2021 Workshops

2021 Workshops

Workshops $30 each, limited to 18 participants ($35 after April 30, if space available)

A BIG THANKS to our workshop leaders for previous years at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival. Take a look at our workshops for the 2020 Bridgewater International Poetry Festival!

For more about the workshop leaders, go to the bio page.

Writing and Healing” by Sherry Duggal (Wednesday, May 13, 9:30-noon)

Sherry Duggal

This workshop will provide the research and science behind why writing can be so effective in our journey towards an optimal balance in body, mind and spirit. The creative process is therapeutic in many ways and can be included as part of anyone’s lifestyle. In-depth discussion will enhance artists and non-artists alike from all walks of life.

In this 2.5-hour hands-on interactive workshop attendees will be able to:

  • differentiate between the right and left side of the brain
  • experience and understand the physiological changes that happen in the body as you delve into the creative process
  • experience and understand how you can benefit from the act of writing
  • experience and understand the link between writing and healing
  • clearly identify key elements of good writing
  • personalize ways you can get started in the writing process
  • access your creative potential and incorporate it into your lifestyle

Giving Voice to Place” by Kirk Judd (Wednesday, May 13, 3-5:30 p.m.)

Kirk Judd

Where I Am From, by George Ella Lyon, is the most famous poetry workshop approach to defining and understanding a sense of place.  But how do you find the voice of that place, that setting and scene that is not only where you are from, but also a large part of who you are?  Many times, we view those places as more than simple memories – we assign them anthropomorphic qualities and think of them as friends or family.  They take on character and persona in our psyche, and those traits become deeply ingrained in our individuality and behavior as well as in our personal history and future direction. Through a unique process of creating images and blending them into familiar descriptors of location and time, this workshop will explore ways to give voice to the special places in your life, and to help you find the voice to respond to them in kind. 

Giving Voice to Place will twist familiar hands-on workshop exercises into original ways of looking at personal histories, providing participants opportunities to craft those authentic visions into the beginnings of new work.

Mayhem, Bedlam, Pandemonium”   by Kari Gunter-Seymour (Thursday, May 14, 3-5:30 p.m.)

Kari Gunter-Seymour

A workshop based on corralling chaos and using it to build atmosphere and tension within our work.

The world is in turmoil. Bad things happen to good people. We’ve all made bad decisions. Participants in this workshop will be guided through a series of writing prompts, using the “sensory” technique and brief periods of meditation, to confront a particular memory(s) or situation(s) of discomfort; tapping into feelings of fear/unhappiness/turmoil/dread and turning them into an opportunity to create rich chaos. This technique is a great addition to the toolbox across all genres. Attendees will capture mental images, interpret impressions and make note of words, feelings, and observations discovered, using all six senses, with a goal of releasing negative energy out of our psyche and onto the page.

“An Empty Doorway and A Maple Leaf”: The Significance of Moment  by Eve Jones (Friday, May 15, 3-5:30 p.m. )

Eve Jones

This workshop focuses on the significance of moment in poetry-writing. I once heard an adage suggesting that prose-writing is like flying over the landscape, while, conversely, writing poetry is like crawling over terrain; it’s this crawling over the ground – this hyper-attention to moment and sensory detail – that can be one of the writer’s great challenges. My workshop will encourage poets to lean on the visceral layers in the world, to slow down their claim on the poem’s subject by examining it microscopically, challenging themselves to think of feeling and subject in terms of unexpected moment, snapshot, and glimpse. We’ll discuss poets such as Adrienne Rich and her “piercing awareness,” Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica,” and other examples of precise detail and its importance.

“An Empty Doorway and A Maple Leaf”: The Significance of Moment encourages participants to pay close attention to precise detail in conveying emotion, letting the micro-moments and images of an experience carry the poem’s weight.

Poet to Poet – The Gateway Between Yourself and Your Story”  by Sherrell Wigal (Saturday, May 16, 3-5:30 p.m.)

Sherrell Wigal

This workshop will focus on writing and sharing your own story and will feature hands-on writing exercises along with group discussion and sharing.  In the words of Terry Tempest Williams, from her book, When Women Were Birds, “We all have our secrets.  I hold mine. To withhold words is power.  But to share our words with others, openly and honestly, is also power.” (quote used with permission from Terry Tempest Williams).

Discussions will center on 1)  What is a gateway, and how do we access that gateway and pass through it? 2) The importance of sharing our stories; 3) Writing in your own original voice; 4) the fear of being too honest in our writing; and 5) the hesitation of using poetic license in our own work (being true to the story versus being true to the poem).

Through brief discussions and hand-outs, followed by timed, hands-on writing exercises, participants will begin their own individual journeys of writing their own stories and will be given the opportunity to share their drafts within the safety of a writing workshop.