The Gathering

Seventh Annual Gathering or Poets Saturday April 1, 2017, the Brookstown Inn, Winston-Salem.  To reserve a spot email –
We will notify you when it’s time to select your workshops and pay.

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. 

2017 Workshops
doriannejoeDorianne Laux and Joseph Millar -As From a Quiver of Arrows
  We’ll look at how two poets, Lynn Emmanuel and Carl Philips, build their poems line by line,  from first line to last, and use what we learn to build our own.   


301659_10150866372490164_1344030673_nLauren K. Alleyne – Self and World: Writing the Poems That Matter  In this workshop we will focus on strategies to connect our internal and external landscapes. Through guided writing, close reading and vigorous discussion we will wrestle with the challenges of taking on “big issues” while being both mindful and authentic in our writing.


laurentisRickey Laurnetiis – Reseeing (Re)vision”

RevisionLook again at the word, find inside sits another. Vision—a word we use not only to refer to literal, optical sight or the sense of seeing. In varying contexts, it’s a word referring to spiritual and/or divine “visitations” of knowledge (think: oracle’s vision), a future-oriented blueprint, schema, protocol or set of goals (think: architect’s vision) or, most broadly, the facility of the imagination and maybe, too, reason themselves (think: the vision of the mind). Therefore, it seems “(re)vision” constitutes a re-doing of any of all of this. It is a re-seeing, re-visiting, re-setting of goals, for example, or the blueprint: a second tango with the imagination. This workshop will explores (re)vision by all these meanings, looking at poetry and other (artistic) media as our guides. Possible artists we’ll discuss include Walt Whitman to Solmaz Sharif, and Jean-Michel Basquiat to Thelonious Monk. We’ll ask ourselves what is (re)vision versus editing? And where do our revisionary strategies best manifest themselves—whether in the body of our creative work or, in fact, in our lives? 


stuartStuart Dischell – Walking the Line  The line of poetry is a durable and flexible machinery for the making of music and sense. We will look at the ways various poets employ their line break strategies, creating awe and delight in the experience of the reader.


anyaAnya Silver – From the Personal to the Poem Through close examination of the the techniques used by other poets, we will look at how to turn personal stories into poetry, not just leave them as reportage set on lines.  Participants will also write in class.


William WrightWilliam Wright – Activating the Imagination: The Versatility of the Lyric Poem  A close look at how lyric poems work, and several methods poets might utilize to access elements of the lyric to amplify and enrich their work.


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

Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014). She holds an MFA in Poetry and a graduate certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University, and an MA in English and Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Alleyne’s fiction, non-fiction, interviews, and poetry have been widely published in journals and anthologies such as Women’s Studies Quarterly, Guernica, The Caribbean Writer, Black Arts Quarterly, The Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gathering Ground, andGrowing Up Girl, among others. Her work has earned several honors and awards, most recently the Picador Guest Professorship in Literature at the University of Leipzig, Germany, a 2014 Iowa Arts Council Fellowship, and first place in the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Contest. Alleyne is a Cave Canem graduate, and is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She currently works at James Madison University as Assistant Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and an Associate Professor of English.

Stuart Dischell was born in Atlantic City, NJ. He is the author of Good Hope Road, a National Poetry Series Selection, Evenings & AvenuesDig Safe,Backwards Days and the forthcoming Children With Enemies and the pamphlets Animate Earth and Touch Monkey and the chapbook Standing on Z. His poems have appeared in The AtlanticAgniThe New Republic, SlateKenyon ReviewPloughshares, and anthologies including Essential PoemsHammer and BlazePushcart Prize, and Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems. A recipient of awards from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. 

Rickey Laurentiis was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the recipient of numerous honors, among them a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. In 2016, he traveled to Palestine as a part of the Palestine Festival of Literature. His first book, Boy with Thorn (2015), won the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the 2016 Levis Reading Prize, co-won the 2015 Julie Suk Award, and was a finalist for a 2016 Lambda Literary Award and the Thom Gunn Award from the Publishing Triangle. He teaches at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Dorianne Laux’s fifth collection, The Book of Men, winner of The Paterson Prize, is available from W.W. Norton. Her fourth book of poems,Facts about the Moon, won The Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake(Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary) What We Carry (finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award) and Smoke. She’s the recipient of three Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She directs the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty of Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program.

Joseph Millar’s first collection, Overtime, was a finalist for the 2001 Oregon Book Award. His second collection, Fortune, appeared in 2007, followed by a third, Blue Rust, in 2012. Millar grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Johns Hopkins University before spending thirty years in the San Francisco Bay area working at a variety of jobs, from telephone repairman to commercial fisherman. It would be two decades before he returned to poetry. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such magazines as DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, APR, and Ploughshares. Millar teaches in Pacific University’s low-residency MFA .

Anya Krugovoy Silver is a poet living in Macon, Georgia.   She is the author of three books of poetry, The Ninety-Third Name of God (2010), I Watched You Disappear (2014), and From Nothing (forthcoming in September 2016), all published by the Louisiana State University Press. Her work has been published in many literary magazines, including Image, The Harvard Review, The Georgia Review, Five Points, Crazyhorse, New Ohio Review, Witness, The Christian Century, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry ReviewShenandoah, and many others.   Her work is included in Best American Poetry 2016. Her poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” in Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, “American Life in Poetry,” as an Academy of American Poets’ poem of the day, and on Poetry Daily.  She was named Georgia Author of the Year/Poetry for 2015.  She currently teaches in the English Department at Mercer University.  She shares her life with her husband, son, and cockapoo.  Since 2004, she has been living and thriving with inflammatory breast cancer.   

William Wright has publishded five full-length books are Tree Heresies, Creeks of the Upper South(with Amy Wright joint Jacar Press/Unicorn Press), Night Field Anecdote(Louisiana Literature, 2011), Bledsoe (Texas Review Press), and Dark Orchard (Texas Review Press). He is editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology series published by Texas Review Press, which now consists of six volumes: South Carolina, Mississippi, Contemporary Appalachia, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. His work appears in The Kenyon ReviewCrab Orchard ReviewIndiana ReviewShenandoahThe Southern Poetry ReviewEpochAntioch Review, and many other journals. 


A Look Back at Last Year’s Gathering.

SOLD OUT – Sixth Annual Gathering of Poets, Saturday April 2, the Brookstown Inn, Winston Salem – email if you wish to be on a waiting list. Next year’s Gathering is Saturday April 1, same location.

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. 

Workshop offerings(details lower on the page) –

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 Monologue

Robin Greene: Frameworks – A Workshop on Contextualizing Poems


The cost for 4 workshops, breakfast, lunch and wine reception will be $100. (sign up & pay below)


Brookstown Inn: 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Phone: (336) 725-1120


Special rates available – mention the Gathering and/or Jacar Press when reserving a room.

Built in 1837, this redbrick hotel in a former cotton mill is a 9-minute walk from historic Old Salem.
Traditional, individually decorated rooms (some with sitting areas) feature period furniture, free WiFi, minifridges, microwaves, coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs with cable. Suites add 4-poster beds and separate living rooms.

Guests have access to a parlor and a fitness room. Freebies include evening wine and cheese, nightly milk and cookies, continental breakfast, newspapers and parking.


Weekend Itinerary

Friday April 1, 2016

  • 8pm, Brookstown Inn wine room: Readings and Greetings

Saturday April 2, 2016

  • 8:30 – 9:15am: Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:15 – 10:30am: Session 1 (Kathryn Stripling Byer, Lola Haskins, Joe Mills)
  • 10:45am – 12 noon: Session 2 (Robin Greene, Howard Craft, William Wright)
  • 12 noon – 1:15 pm: Lunch
  • 1:15 – 2:30pm: Session 3 (Kathryn Stripling Byer, Robin Greene, Joe Mills)
  • 2:45 – 4pm: Session 4 (William Wright, Lola Haskins, Howard Craft)
  • 4:15 – 5pm: Faculty reading
  • 8pm: Participant open mic, main lounge at the Brookstown Inn

Sunday April 3, 2016

  • 9 – 11am: Workshop on Asian Forms – sijo, haibun, haiku/senryu and tanka. Richard Krawiec taught workshops for a decade on Asian Poetic forms for the Duke East Asia and Pacific Studies program. As past assistant editor at Notes from the Gean and Haijinx,  he published some of the finest contemporary haiku and haibun writers in the world, as well as a Franz Wright translation of Basho. He edited Taboo Haiku, and Jacar Press recently published 7, a collection of contemporary haiku writers.  That book won an Honorable Mention from the Haiku Society of America.  If you wish to participate in this workshop, no sign-up is needed.  Just come down to the workshop room at 9.


Workshop Overview

Now for the  workshops.  Remember, you will be able to sign up for 4 of these:

Kathryn Stripling Byer: The Legato Line – A Master Class on Sound

Poets often don’t give enough attention to the weaving together of language, the word by word, sound by sound, movement of a poem and how the sounds of words can help one push or “sing through” the stalled portions.  The poem sets up its own sound landscape from the first lines jotted down. Stephen Spender said that the poem creates its own cosmos and must be true to the laws of that cosmos.  Sound is a huge component of that cosmos, and focused attention to it can re-invigorate many a poem that seemed dead on the page and in the ear.  

This workshop will focus on each poet reading the poem slowly aloud and the participants listening, really listening, even taking notes on the vowels and consonants that most linger in their ears.


Howard Craft: The Poetic Monologue

Monologues in poetry and plays share many similarities.  In both, the author is speaking directly to the reader through a character.  That character can be real or fictional. A poetic monologue combines elements of narrative story-telling, meditation, and sensory observation. Like theatrical monologues, the best Poetic Monologues have a dramatic build and clear pacing.  They often incorporate events from history, both personal and public. Poets like Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot and Robert Hayden have all excelled at Poetic Monologues. Much contemporary Spoken Word can be classified as Poetic Monologues.

In this workshop we will look at examples of both poetic and theatrical monologues. Participants will then identify characters, real or imagined, who they might wish to inhabit.  We will begin to write our own monologues and share with each other, looking at what works, and what still needs work.


Robin Greene: Frameworks – A Workshop on Contextualizing Poems

This workshop will offer three ways to contextualize poems so that writers can make more informed decisions while drafting and revising. We’ll discuss lyric versus narrative poetry, formal structure versus free- verse structure, and the traditional thematic conventions—and how to use these in combination. To illustrate, we’ll first look at  some contemporary poems. Then participants will have an opportunity to draft new work and to discuss how contextualizing can help make their own poems more effective.


Lola Haskins: On Editing

Sometimes poets get the impression that revision basically means streamlining, so if you can just cut the fat, the writing will shine the way it was meant to. But in reality there’s more to it than that. Sometimes there isn’t enough information, for instance; or there’s no hook; or you need to change direction because the way you began isn’t the way the work’s evolving; or something you’ve written is unhelpfully dating the whole. In this workshop, I’ll show you how four of my own poems evolved (they’re different from each other, both in style and in focus), and go over the changes I made between drafts and my reasons for making them. You’ll follow along using a handout, which also includes an introduction and a starter set of editing principles.


Joe Mills: The Worst Things Ever:  Metaphors, Similes, and Beautiful Dangerous Images

Il Postino, a woman is appalled to find out someone has been giving poetry to her daughter and touching her with his “metaphors.”  She concludes that “words are the worst things ever.”  Metaphors, similes, and figurative language can be an efficient, powerful  way to pack multiple meanings and connotations into a single image.  In this workshop, we’ll explore this key writing technique.


William Wright: Reclaiming the Deep Image

In this workshop, William Wright will discuss American deep image poetry—a poetry that was made popular in the United States in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, championed and practiced by Robert Bly, James Wright, and others—a poetry that is still written today and finds its roots in German Expressionism and Spanish Surrealism.

Deep image poetry “reclaims” the image as an objective means to lead one through a poem to a shocking, subjective ending—poetry almost jewel-like in its clarity and luminosity.

While workshop attendants do not need to bring poems that adhere to the deep image aesthetic, Wright will focus on sensorial details in workshop poems and reveal how working within the deep image mindset can create radiant, dazzling, and beautifully surprising poems that suggest narrative through evocative lyricism. 


Faculty Bios

Kathryn Stripling Byer work has received the Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Hanes Poetry Award from The Fellowship of Southern Writers, and Book of the Year awards from the NC Literary and Historical Association and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. She served for five years as the state’s first woman Poet Laureate, and is an inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Her most recent book is The Vishnu Bird (Jacar Press).  Previously she has published six collections with LSU.  Her first book, The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, has been reprinted by Press 53.


Howard CraftHoward L. Craft is a poet, playwright, and arts educator. He is the author of Across The Blue Chasm (Big Drum Press). His plays include FREIGHT: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green, which played to a sold-out house in Chapel Hill, NC and was invited to New York City for a fully staged showcase run.  Craft teaches creative writing in colleges, public and private schools, and to adults through the North Carolina Writers Network, Duke Center for Documentary Studies and various arts councils and organizations. He  has received grants from the N.C. Arts Council and the Durham Arts.  He is a two-time recipient of the N.C. Central University New Play Project, as has received numerous commissions from universities and professional theater companies.


Robin Greene is Professor of English and Writing at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC, where she also serves as director of the university’s writing center, and co-founder of Longleaf Press. Greene holds the McLean Endowed Chair of English, and for six years has been teaching a women’s writing, meditation, and yoga retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico. Greene has published four books—two poetry (Memories of Light and Lateral Drift), one nonfiction (Real Birth: Women Share Their Stories), and one novel (Augustus: Narrative of a Slave Woman). She is co-founder and editor of Longleaf Press, which publishes chapbooks and full-length collections of poetry. Greene holds a M.A. in English from Binghamton University and a M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts at Norwich University. 


Lola HaskinsLola Haskins’ work has appeared in The Atlantic, The London Review of Books, The New York Quarterly, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.   How Small, Confronting Morning is her fourteenth poetry collection. Previous efforts include Hunger, which won the 1992 Iowa Poetry Prize, Desire Lines, New and Selected PoemsExtranjeraForty-Four Ambitions for the Piano,, The Grace to Leave and Still, the Mountain the latter two won Florida Book Awards. Among her awards are two NEA fellowships, four Florida Cultural Affairs fellowships, and several prizes for narrative poetry.  Since 2005, she has served on the faculty of Rainier Writers Workshop, a low-res MFA program. 


Joe MillsA faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities.  He has published five volumes of poetry with Press 53, most recently This Miraculous Turning, which was awarded the Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry.  In April 2016, he will publish Exit, Pursued By a Bear, a collection of poems prompted by stage directions in Shakespeare. 



William WrightWilliam Wright is the editor of the Southern Poetry Anthology series (Texas Review Press).  He is also an assistant editor for Shenandoah, and a contributing columnist to Oxford American. Winner of the Porter Fleming Prize for Poetry, he has published four full-length books of poetry, most recently, Tree Heresies. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, Antioch Review, Indiana Review, Epoch, and The Southern Poetry Review. Wright is to be the writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee in spring of 2016.