Poetry Track

McGovern photoBio: Martin McGovern earned his MA in philosophy at Stanford University and his PhD in creative writing/literature at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, Chicago Review, Kenyon Review, Sewanee Review, and elsewhere. He cofounded The Urban Theater Company in Houston and was Associate Artistic Director of Ad Hoc Theater and Artistic Director of Tir Na nOg: An Irish Theater in Denver. His play “Joseph K” earned the 2009 Denver Post Ovation Award for Best New Work. Having taught for Regis University’s College for Professional Studies since 2007 and creating its MA in Creative Writing, McGovern is also now cofounder and co-director of that university’s Mile-High Low-Residency MFA program.

Session #1

Title: Photo Poems With and Without Photos

Description: During the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, a trend in contemporary poetry was to write “photo poems,” poems with titles like “Photo of My Aunt, 1960” or  “Photo: Me and My Dog.” I vowed never to write one – until I came across an old newspaper photo of my family and me getting ready to go on a summer camping trip. I simply imagined I was seeing the event—sans photo, without photo—and went from there—same “scene,” same “blocking,” as a theatre director might put it. Same emotional relationships. A mentor, Pulitzer-winning poet, translator and editor Richard Howard, took the poem for The New Republic and told me, rather luxuriantly, “This is To the Lighthouse in under 30 lines.” I blush. The workshop will use the method I “discovered” to analyze a number of poems and to write and share poems of our own—so bring in, say, three significant photos, and bring in your imagination:  we will also construct imaginary photos from which we can write new poems, “sans photos” or without the real photos. A “fun day at the office!” 

BIO: Juan Morales is the author of three poetry collections, including The Siren World and his latest, The Handyman’s Morales Rdg Pic LargeGuide to End Times. He is a Canto Mundo Fellow, the editor of Pilgrimage, and the Department Chair of English and World Languages at CSU-Pueblo.

Session #2

Title: Our Daily Poems: Poetry of Witness and the Activist Poet

Description:In this generative workshop, we will rely on Carolyn Forché’s “Poetry of Witness” to explore how we can use the personal and the political to enter a poem’s social space. We will examine influential poems and determine how we not only bear witness to historical moments, but how we also write to discover our role as the activist poet.

Gary PhotoGary Schroeder

BIO: Author of four previous books of poetry – The Slender Name, Adjacent Solitudes, Mistaken Lights and Cricket in the House: A Year’s Haiku. Co-editor with Joseph Hutchison of A Song for Occupations: Poems About the American Way of Work.



Session #3

Title: Waking to the World: The Art of Writing Haiku

Description: The workshop will explore the art of Haiku writing. Let go the imposition of the long-standing 5-7-5 structure of Haiku and focus on the wonderful world around you!