Ends on

In W. S. Merwin’s “The Blind Seer of Albon,” he begins, “I always knew I came from another language.” Isn’t each poem, in fact, “another language,” previously undiscovered? A narrative poem, for instance, is one language—one shape, one conceptual strategy—while a poem that explores or defines an idea is an entirely different language, a different shape, a different strategy of development. Some poets—William Stafford, Yannis Ritsos, or Pablo Neruda—seem to have written almost daily, seldom running out of material for—or shapes to—their countless poems. What if writing a poem is as simple as being aware of multiple “shapes,” each a different kind of thinking, each a different strategy of development?

In this retreat, participants will explore—over the course of four separate sessions—14 conceptual strategies for generating and shaping poems. While all strategies will be introduced, particular focus will be given to four or five specific strategies. Participants will study and discuss sample poems and then write their own work.


Place: Rockvale Writers' Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN

Time and Date: 4:00 p.m. Friday, April 1 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday, April 3, 2022

Cost: $425.00 (tax included) Full payment is due by March 4, 2022

Includes: 2 nights in a private bedroom/bathroom suite, access to RWC common areas, gardens, and hiking trails, 5 meals with wine at dinner, 4 workshops, community with other writers, and tools to explore and celebrate the potential waiting for us in 2021

Thoughts about Health and Safety: We implement careful procedures in alignment with the state of Tennessee and Williamson County mandates. RWC is large enough that we can spread out and safely hold this retreat. The number of retreaters is limited to 7. Please read our Covid policies and precautions for more information.

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