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Poetry SESSIONS 2020

 Beyond what the "I" Can See: Point of View for Poet  - Sarah Freligh

In this one-hour interactive craft talk, we’ll discuss how poems can get beyond the “I” of the beholder and the role of point of view as a series of deliberate decisions.

Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis; A Brief Natural History of an American Girl (Accents Publishing, 2012), and Sort of Gone (Turning Point Books, 2008).  Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, diode, and in the anthologies New Microfiction and Best Microfiction 2019.  Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.

On Reflection: Secrets to Revision: Jane Edna Mohler 

Ever have the burning need to write a poem, and then that poem becomes ornery and refuses to move along?  In this workshop we’ll turn stubborn poems upside down and see what shakes out of their pockets.  The “reflection” idea comes from my late friend Herb Perkins-Frederick.  The reflection we see in our rear view mirror is backwards, but the perspective still contains truth. Sometimes this approach yields a better poem, a deeper understanding, or valuable parts to keep in stock.  We’ll briefly discuss Herb’s method, then get down to work on our poems.  Participants are asked to bring a short (15 lines max) poem that just won’t ignite.

Jane Edna Mohler is the author of Broken Umbrellas (Kelsay Books, 2019.)  Her poems have appeared in Schuylkill Valley Journal, U.S. 1 Worksheets, River Heron Review, and the Boston Globe.  She is the 2016 winner of Main Street Voices anda Pushcart Prize nominee.  She lives in the woods of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  She supports her book buying habit as a school counselor. She pretends to live on the Eastern Shore whenever possible.

Intro to Pi-Ku - A Contemporary Version of Japanese Short Form - BLW McGrory

Focusing on how brilliant Pi-ku can be written by absolutely anyone--regardless of age or level of writing experience--the presentation will begin with a brief explanation regarding the creation of Pi-ku and how its variation maintains adherence to the technical principles of haiku, senryu, haiga, shahai, monoku and other forms of tradition Japanese poetry styles.  Like haiku, the Pi-ku is syllable-based but instead of “5-7-5” it’s strictly 3-1-4 (because the first 3 number of Pi are 3.14, and March 14th is Pi(e) Day).  The presentation will offer a variety of prompts, giving attendees the opportunity to compose, workshop, and edit a number of Pi-ku throughout the hour, and will also delve into Found Piku (also known as Blackout Poetry), and I will provide the materials for those at the presentation to create their own Found Piku pieces.  Afterward, selected works will be published in a special edition of Pi(e)-ku Poetry--an independently produced zine of Pi-ku Poetry, sold to raise money for 3 Delmarva-area Food Banks and the SPCA in Georgetown, DE. Launched in 2019, Pi-ku Poetry was developed as a way to use poetry to address the need for more conversation about food insecurity on the Eastern Shore.

BLW McGrory - Barbara “Babs” McGrory is a former morning-radio show host, and the new State of Delaware Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021). Founder of Vowel Mouth Poetry; Creator of #Piku314; Featured participant in 2018 Golden Haiku contest. Self-employed eco-soldier at TREAD Delmarva, enthusiastic shutterbug at Just Delmarvalous, novice self-publisher at Mouthing-Off Press, unknown podcaster at My Dad’s Crazy Old Vinyl Albums, pole-to-pole pugilist at Litterbox Riot Blog, wanna-be conglomeration at B.ink #Binkstuff.  First published in 1984, her poetry has been included in a number of indie anthologies throughout the 90’s, 00’s, and present day. 

The Skinny Poetry Workshop – Truth Thomas 

In this workshop, NAACP Award Winning poet Truth Thomas will teach the formal writing rules of The Skinny Poetry Form--a form of his creation that has blossomed in worldwide popularity.   Workshop participants will learn the importance of concision in the composition of poetry in general and Thomas' approach to the crafting of notable work in the fixed form of the Skinny in particular.  This will be a writing intensive, one of a kind, profoundly positive experience. 

Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Washington, D.C.  He is the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing.  Thomas earned his MFA in poetry at New England College.  He has published four collections of poetry.  His most recent book, Speak Water, won the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.  The "Skinny" poetry form is credited to Thomas' creation.  A former writer-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo), his poems have appeared in over 150 publications, including The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni). 

Have You Ever Wanted to Write a Sonnet? – Jamie Brown 

Have you ever wanted to write a sonnet but been afraid to try?  Writing in form--especially in as challenging a form as the sonnet--is not something most people who call themselves poets do. Writing in form is something that has been considerably sneered at by those who call themselves poets, frowned upon by most editors of literary magazines and e-publications, and is, frankly, a difficult thing to do. The rewards are great, however, simply because it is difficult. The rigor and discipline in examining every word choice, rhythm and meter in order to achieve a poem of some significance (to one personally as well as to others) will profoundly and positively affect all poets' non-form poetry.

Jamie Brown is author of Sakura, Conventional Heresies, and Freeholder and Other Poems.  The founder and first editor of The Broadkill Review, he is currently CEO of The Broadkill River Press. His poetry, fiction and non-fiction have been widely published.  He taught at Wesley College and University of Delaware after twelve years teaching at George Washington University.  He has taught Creative Writing workshops (Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Fiction) at Georgetown University, and taught the first Poetry workshop at the Smithsonian Institution.  He helped edit several literary magazines and served as poetry critic for The Washington Times.


Craft & Nonfiction -- Beginning Fiction

Advanced Fiction -- Poetry


Conference Overview





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