First chance…limited opportunity!

August 20, 2015

Ellen Bass by Irene YoungThis is an early notice of an opportunity that will not last. In June 2016, the poet Ellen Bass will be the instructor for a weekend poetry retreat, “The World Split Open,” in Nanoose Bay (Vancouver Island), BC, Canada.

In 1968 the poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”

“This weekend in June all of us — men and women — will journey into that world of truth-telling. But it isn’t so easy to tell the truth. Not only do we need courage, but we need craft. As another great writer, Willa Cather, said, ‘Only the artist . . . knows how difficult it is.’ And so we will study the craft together, reading model poems by contemporary poets and discussing central topics, such as the concept of discovery, image and metaphor, sentiment and sentimentality, and the power of sensory detail. We will engage our greatest resources — attention, precision, imagination — to bring our own new poems into being. We’ll strive for language that is accurate, fresh, and alive and we’ll learn strategies to help us write poems whose form, music, rhythm, diction, and meaning work together as an powerful whole.

“With the inspiration of this gathering, expect to surprise yourself in making poems that are more vivid, more true, more beautiful and complex than you’ve ever written before. Both experienced and beginning poets are welcome, as are teachers of poetry.”

The workshop will be held June 3-5, 2016 and is limited to 20 participants. There is camping onsite and other accommodations nearby. Cost: $550 CDN includes tuition and meals. Register with Tina at

(In a related note, Ellen Bass will offer a WordWorks talk on Controlled Chaos on September 23, 2015, and a master class the following day, both at Hugo House in Seattle. September 25-27 she will be the featured poet at LiTFUSE 2015.)
. . . . .
photo of Ellen Bass by Irene Young


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