“To plunge one thing into the shape or nature of another is a fundamental gesture of creative insight, part of how we make for ourselves a world more expansive, more deft, and fertile, more startling in richness.” — Jane Hirshfield

Poetry workshops

The poetry workshop provides the opportunity to generate new poems and revise previously written ones. You will work exclusively with one faculty poet for the week in daily workshops that emphasize writing new poems — taking risks with new material and forms, pushing boundaries in the poetic process.

The schedule also includes talks by faculty writers, special panels, and readings by the faculty at Napa Valley wineries.

Participants will meet once during the week in a brief tutorial with your faculty poet to discuss a current poem—a poem that you think is finished or one that feels very much in progress. Your workshop leader will set guidelines for how to approach the close focus on a poem during this meeting.

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Fiction workshops

The fiction workshops explore and strengthen the various aspects of craft (narrative technique, use of language, characterization, realization of theme/idea). Workshops meet two hours each day over five days. You will work exclusively with one faculty writer who will lead a thorough discussion of your manuscript in workshop, and will also meet with you in a brief tutorial to discuss your work.

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“The process of writing fiction begins with everything that is known and then, if it is successful, takes a leap forward into the unknown. You’re there in the unknown to serve the mysteries of your own creation, and your own end.” — Christopher Tilghman

“A passionate reading life is dignified by works in translation, just as excellent translations dignify the imaginative life of any civilization.”  – Howard Norman

Translation workshop in poetry

The translation workshop in poetry offers literary translators — or those interested in becoming translators — the opportunity to explore the challenges and insights of translating work originally composed in another language, either the participant’s own work or the published work of an author the participant admires.

The workshop accommodates poetry translated from any language into English.  Students will receive a reader composed of texts that explore the translation theory and techniques that will be discussed during the workshop.

During the conference, each student will be able to workshop several pieces of work in a traditional poetry workshop. Each writer should bring the original texts, word-for-word translations, and the versions of the translated poems they want feedback on. Their translated poems will be discussed in the workshop.

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