The Poetry Program is founded on the belief that when poets gather in a community to write new poems, each poet may well break through old habits and write something stronger and truer than before. To help this happen we work together to create an atmosphere in which everyone might feel free to try anything. In the mornings we meet in workshops to read to each other the work of the previous twenty-four hours; each participant also has an opportunity to work with each staff poet. In the late afternoons we gather for a conversation about some aspect of craft. On several afternoons staff poets hold brief individual conferences.
Tuition for the Poetry Program includes six evening meals and daily photocopying of poems. A limited amount of financial aid is available.
Poetry Director: Robert Hass
Note: We make no admissions decisions before all the submissions have been read and evaluated
In the mornings we meet in workshops to read to each other the work of the previous twenty-four hours; each participant will have an opportunity to work with each staff poet. In the late afternoons we gather for a conversation about some aspect of craft. On several late afternoons staff poets hold brief individual conferences.
Naturalist David Lukas will be informative early morning walks up Shirley Canyon scheduled for 8:00 AM, before workshops begin at 10:00. This is an opportunity to learn from a professional naturalist about the biology of this valley. These walks are suitable for almost all fitness levels and are free of charge.
David Lukas is a California naturalist and the author of six books, including Sierra Nevada Natural History and Wild Birds of California. David grew up in Oregon but has been living in the Sierra Nevada and leading bird programs in California for nearly 20 years. His newest book is called Bay Area Birds and it is the first comprehensive guide to the status, life history, and distribution of all the birds that occur in the Bay Area. www.lukasguides.com
On Wednesday we will go to Lake Tahoe for the afternoon and evening. Poet softball will be played at the local elementary school for those who are interested, followed by a BBQ picnic at the spectacular Meeks Bay on the Lake. Poets may swim, hike the nearby trails to view abundant wild-flowers, or just relax. We return to Squaw Valley at nightfall.
On Thursday evening Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Sharon Olds, and Evie Shockley will read from their published and unpublished work, including poems written in Squaw Valley just days before. Their books will be available for sale and signing after the reading.
FORREST GANDER is a writer and translator whose most recent books include Redstart: an Ecological Poetics (with John Kinsella) and Core Samples from the World, a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Gander's co-translation, Spectacle & Pigsty: Poems of Kiwao Nomura, won the 2012 Best Translated Book Award. A United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, Gander is recipient of fellowships from the NEA, and the Guggenheim, Howard, and Whiting foundations. Other books of poems, essays, and translations include the novel As a Friend and the essay collection A Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory & Transcendence. His most recent translations are Watchword, the Villaurrutia Award-winning collection by Mexican poet Pura Lopez Colome and Fungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alfonso D'Aquino, forthcoming. His collaboration with the Japanese-born dancers, Eiko & Koma, will be published by New Directions in 2013. He is the A.K. Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University. www.forrestgander.com
ROBERT HASS is a poet, translator and essayist. Ecco/HarperCollins published a book of his prose this year, What Light Can Do: Essays 1985-2010. His other recent books include his selected poems, The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco/HarperCollins), Time and Materials (Ecco/ HarperCollins), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and his edition of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself and Other Poems (Counterpoint). His other books of poetry include Sun Under Wood: New Poems, Human Wishes, Praise, and Field Guide. He has also co-translated many volumes of the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz and is the author or editor of several other collections of essays and translations, including The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa; Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry; and Now & Then: The Poet's Choice Columns 1996-2000. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, he is a professor of English at UC Berkeley and directs the Poetry Program of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. www.barclayagency.com/hass.html
BRENDA HILLMAN is the author of eight collections of poetry, all published by Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Pieces of Air in the Epic and Practical Water. Hillman has also published three chapbooks: Coffee Three A.M, Autumn Sojourn, The Firecage; edited an edition of Emily Dickinson’s poetry for Shambhala Publications; and, with Patricia Dienstfrey, co-edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood. Named by Poets and Writers magazine as one of “Fifty Inspiring Writers,” she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship for 2012 for Distinguished Poetic Achievement. Hillman participates in nonviolence activism and teaches at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California where she is the Olivia Filippi Professor of Poetry. www.blueflowerarts.com/brenda-hillman
SHARON OLDS is the author of nine books of poetry. The Dead and the Living received the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Unswept Room was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and One Secret Thing was a finalist for the Forward Prize. She teaches at New York University's Graduate Program in Creative Writing where she has been involved with N.Y.U.’s outreach workshops. The Goldwater Hospital workshop is in its 27th year, and the newest workshop is for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Her newest collection of poetry, Stag's Leap, was published by Knopf in the US and Jonathan Cape in the UK in Fall 2012. Stag’s Leap won the the 2012 T.S.Eliot Prize. www.sharonolds.net
EVIE SHOCKLEY is a poet and literary scholar. Her poetry collections include, most recently, the new black (Wesleyan), as well as a half-red sea and two chapbooks. She has also published a book of criticism, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa). From 2007-2011, she co-edited jubilat; she currently serves as Contributing Editor for Evening Will Come (the poetics feature of The Volta blog) and Lemon Hound. Her honors include the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize; fellowships from ACLS and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and residencies from Hedgebrook, MacDowell, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she teaches African American literature and creative writing. www.redroom.com/member/evie-shockley
The Community of Writers rents houses and condominiums in the valley for participants to live in during the week of the conference. If, when you are accepted, you would like us to arrange your accommodations, you can choose between Single( $77*), Twin ($415*) and Bargain Bunk ($260*) rooms within these units. A private One Room Condo is $1055 for the week. Some of the houses are within walking distance; some require a short drive, so please indicate whether you will have a car with you in the valley. Every unit will have a kitchen and will be supplied with linens. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
Dinners are provided each night. You may prepare your breakfasts and lunches in your house or visit one of the cafes in the valley. There is a small market within walking distance and supermarkets in the nearby towns of Truckee and Tahoe City.
Limited financial aid is available. Requests for financial aid must be made in your application. Please indicate the amount of financial aid you would need to receive in order to attend. Financial aid decisions are made after admission decisions. If an applicant is accepted, but we don’t have enough aid for him or her, we will still issue an invitation in the hopes that other means of support may be able to be found by the applicant to attend. Likewise, if an applicant has indicated that she needs a certain amount of aid, but we can’t provide the full amount, we will grant out what we can.
The Lucille Clifton Scholarship:
If you would like to be considered for the Lucille Clifton Scholarship ($740 Tuition + Twin Housing), please indicate this on your
application form. Please refer to the scholarship requirements.
The Veteran's Poetry Scholarship sponsored by the Foundation for Art and Healing: If you would like to be considered for the Veteran's Scholarship ($740 Tuition + Twin Housing), please indicate this on your application form. Please refer to the scholarship requirements.
The 'Y' Foundation Creative Writing Contest Scholarship:
This contest was established to help creative writers living within a 105-mile radius of downtown Truckee to attend the Community of Writers Summer Workshops in Squaw Valley. The prize for the winner is a $750 scholarship and publication in Moonshine Ink. The Tahoe region should play an integral and identifiable role in your submission of a 500-word, self-contained piece of fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, poetry, or screenplay. Please refer to the scholarship requirements.
Deadline for receipt of submission/application: April 5, 2013
Application Fee (Due with submission): $25
Notification Date: May 1
Tuition: $840 - A deposit will be due upon acceptance.
Tuition & Housing Balance: Due on arrival in Squaw Valley.
POETRY APPLICATION GUIDELINES:
Admission is based on submitted manuscript. To apply, complete our online application form. The manuscript must be submitted in two forms simultaneously: one digital copy, attached to the online application; and one hard copy, mailed to the address below. Both must be received by the April 5 deadline. Past Poetry participants: If you wish to attend this year, contact us for information about the lottery procedure: (530) 470-8440 or brett @ squawvalleywriters.org. Put "Lottery" in the subject line.
Robert Hass c/o Brett Hall Jones
S.V. Community of Writers - Poetry
16191 Indian Flat Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
QUESTIONS? Please go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.