The Gathering

Coming March 30, 2019 – Ninth Annual Gathering of Poets –
featuring Marilyn Nelson, Li-Young Lee, Kaveh Akbar, Chloe Honum, Edward Corral and Renee Emerson.  At the Brookstown Inn, Winston-Salem.
To reserve a spot email –  We will be taking official sign-ups and workshop selections this Fall.


Eighth Annual Gathering of Poets –
Saturday March 24, 2018, the Brookstown Inn, Winston-Salem.

Sign Up Here

A weekend of workshops and fellowship, food and readings. Informal wine reception and readings Friday night, a full day Saturday – four different 75-minute workshops, including breakfast and lunch, readings by workshop leaders, then open mic. And a Sunday morning workshop for those who stay over.

2018 Workshops:


Lynn Emanuel –
Obsessional Poetics: No One Writes Just One Poem

“All obsessions are extreme metaphors waiting to be born.”
– J. G. Ballard

In this workshop, we will examine the ways a few modern and contemporary poets turn and return to a place, person, image, form, or event as a way of exploring and unearthing a subject. What can these forms of return teach us about our own poems? How can we mine our own repetitions or obsessions for new work? How might we delve more deeply into our own habits of writing and feeling? If you can, please bring a couple of poems to workshop that you might use as a resource for exploring your own poetic obsessions.


Patricia Spears Jones –
Basic and Bold: The Uses of Contemporary Poetry

This Workshop is designed to engage participants with contemporary poets and the different strategies to generate new work. While the focus is on African American poets, a range of poets will be under review. The Workshop will be in two parts:
1. Participants will look at poems in the packet and discuss the work of those poets with whom they unfamiliar.
2. We will use vocabulary from two or three of the poems to generate new work.
We will use two or three poems as catalysts for new works. Poems by Gregory Pardlo, Ada Limón, Marilyn Chin, Maureen Owen, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Adam Fitzgerald and Charif Shanahan will be part of the packet. Participants must be prepared to read and write, write and write. At the end of this workshop, it is my hope that participants will have created poems that they feel good about and have learned about.


Sandra Beasley –
What We Talk About When We Talk About Voice

Voice is the most elusive element of strong writing. How do we craft language that feels compelling and unique? We will unpack constituent elements of voice—the recurring decisions made in terms of point of view, tense, image, sound, structure, and diction—and read examples of effective voice from noted contemporary authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. This seminar includes an extensive handout of texts and a generative prompt.


Zeina Hashem Beck –
The Ghazal and the Poetic Leap

In this workshop, we will focus on the ghazal as a poetic form: beyond talk about the shape of the poem, the radif (refrain), the qafia (rhyme), and the poet’s signature, we will look at how the ghazal’s couplets can both exist as independent units and relate to one another and the poem’s whole. We will discuss how this quality allows the poet to create juxtaposition and make poetic leaps within a ghazal. Participants will also write.


Gary Fincke –
Everything Matters: Deepening Experience in Narrative

We will explore ways of opening narrative poems, not only to move beyond simply “close observation of what happened,” but also to broaden the personal by associative connections to what’s learned in any number of ways—history, science, the arts, culture, politics, and the oddities of trivia. Bring along a few of your own narrative poems to re-examine for the possibility of entering again from another angle.


Maggie Anderson –
The Poet in the World: Writing Political Poetry

In this workshop we will examine the ways in which our poems can be made from the intersection of local and global political events and our own lives as poets. Why is the term “political poetry” often seen as a pejorative? Can the necessary evidence, documentation and witness in political subject matter be expressed through poems that are also highly attuned to metaphor and music? What makes a “good” political poem? If you can, please bring with you one poem by yourself or another poet that you consider both “political” and “poetic” that you might use as a source or model for writing from your own political feelings, fears, and understandings in these times.



If you would like to sign up, you’re invited to use the form below to arrange a simple ranking, numbered 1 (highest priority) – 6 (lowest priority) to indicate which workshops you’d most like to take. You do NOT need to select a workshop time, as these may be adjusted. We are going to try to arrange a schedule based on your responses. This method will ensure more people get the workshops they desire, but we may be unable to accommodate every request. Remember, you get to take 4 workshops throughout the day.

Submission Form


Payment is processed separately but is required. The fee is $100.


Faculty Bios

Lynn Emanuel received an MFA from the University of Iowa, an MA from City College of New York, and a BA from Bennington College. She is the author of five books of poetry: The Nerve of It: Poems New and Selected (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Noose and Hook; Then, Suddenly, which was awarded the Eric Matthieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets; The Dig, which was selected by Gerald Stern for the National Poetry Series; and Hotel Fiesta. Her honors include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Emanuel has taught at Bennington College, Vermont College, and Warren Wilson College, among others. She is currently a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh.


Patricia Spears Jones, winner of the $50,000 Jackson Prize for “exceptional talent” is a Brooklyn-based African American poet. Her most recent collection of poems, A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems, published by White Pine Press in 2015, was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s 2016 William Carlos Williams Prize, as well as for the Paterson Poetry Prize. Her earlier books include Painkiller, Femme du Monde, and The Weather That Kills. Previous honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and awards from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Goethe-Institut, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the New York Community Trust.


Sandra Beasley is the author of Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergy. Honors include a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize; distinguished writer residencies at Cornell College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and the University of Mississippi; two DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowships; and the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Her prose has appeared in such venues as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Oxford American. She lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches as part of the University of Tampa’s low-residency MFA program.


Zeina Hashem Beck, a Lebanese poet, won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize for her second full-length collection, Louder than Hearts, about which Naomi Shihab Nye wrote, “Everything Arabic we treasure comes alive in these poems. Readers will feel restored to so many homes, revived, amazed. Zeina Hashem Beck writes with a brilliant, absolutely essential voice.” Zeina is also the author of two 2016 chapbooks: 3arabi Song, selected from 1720 manuscripts as winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy, Zeina’s first book, To Live in Autumn, centered on Beirut, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize and was a runner-up for the 2014 Julie Suk Award. Her work has won Best of the Net and been featured on Poetry Daily and Inpress Books’s Poem of the Week, and has appeared widely in literary magazines, among which are Ploughshares, Poetry, World Literature Today, River Styx, Boulevard, Ambit, and Poetry Northwest.


Gary Fincke, is a Winner of the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine (other winners include Adrienne Rich, W.S. Merwin, Claudia Rankine, Billy Collins) and author of 13 books of poetry, most recently, Bringing Back the Bones: New and Selected Poems. His collection After the Three-Moon Era was selected by Chana Bloch as the 2015 Jacar Press full-length poetry winner. He publishes in such journals as The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares.


Maggie Anderson’s most recent collection of poems, Dear All, was published by Four Way Books in 2017. She is the author of four previous books of poetry, including Windfall: New and Selected Poems, A Space Filled with Moving, and Cold Comfort. Anderson has also co-edited several thematic anthologies, including A Gathering of Poets, a collection of poems read at the 20th anniversary commemoration of the shootings at Kent State University in 1970, as well as Learning by Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School and After the Bell: Contemporary American Prose about School. Her awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, fellowships from the Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania Councils on the Arts, and the Ohioana Library Award for contributions to the literary arts in Ohio. The founding director of the Wick Poetry Center and of the Wick Poetry Series of the Kent State University Press, Anderson is Professor Emerita of English at Kent State University and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina.



Past Years


A Look Back at 2017’s Gathering

Seventh Annual Gathering of Poets –
Saturday April 1, 2017, the Brookstown Inn, Winston-Salem

2017 Workshops:

Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar – As From a Quiver of Arrows Lauren K. Alleyne – Self and World: Writing the Poems That Matter Rickey Laurentiis – Reseeing (Re)vision Stuart Dischell – Walking the Line Anya Silver – From the Personal to the Poem William Wright – Activating the Imagination: The Versatility of the Lyric Poem



A Look Back at 2016’s Gathering.

Sixth Annual Gathering of Poets –
Saturday April 2, 2016, the Brookstown Inn, Winston Salem

2016 Workshops:

Kathryn Stripling Byer – The Legato Line: A Master Class on Sound Lola Haskins – On Editing William Wright – Reclaiming the Deep Image Joe Mills – The Worst Things Ever: Metaphors, Similes, and Beautiful Dangerous Images Howard Craft – The Poetic Robin Greene – Frameworks: A Workshop on Contextualizing Poems