Friday, September 22
10:30-7:00 | Registration
11:30-1:45 | Master Class w/ Nance Van Winckel (Two-Session Master Class)
“TEXT-ART” - Part I (Part II will be held on Saturday from 8:30-10:15)
Poems as postcards? Excerpts from a story embedded in a painting? Snippets from that memoir projected behind a dancer? Textiles, rocks, bark, sand, sky. Your words needn’t be confined to the book or magazine. In this workshop we will make visual/verbal collage pieces out of old book pages, augmented by your words and other graphic materials. This workshop is for artists interested in writing and writers interested in integrating visual materials with their text. This is truly a hybrid forms session. Experimenting and collaborating are encouraged.
2:30-5:45 | Master Class w/ Paisley Rekdal
Metaphor is the spine of poetry: it is what differentiates the charming anecdote from a successful poem. But how do we recognize, and shape, metaphor through our own writing process? Looking at early and final drafts of poems by Robert Lowell, Ellen Bryan Voigt, Rita Dove, and Wilfred Owen, we will discuss what makes a poem’s metaphor “work,” and then turn this study into a close examination of students’ own poems. Students should bring in 12 copies of one poem to be workshopped.
6:00-7:00 | Dinner (for purchase)
6:45-7:05 | Faculty Reading/Performance w/ Michael Schmeltzer
7:05-7:25 | Faculty Reading/Performance w/ Alexander Dang
7:30-9:30 | LiTFUSE Slam 4 Page Poets, hosted by Alexander Dang
Open to the Public & Free
6:45-9:45 | Master Class w/ Tod Marshall
Resist the Sprawl!
What are the specific energies that drive a short poem? How might we refocus our creativity toward a more compressed shape? What are some strategies that we might learn from successful poems that are, say, less than 10 (or so) lines in length? In this class, we’ll study some powerful short poems and consider the “recalibration” that happens when we write in a compact form; we’ll also look at revision approaches that could help us determine what can be carved, cut, trimmed, snipped, stripped, sculpted or HACKED from a draft to make the strongest possible poem (bring a “longish” draft that you’re working on). Lastly, we’ll respond to a prompt that could help us create a brief poem (or two!).
Saturday, September 23
8:00-10:00 | Breakfast (for purchase)
8:00-10:00 | Registration Table Open
8:10-8:20 | Ingathering w/ Emily Gwinn & Carol Trenga
8:30-10:15 | Track One: Master Class w/ Nance Van Winckel, Part II
(Must have been pre-registered and attended previous session)
8:30-10:15 | Track Two: First Breakout Session
Coaxing Poems from Nature, A Writing Workshop w/ Tim McNulty
Join naturalist and poet Tim McNulty for a 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 in short "field notes," 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.
The Third Law: An Exploration of Collaborative Writing w/ Michael Schmeltzer
Newton's third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. There is no better literary equivalent of this than collaborative writing. In this session we'll examine several collaborative works (from various genres) and explore how each of us participates in forms of shared storytelling in our daily and artistic lives. We will also talk about the strengths and strategies of collaboration and even do some writing of our own (for our class we'll have exercises that encourage writing with another but can be done alone as well.) We ask that participants bring something to write with (laptop, pen & paper, etc.).
Our First Gods: Finding the Father through Personal Writing w/ Joe Wilkins
Too often unapproachable, unassailable, absent—our fathers are our first gods. How have we known them? How might we know them now? How deep is our ache that we didn’t know them more fully, in other, deeper ways? And are we ready, if we are to know them, for our fathers to fall from their thrones and become not gods (or devils) but the human beings they are? In this experiential workshop participants will think, discuss, and write about their own fathers in the hopes that all will leave with the beginnings of a number of personal pieces, as well as find their way toward more fully knowing their fathers. Participants are asked to bring a pen and paper or a laptop computer for in-session writing.
My Worst Job and Other True (or False) Confessions w/ Carolyne Wright
What was your worst job interview, or job, or date, or marriage? The most exquisitely embarrassing moment, the time you wished the earth would open and swallow you? Tell of that hellhole you crawled out of to laugh another day, and in the confessions (real or imagined) you write in this workshop. We will read and discuss poems and short prose pieces about work and other human relational spaces, and write our responses. This workshop is open to poets and writers of all ages and levels of experience.
10:30-12:15 | Second Breakout Session
Triangulations w/ Alexander Dang
Based off David Vasquez's “Triangulations” model we’ll explore and understand Latinx/Chican@ literature. This workshop will explore the different ways the same theoretical model can be used to explore self-identity and to expand your meaning of "self."
Villanelle from Hell w/ Derek Sheffield
We will closely examine some contemporary villanelles to see how poets bring innovation to this challenging, traditional form that can be used in tonally complex ways. Then we’ll turn our attention to making our own villanelles.
All-Accepting: Accessing Hinduism in Your Writing w/ Shankar Narayan
Swami Achuthananda wrote that "[i]f Hinduism is the all-accepting religion, then English is the all-accepting language." Each syncretic creature has much to offer the other. Hinduism is much more a way of being, a set of practices, an ethos, and a mythology than a religion. In this workshop, we'll walk through some of Hinduism's seminal concepts, such as dharma, maya, kalpa, and brahman, as well as excerpts from key texts such as the Vedas, Upanishads, and the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. We'll discuss how those concepts might be applied to a writing practice and do deep reads of poems in which modern South Asian writers in America have created their own interpretations of the Hindu cosmology. Throughout, we'll put these concepts into practice by picking up our peacock feathers and writing! Beginners and experienced practitioners alike are welcome.
Grinding Gears and the Difficult Strategy of Juxtaposition w/ Tod Marshall
Some of the most memorable poems are those that take sudden narrative swerves, unexpected shifts in voice, surprising changes in perspective or tone. In this class, I’ll share a handful of poems that enact radical ruptures and offer ways to learn disruptive strategies from them that might open up a wider range of possibilities for our own work.
12:15-1:00 | Lunch, Stretch, Visit, Shop Local
12:15-7:00pm | LiTFUSE Bookstore Open
Faculty books, other books from Blue Begonia Press & Cave Moon Press, and other Mighty Tieton/Paper Hammer merchandise.
1:00-1:20 | Faculty Reading/Performance w/ Tim McNulty
1:20-1:40 | Faculty Reading/Performance w/ Nance Van Winckel
1:45-3:30 | Third Breakout Session
Looking at Line Breaks w/ Paisley Rekdal
What meaning can line breaks convey that language itself resists? Looking at poems by Myung Mi Kim and Nick Flynn, among others, we will discuss the ways in which a poem’s line breaks can add to, and even create, new meaning for poems. In-class writing exercises provided. Students should also bring 15 copies of one poem whose line break choices they are still pondering.
What We Really Mean to Say: Notes Toward Evocative Prose w/ Joe Wilkins
In his seminal creative writing craft text, The Triggering Town, poet Richard Hugo claims, “all truth must conform to music,” for in music, Hugo goes on to argue, we find a fuller, stronger truth. As a prose writer, I’m not sure I buy that 100% of the time, but, nonetheless, I think Hugo is on to something. In attending to language, we not only say what it is we’re after in more effective, vivid ways, but we very often find ways to say that which we didn’t even know we could say—we discover what it is we really mean to say. In this craft workshop we will discuss four techniques for attending to language and crafting evocative prose.
Poet’s Corner w/ Christopher Howell
Come workshop your poems. Bring 12 copies of two poems (preferably double-sided to save paper).
Images as Windows w/ Tim McNulty
In our workshop we’ll explore the power of images to convey meaning, nuance, and mood in our poems. We’ll review some poems, including classical haiku in translation, that rely on images for their evocative power. We'll jot some images in our notebooks recollected from the past few days. Then we'll try an exercise or two that will explore our images and see if we can bring them forward into poems. If everyone is willing, we’ll share some of our works-in-progress. No preparation is necessary, but a pen and notebook are a must – along with a willingness to open ourselves to the world outside ourselves.
3:45-4:05| Faculty Reading/Talk/Performance w/ Tod Marshall
4:05-4:25| Faculty Reading/Talk/Performance w/ Christopher Howell
4:25-5:45| Plenary Session w/ LaRae Wiley
5:45-6:30| Wine Down/Cash Bar/Noshes
Take a few minutes to mingle and shop. All proceeds directly benefit Tieton Arts & Humanities.
6:30-9:00| The LiTFUSE Poets’ Banquet
Dinner, Celebration for Raising the Lilly Ledbetter, and Keynote from Paisley Rekdal.
6:30-7:15: Dinner is served
7:15-8:00 Carolyne Wright and Christine Holbert w/ guests
8:00-9:00: Keynote + After Thoughts
9:00-10:00| The LiTFUSE Poets’ After Party
Sunday, September 24
8:00-10:00| Breakfast (for purchase)
8:30-11:30 | Track One: Free Master Class
The Book's Journey--Editing from Both Sides of the Desk w/ Carolyne Wright and Christine Holbert
We will explore how to put together a book-length collection and how to get it published: following submission guidelines, dealing with rejection—and with acceptance! What happens to a manuscript after it reaches the publisher's desk? We will discuss how to work with acquisitions and managing editors (especially at independent presses); how to prepare your manuscript for copyediting, proofreading, and promotion—blurbs and reviews, interviews, and readings; and after the book goes into production, page layout and design, including cover design.
8:45-9:45 | Track Two: Plenary Session w/ Sheffield and Rekdal
8:45-9:05: Faculty Reading/Talk/Performance w/ Derek Sheffield
9:05-9:45: An informal coffeehouse atmosphere, come talk craft, publication, art & life with Paisley Rekdal.
10-11:30 | Fourth Breakout Session
The ANSWERS Poem w/ Nance Van Winckel
This will be a generative workshop designed to help writers create the first draft of a poem. Lines of the poem will be answers to questions. Bring paper, pencils, or favorite mode of jotting down drafts.
Lesson in Specificity w/ Alexander Dang
In this workshop we’ll examine the specificity in a poet's voice by focusing on images and personal diction. Using Komanyaka's “Facing It” and Angel Nafis' “Gravity”, the workshop will begin by breaking down the poems by focusing on specific imagery and lexicon/phraseologies that are individualized to the poet within the poem. From there we look at Clementine von Radic's “2012” as a model to begin writing.
The World Needs More Funny Poems w/ Derek Sheffield
Or at least that’s what one of my mentors, the legendary Northwest teacher and poet, Nelson Bentley, always told us. So, in honor of Bentley, who also, by the way, loved it whenever a slug slimed its way into a poem, we’ll examine how humorous poems work before we turn our attention to making our own.
Studying the Shadow: Examining Elegy w/ Michael Schmeltzer
Much like Peter Pan's shadow, grief has a life of its own. In this generative workshop we'll examine how grief (and a myriad of other emotions) helps create a complex narrative of loss. We'll explore various aspects of the elegy, from its role in society to its evolution over time, and look at how authors have negotiated their own heartache. With a focus on discussion and reading, you'll leave the session with a better understanding of the elegy's inner workings as well as some great techniques (borrowed from the authors we'll read) to employ when writing your own. Participants should bring something to write with (laptop, pen & paper, etc.).
11:30-12:15 | Lunch (for purchase)
12:15-12:30 | Announcement of 2018 Faculty/LiTFUSE Open Mic Sign-Ups!
12:30-12:50 | Faculty Reading/Talk/Performance w/ Shankar Narayan
12:50-1:10 | Faculty Reading/Talk/Performance w/ Joe Wilkins
1:10-1:40 | Faculty Reading/Talk/Performance w/ Paisely Rekdal
1:40-2:30 | LiTFUSE Open Mic
2:30-3:00 | Book Signing/Registration/Chat/Farewells and Goodbyes