Workshops at the 9th Biennial
2016 Skagit River Poetry Festival!!!

Purchase your tickets on this page. 


Found Poetry with Daemond Arrindell
Sunday, May 22, 9 am-12 noon

Poetry is happening all the time, all around us. It exists on billboards, on the inside covers of magazines, in overheard and out of context conversations. But unfortunately in our rush to get to our next appointments, and the distractions of our own barrage of text messages and incoming calls, we miss them.

In this workshop we will seek to find, uncover and bring to light the hidden poetry from some unexpected places like: science textbooks, political speeches, pop music, Yelp reviews, graffiti, etc. Incorporating new vocabularies, different voices and styles, we place ourselves into situations we’ve never experienced, try to make sense out of dynamics that baffle us or maybe try desperately to get out of.

We will shift between both treated and un-treated found poems and engage in “Frankensteining” pieces of text together, and even add in our own unpredictable, inspired words to the mix.

This workshop is open to writers of all abilities. Please bring writing materials.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$60

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Poetry and Silence with Kasey Jueds
Sunday, May 22, 9 am-12 noon

The rest-note,
unwritten,
hinged between worlds,
that precedes change and allows it.
~Jane Hirshfield, “The Door”

As poets, we’re often aware of silence in our writing lives as a negative force: silence as writer’s block; silence as the experience of being shut down by society, culture, family, and/or our own internal sense of shame or perfectionism.

Silence typically feels challenging, problematic: something to be overcome. Yet there’s a type of silence that can be generative and deeply nurturing, if we can learn to recognize and cultivate it.

In this workshop, we’ll explore this type of positive silence through discussion and writing exercises. We’ll talk about how to distinguish between painful, unhelpful silence and expansive silence. Hopefully, you’ll leave with a stronger sense of how to draw on the “rest-note” that can feed your work.

This workshop is open to writers of all abilities. Please bring writing materials.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$60

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Finding the Flow with Matt Gano
Sunday, May 22, 9 am-12 noon

Early 20th century approaches to writing brought us the exploration and dream language of the Surrealists. Automatic writing, or writing without censorship, opens new landscapes and possibilities for creative expression. Much in the vein of these writers, this workshop will focus on liberating the imagination, freeing language, and expanding your voice.

We will explore the concept of automatic writing and discuss the merit of being in the moment and finding your flow.

This workshop is open to writers of all abilities. Please bring writing materials.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$60

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Coaxing Poems from Nature with Tim McNulty
Sunday, May 22, 9 am-12 noon

Join naturalist and poet Tim McNulty for a three-hour workshop that will combine venturing outdoors with field journals and writing poems based on observation and engagement with the natural world.

Participants will spend a little time indoors. We’ll look closely at some poems drawn from the natural world, discuss working from field journals, and then venture out with journals in hand.

We’ll record observations, impressions and images, and we’ll try an exercise that will coax our rough notes into a poem. If time allows, we’ll share our works-in-progress.

Bring a notebook or journal — and dress for unexpected weather.

This workshop is open to writers of all abilities.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$60

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Sub-Lit: the Contagion with Richard Kenney
Sunday, May 22, 9 am-12 noon

This class concerns verse that spreads without professors. Long before the internet, certain word-strings have always “gone viral,” colonizing minds by infectious means, mouth to ear, without need of the literary apparat and its customary gray vectors: tenured professors, annotated anthologies, editorial and critical harrumph.

We’ll collect specimens of this subliterary sort, including jokes, riddles, curses, charms, weather-saws, and prayers, and consider how they do it. In that sense, this may devolve into a lightning taxonomy of the several live magics constituting Ars Poetica, including the mysteries of meter and sonic echo.

Curse us if we don’t keep it light! Join us in the exploration of an Ars Poetica as we collect specimens we can use for our own journey.

This workshop is open to writers of all abilities. Please bring writing materials.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$60

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The Electric Eclectic: Precision-Tone Your Poetry Muscles in Just 3 Hours! With Martha Silano
Sunday, May 22, 9 am-12 noon

Get your dream body of work and increase your poetry writing fitness through a circuit-training series of diverse exercises guaranteed to quick-start your poetry-writing attitude

Feel the transformation as you release your creative flow with an eclectic array of pedagogical approaches, including retail pantoums, a walk on the wild side, poem mapping, and absurd-premise prose poems.

These crowd-pleasing prompts will pump up your poetic biceps! Come ready to observe, describe, experiment, riff, and share your newest creations in a safe and encouraging atmosphere.

This workshop is open to writers of all abilities. Please bring writing materials.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$60

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Invoking Magic with Jeanann Verlee
Sunday, May 22, 1:00 - 2:30pm

How does one make the impossible possible? My answer to this has always been: WRITE. The purest joy of the writers craft is how we can be and do and build anything that our bold, exquisite brains can imagine.

This workshop exercises that muscle, examining poems wherein magic is made so real you might reach your hands in and actually touch it. We will go together through the process of invoking through language the literal anything, and discover how sometimes writing our lived experiences can benefit from sprinkling a little fairy dust.

Open to all ages and experience levels, but please note there is some violent content in the study poems. Bring your own writing materials.
Maximum 25
Minimum 5

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$40

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The Poet Doctor is In! Twenty Minutes. Twenty Bucks.
Friday, May 20, 2:30-3:45pm

Festival poets are offering individual consultations for writers. Sign up for a 20-minute intensive individual critique of one of your poems.

Festival poets will give you feedback in this safe and productive session and provide tips to put the final touches on a poem.

Poems must be submitted to: directorsrpp@gmail.com one week prior to the workshop and will be forwarded to one of the “Poet Doctors”!

You will receive notification as to with whom you will be meeting and the time.

Poet doctors are: Kathy Fagan, Lorraine Ferra, Tod Marshal and Tim McNulty.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$20

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Reading the Inarticulate - Publishing Tips from the Editor of Poetry NW - Kevin Craft
Friday, May 21, 3:30 - 4:45pm

In his seminal essay “Feeling Into Words,” Seamus Heaney describes poetic technique as “the discovery of ways to go out of … normal cognitive bounds and raid the inarticulate.”

Indeed, much vibrant poetry exists in the tension between expectation and surprise, oscillating between the inevitable and the ineffable.

In this workshop, we’ll explore various practical approaches and methods for “gleaning the unsaid off the palpable” (Heaney’s phrase again), for wresting the unexpected out of thin air and onto the page.

We will also discuss the ins and outs of preparing work for publication, and cover tips and best practices when shopping your work around.

Venue: Maple Hall Check in
$40

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