There are still two open spaces available for my November 14-15 virtual writing retreat, "New England Bards." The session I led in early October went very well, and I'm excited to reprise it. Please consider joining us, as I think you will find it both engaging and restful--that's specifically how I've designed it. Cost is only $150, there will be plenty of off-screen time for writing and reflection, and you can be working at any level--from experimenting newcomer to established poet. If you've been longing for a community of open-hearted colleagues, I'm here to welcome you.
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Today, in my small northern city by the sea, the rain is pouring, pouring, and doughty Paul is getting ready to embark on a four-day wilderness canoe trip with a friend from high school. I admire their undaunted glee, but personally I am very glad I'm not going along. Cold wet canoe-camping doesn't sound so alluring to me. I will be happy to stay under cover, drinking an extra cup of coffee and watching water-trails sluice down the windows and hanging around in my bathrobe till mid-morning. I ought to be cleaning the basement on this wet day, getting it ready for firewood storage, and maybe I will, eventually. Who knows? I'm happy to be indecisive.
Yesterday was busy: I spent a chunk of the early morning working on plans for possible future Frost Place programs--some extension activities that could be available year-round to interested participants. The faculty for 2021 will be stellar . . . and I dearly hope we'll be able to meet in person next summer. Nonetheless, being forced to figure out virtual teaching approaches has had a silver lining: off-site meetings are so much easier, and Zoom gives me a whole lot of flexibility in creating distance-learning options . . . these writing retreats, for example, as well as professional development sessions or structured reading groups.
So that's been exciting. I do love trying to figure out how to do my job; and as far as poetry teaching goes, my job is to guide writers into self-confident self-questioning. That's what Baron Wormser did for me, when I first began working with him . . . as an apprentice poet weeping at his kitchen table because I would never be Keats. He was patient, he was inexorable, he was convinced of my worthiness, and he helped me see my powers--and to trust them, while also questioning them, constantly.