Three Amazing Poets, One Incredible Week of Workshops, Seminars, and Readings Online!

There are no available registration dates at this time.





Ellen Bass is SOLD OUT.  Email [email protected] to be placed on a wait list.

Upon registering you will be given the chance to select the Poet with whom you would like to study during the week. Book your seat early to ensure a space in your preferred class!

Morning workshops will take place via Zoom.  Workshop registrations remain limited to no more than 12 participants per instructor, so you’ll have the experience of personal attention from the faculty and your fellow poets.

Afternoon craft seminars will be offered for all participants via the Zoom platform.  This gives you the opportunity to learn from all three poets over the course of the week.

Evening readings will also take place on Zoom.  These will be open to all participants as well as the larger community – invite your friends and family to these offerings.

Student readings will be held on Friday afternoon to give everyone a chance to share their work with faculty, fellow poets, friends, and family.

During the course of the week, there will be drop-in lunch sessions with guest artists, cocktail hours, and other events that take place on the virtual platform.  You’ll have a chance to share work and life experiences with fellow poets from all over the world who may be attending this week.

Technical support will be available throughout the week to help you if you are not already accustomed to using Zoom and other online tools.

There will also be a series of Guest Artist luncheon Conversations, with speakers Joyce Tenneson, Olaf Willoughby, Eileen Muldoon, and Richard Reitz Smith. View Schedule and Details here.

Join us for an exciting week online this year to study with one of these accomplished poets!


3 Amazing Poets:

The Photographic Poem with Richard Blanco:

Whether candid snapshots, cell phone images, or formal portraits, photographs are replete with conscious and unconscious stories to mine. In the interdisciplinary spirit of Maine Media Workshops and College, we will use photographs as ekphrastic prompts to write poems that explore our emotional responses to those rich stories. We will then take photographs of our own as an exercise to explore by analogy how our poetic eye, like the eye of a camera, focuses and frames our experiences to render stories; we will then “redevelop” these photos into poems. All poems will be shared in dynamic and interactive workshop sessions as we continue to investigate the relationships between imagery, imagination, and story. In addition, through interactive lectures, exercises, and readings of various illustrative poems, we will dive deeper into some of the core techniques of poetry, namely: sensory details, modulations of the poetic line, figurative language, and linguistic musicality.

Bring at least 3 favorite family photos (printed or digital) that have resonated with you emotionally and have somehow always captivated or intrigued you. Don’t over-think your choice of photos—be instinctual. However, the older the photo, the better, typically. You will use the photos as emotional prompts for writing poems that explore and dive deeper into the meanings these photos hold for you. Also, bring a laptop or tablet to type up your poems and print copies for workshop. Lastly, bring a cell phone to take photos.

Conscious Imitation with Ellen Bass:

"Imitation, conscious imitation, is one of the great methods, perhaps the method of learning to write,” said Theodore Roethke. In this workshop you’ll consider a variety of contemporary poems that demonstrate specific aspects of the craft. You'll look at poems by poets such as Lynn Emanuel, Denise Levertov, Anne Sexton, Toi Derricotte, Tony Hoagland, Pablo Neruda, Alan Shapiro, Patrick Rosal, Mark Doty, and others. Then you’ll make your own poems that build upon the past to create something fresh. Each day you’ll study a particular element, such as metaphor, image, diction, syntax, discovery. You'll write new poems and share your work.

Please bring to the workshop one or two poems you admire that utilize strategies that intrigue you and also a poem of your own that you want to revise. Expect to leave with work that’s more authentic, courageous, and consciously crafted than you’ve ever written before.

In Pursuit of a More Passionate Syntax with Kevin Pilkington:

This is a generative workshop that will challenge and ignite work from close, analytical reading of poems by established poets. After examining the elements that make these poems striking and memorable, you will reinvigorate your own poems with exercises done in class that energize and further the impulse and intention of your poem. Through group discussion, you will discover and explore what poetry is and can be. Metaphoric exercises will help trigger and strengthen your poems as you explore the sonics and seek musical notes found in words that increase the rhythmic flow of the line or as Yeats said, “to pursue a more passionate syntax”. Everyone in class should be curious and brave as you tap into the unconscious and explore the mysteries that make us human.