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Community of Writers at Squaw Valley

Here are some pictures of the beautiful transformative week I spend at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley workshop this June. They were mainly taken in a couple of events on the last two days (I was too busy writing!). Thank you so much Brett Hall Jones, Liza Alvares, poetry elves and all the amazing staff, the amazing faculty (Robert Hass, Gregory Pardlo, Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, Francisco Aragón, Sharon Olds) and wonderful participants for your generosity, joy, poems and to make this week happen <3

 

 

 

And here are some Instagrams:

#amwriting #squawvalleypoets #squawvalleywriters #communityofwriters

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Nature walk #communityofwriters

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Nature walk #communityofwriters

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#squawvalleypoets #squawvalleywriters #communityofwriters

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The Community of Writers was founded in 1969 (see a little about its history here). It was the first time I did anything like this: a generative conference where you don’t workshop material previously written, but instead are asked to write there and bring a fresh new poem to show each day. It was a full challenging week for me. I was up super late and woke very early, every day, working to get those poems out. I was terrified to show very fresh new poems to anyone, let alone to Robert Hass, Gregory Pardlo, Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, Francisco Aragón and Sharon Olds, plus a group of very talented participants… But I *loved* all of it.

I learned so much not only about craft from the workshop sessions and excellent craft lectures, but by my observation of my own on process, my fears, defense and the evolution of the poem from a single idea into first draft… about timing and how to navigate stuff to have the poem out by 8:58 am no matter what I had. I feel as the process made us all into very careful and hungry observers, looking at everything as a possible poem, a very intense way of looking and searching. It also brought us together and gave us a real experience of community.  The atmosphere was incredibly positive and supportive, there was so much generosity, joy, and beauty. They really have something special here. (If you have a chance to go, go!)

 

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