Spring Calendar + Sharing the Process
Last night I fell asleep reading Anne Truitt’s Daybook: The Journal of an Artist, recommended to me by a fellow Michigan poet. It’s one of the most beautifully written, insightful accounts of the creative process I’ve ever come across:
“I notice that as I live from day to day, observing and feeling what goes on both inside and outside myself, certain aspects of what is happening adhere to me, as if magnetized by a center of psychic gravity. I have learned to trust this center, to rely on its acuity and to go along with its choices although the center itself remains mysterious to me. I sometimes feel as if I recognize my own experience. It is akin to meeting a friend in a strange place, of being at once startled and satisfied—startled to find outside myself what feels native to me, satisfied to be so met. It is exhilarating.”
Even before I accepted myself as a writer, and before I embraced my work as inviolable, I wanted to draw closer to that center. Do you know what I mean? That gravity?
Questions related to the process of coming home to one’s self as a creative entity and force is at the heart of my 4th annual Live Your Art: Retreat and Creativity Incubator at Interlochen College of Creative Arts (June 20-22). There are six spaces left, but this will fill to capacity soon.
The Art of Observation: Notebooking for Poets (April 21) Things begin in notebooks. They germinate and take shape there. This three-hour workshop offers concrete strategies in the deliberate acts of noticing, writing and thinking, and will provide examples and ways of working out your ideas that will feel natural, spontaneous, flexible and yet disciplined.
The Human Pang: Writing About What Matters (April 23-24) A weekend writing intensive in which we’ll read and write and think about the ways poetry connects us to our common humanity, often describing ourselves to ourselves in our most intimate yet universal moments of life. Leave with new poems and strategies for deepening your home writing practice.
Traverse City, MI
On April 18 I’m cohosting, with Chelsea Bay Dennis of The Conscious Entrepreneur, C. Bay Design, and Fulfillament, You Are A Great Story: Using the art of narrative to shape others’ understanding of who you are and what you do. This session isideal for artists, freelancers and entrepreneurs. More info here.
A special request: If you’re considering signing up for any of my Michigan workshops, I encourage you to commit as soon as possible. As these workshops involve complicated and costly travel for me, I need to confirm enrollment fairly early, though I realize that waiting to register until the last minute is convenient for many modern humans! Deciding on your course of action in advance allows all of us to prepare and engage with a depth of intention that will serve your art and your life.
I’m co-teaching, with a master printer, Press Your Poem: Letterpress Poetry Workshop at Big Wheel Press in Easthampton, MA (April 9), as part of BookFest. It will be loads of fun to print your poem using letters you’ve made in hot lead. I also blogged about my love of letterpress over here.
Spring Poetry Apprenticeship (April 8-May 27), a chance to build skills, birth new work, and receive mentorship and feedback in a structured program for serious poets, regardless of experience.
Looking ahead, A Body of Work: Manuscript Incubator (May 13-July 29) Three months of study, mentorship and editorial feedback as you develop a chapbook manuscript. We’ll work together to give your work shape and order, and to refine every aspect of your vision before you submit it to a contest or press. The course provides time for your work, and skilled guidance, at an affordable rate.
When I started blogging four years ago, I simply wanted to externalize my otherwise solitary and internal process. I consider my blog my public heart, a visible notebook, a place to make connections. I’ve learned that writing about the creative process and sharing my discoveries as a reader and appreciator of art and ideas is something I enjoy and recently, more readers are affirming that it’s useful to them, too. My latest essay wonders about the worth of one’s work, as so many of us do. Is this line of questioning a female thing? Or just an artist thing? I’d love to know what you think about this topic.