe the vision and the world of the story.
  • say how your protagonist proves your concept of the story world.

Sessions include exercises to apply these concepts practically to your manuscript, whether it is in the dreaming stage, an outline, early pages, or a substantial draft. 

 

Required reading: The Last Draft: A Novelist's Guide to Revision

Recommended reading: The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer

  • Date & Time: Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:30 P.M. February 8, 15, 22 & March 1, 2018
  • Cost: $285 [Includes the cost of 4 sessions and The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision]
  • Enrollment: Minimum 4; maximum 15

 

Sandra Scofield is the author of seven novels, including a finalist for the National Book Award; two memoirs, Occasions of Sin and Mysteries of Love and Grief; two books on craft--recently The Last Draft: A Novelist's Guide to Revision--and recent fiction, Swim: Stories of the Sixties. She is on the faculty of the Solstice MFA Program and the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She is also a painter.

 

 

 

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John Brehm

 

Voice in Poetry

Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, February 20 - March 27, 2018


A distinctive, compelling voice in a poem instantly commands our attention—it casts a spell over us and draws us in. And a voice that feels flat or overly familiar will fail to engage us, regardless of how interesting what it’s saying happens to be. In this six-week workshop, we’ll read a variety of strongly voiced poems by Denez Smith, Chrys Tobey, Ellen Bass, Robert Hass, Frank O’Hara, Ron Padgett, Lucia Perillo, and others, and investigate how such poets create—through rhythm, volume, pitch, tone, attitude, etc.—unmistakable voices in their work. Weekly prompts will encourage participants to experiment with different aspects of voice in their own poems.  


  • Meets: Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, February 20 - March 27, 2018

  • Cost:  $300 (Six three-hour sessions)
  • Enrollment:  Minimum 4, Maximum 12.
  • Location: Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland

John Brehm is the author of two books of poetry: Sea of Faith and Help Is on the Way, both from the University of Wisconsin Press. Brehm is the associate editor for The Oxford Book of American Poetry (OUP, 2006), and the editor of The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy (Wisdom, 2017).  His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Boulevard, Gulf Coast, The Sun, New Ohio Review, The Best American Poetry 1999 & 2017, and many other journals and anthologies. He has taught at Cornell, Emerson College, and Portland State University and received fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts and Yaddo. 



 

 

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Judith Barrington

 

Prose from the Poet's Toolbox

 

What can we find in the poet's toolbox that will make our prose writing shine with images and sing with the sounds of the words? Whether we are writing memoir, creative nonfiction, or a piece of fiction, we can look beyond plot and character, dialogue and setting, to the language itself for the reading pleasure that need not be limitd to poems. Virginia Woolf said, "All writing isnothing but putting words on the backs of rhythm"; and William Carlos Williams said, "No ideas but in things." We'll look at prose example that echo these and other poetric principles. You may find yourself writing prose or poetry -- or wondering which is which.

  • Meets: Saturday, February 24, March 10, March 24, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Location: Room 23/12/23:  Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland
  • Cost:  $285 for 3 sessions

 

Judith Barrington is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently The Conversation (2015), whose title poem was the winner of the Gregory O’Donoghue International poetry award.  Her Lifesaving: A Memoir was the winner of the 2001 Lambda Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. She is also the author of the best-selling Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art. She has been a faculty member of the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s MFA Program and has taught workshops around the U.S. as well as in Britain and Spain.

 

 

 

 

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Following a River: Writing & Conference with Gary Miranda

 

                         Freedom is not following a river.
                         Freedom is following a river
                         though, if you want to.

                                             -- William Stafford

These tutoring sessions are intended to help serious poets improve their poems and writing skills through consultation and revision. While individual poems will receive careful attention and thorough feedback, the emphasis will be on finding the poet's overall strengths and weaknesses in an effort to maximize the former and minimize the latter. Gary Miranda likes to think of this in terms of a river: "Some poets need more current, others need more banks." "Banks," he notes, "are a lot easier to learn." 

Students will submit their poems to Mr. Miranda in the week preceding their appointment. Hence, the fee includes tutor preparation to read and annotate the poems, and the individual conference session (an hour) to discuss and suggest directions. These one-on-one writing & conference sessions, by appointment, will be held Wednesdays at the TaborSpace Cafe. Request for other days/hours will be considered on an individual basis.

  • Meets: By appointment, Wednesdays between 10 AM and 4:30 PM
  • Cost:  $385 for 4 individual sessions or $100 per session
  • Location: TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont, Portland 97215
  • Enrollment: Individual writing-and-conference sessions, by appointment.

Register securely online through Paypal at www.mountainwriters.org or send check payable Mountain Writers to 2804 SE 27th, #2, Portland, OR 97202.

Online registration: fill in amount on PayPal website, indicating in "Add special instructions . . . " your enrollment preference: instructor, number of sessions, etc.

Gary Miranda has taught writing and literature at various colleges and universities, including three years as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Athens in Greece and, as writer-in-residence at Reed College in Portland. His poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere, and widely anthologized. He has published four collections, one of which, Listeners at the Breathing Place, won the Princeton Contemporary Poetry competition and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He has also published a translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, nine awards from the Poetry Society of America, and an invitation by The Atlantic Monthly to serve as poet-in-residence at the Robert Frost Place in New Hampshire. His poems have been taped for Harvard University’s Lamont Poetry Collection and the Library of Congress Poetry Archive. He lives in Portland.

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