Poetry Forge
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In person workshops, readings, book events, retreats, and other opportunities to connect with Holly Wren Spaulding and Poetry Forge, out in the world.

The Practice of Poetry (Online)
to Nov 24

The Practice of Poetry (Online)

  • Interlochen Center for the Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This online course offers an inspiring and practical exploration of the idea that an enduring practice will bring fulfillment in a way that completing individual poems rarely can.

Together, we'll read, write, discuss, and explore what such an approach to poetry would look and feel like. In our month together, we'll trace the life of a poem, from its beginning gestures, on through difficulty, arriving at revision, and at each stage of the process we'll gather strategies for how to be resilient writers who value even the work that doesn't necessarily result in a successful poem.

This course will teach you how to become more flexible in your creative process, and how to enjoy the practice as much as any outcome. While you will have the opportunity to share some of your work in progress, and receive feedback from me, most of your writing will be done out of view of others. We will cultivate our secret life, as poets, and by the end, the process will feel more pleasurable, even sustainable.

Our online classroom will be a lively laboratory where all abilities are welcome and respected. Open to poets and aspiring poets alike.

This course is offered through Interlochen College of Creative Arts.

Register now.

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Poetry as Integrative Medicine at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Stockbridge, MA)
to Nov 17

Poetry as Integrative Medicine at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Stockbridge, MA)

The right words, in the right order, can be medicine. For millennia, humans have sung, chanted, and conveyed stories in verse to heal, make meaning, grow stronger, and prevail. In this program, Lisa Weinert and Holly Wren Spaulding offer a full-body, full-spirit approach to working with poetry. All are welcome, from readers and writers, to healers, caregivers, teachers, spiritual leaders, and anyone else wanting to integrate poetry into their personal or professional practice.

• A holistic approach to poetry
• Gentle yoga and meditation practices
• Improvisational writing exercises

Together, you read and discuss a selection of poems that illuminate the healing properties of poetry—from the way it can help bring order to chaos, enact transformation, or provide proof that others have survived, and so can you. You also explore gentle yoga and meditation practices alongside improvisational writing exercises to generate some of your own language, which may lead in the direction of a poem, letter, prayer, or vision. This is a writing program, so bring your pen and notebook and an open heart.


Lisa Weinert, RYT 200, is passionate about powerful voices and the potential for storytelling to heal and transform lives. She has worked with authors as a publicist, editor, and agent for 15 years, and is the curator of the Narrative Healing program at Kripalu. She is committed to empowering authors with the tools to create and launch their work. Lisa established an online course called the Age of the Storyteller with the Authors Guild, teaches a publishing course at Wesleyan University, and offers literary book coaching to select clients.

Holly Wren Spaulding is the founder of Poetry Forge, where she empowers writers to explore the fullness of their humanity through the practice of poetry. A passionate teaching artist, collaborator, and editor, she works across disciplines to expand the definition of what it means to be a poet in the world. In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts supported her role in the conception of a residency entitled the Long Memory Project. Her writing has appeared in the New York TimesThe NationMichigan Quarterly ReviewWitnessPoetry NorthwestThe Ecologist and in Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction, among other places. She is author of If AugustPilgrim, and The Grass Impossibly, and is a member of the creative writing faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she began her education more than 30 years ago.

Register with this link.

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The Practice of Poetry (Star Island, New Hampshire)
to Jul 27

The Practice of Poetry (Star Island, New Hampshire)

The Practice of Poetry is a generative workshop where participants will be guided through writing exercises inspired by contemporary poems on the themes of Home and Place. Along the way, we will explore how to turn poetry into a life affirming, daily practice. Come one or all three days. No experience required.

This workshop is happening within the context of this year’s International Affairs Conference. Registration is now closed.

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Small Pages Retreat (Leelanau County, Michigan)
10:00 AM10:00

Small Pages Retreat (Leelanau County, Michigan)

A one day writing and art-making retreat focused on contemplative practice, with artist Carol C. Spaulding and writer Holly Wren Spaulding.

July 12, 2019

at Carol C. Spaulding Studio, Maple City, MI

This half-day retreat is an opportunity to spend time in the studio, surrounded by art, poetry, luscious materials, and views of the sky and gardens, as we guide you through a process involving improvisational collage and other creative exercises to get you making objects of personal significance.


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Poetry Writing Intensive: Short Poems (Interlochen, Michigan)
to Jul 9

Poetry Writing Intensive: Short Poems (Interlochen, Michigan)

Join poet Holly Wren Spaulding for two days of generative writing exercises, conversations about the craft, and appreciation of the art and practice of the short poem.

July 8-9, 2019

at interlochen Center for the Arts

Minds are full and life may be overwhelming but a short poem can provide the pleasure of a moment pure attention. Join poet Holly Wren Spaulding for two days of generative writing exercises, conversations about the craft, and appreciation of the art and practice of the short poem. Informed by years of Zen study and haiku practice, she'll share some of her favorite poems of under 15 lines, and we'll come to a better understanding how they work, what makes them lovely, and how we can write some of our own.

Our aim: poems that move readers through through a combination of strong imagery, emotional immediacy, and musicality. Participants will leave the workshop with several short poems to revise and polish on their own. This course will be the best fit for writers who enjoy lively conversation, in-class writing prompts, and the chance to explore new approaches to the material that matters to them. Readings will include selections from Lorine Niedecker, Cid Corman, Sonia Sanchez, Lucille Clifton, Jim Moore, Robert Lax, Harryette Mullen, Ikkyu, Basho, Buson, and others.

*K-12 Educators: Earn 7 State of Michigan SCECH clock hours by attending this workshop.


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Live Your Art Retreat  (Interlochen, Michigan)
to May 31

Live Your Art Retreat (Interlochen, Michigan)

Three-day, on-campus retreat with Holly Wren Spaulding.

May 29-31, 2019

at Interlochen Center for the Arts

Step away from the things that distract you from the creative project you most want to do this year. Make some space to contemplate powerful questions, clarify your purpose, and get some creative ideas about how to move forward.

This retreat will balance independent work time with inspiring group sessions where we'll use creative exercises distilled from Holly Wren Spaulding's research and collaborations in the fields of poetry, dance, performance, visual arts, activism, and meditation, to move you along the path toward living your art more fully.

Session take-aways will include strategies for resisting overwhelm, crippling doubt, and self-sabotage; a timeline for your project; a personal manifesto and artist statement; and tools to build accountability and commitment into your creative practice. Ideal for artists and makers who have a genuine desire to turn up the heat on their creative process.

*K-12 Educators: Earn 13 State of Michigan SCECH clock hours by attending this workshop.


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A FREE May Mini Poetry Challenge (Online)
to May 21

A FREE May Mini Poetry Challenge (Online)

If you've been curious about the 21 Day Poetry Challenge, but have yet to experience it, or have not done a poetry challenge in some months or years, this is your chance to check out a shorter, FREE version, beginning this Friday, May 17, when I’ll send the first installment to your inbox.

Our theme is Home and Belonging.

This is a chance to connect in real time with your host, Holly Wren Spaulding, and other committed writers.

You can participate from the comfort of home, which may surprise you as a viable way to belong to a circle of sensitive and thoughtful human beings, which is who shows up for this sort of thing.

You need to register by Thursday, May 16, at 8pm Eastern Time. Go here to register: https://poetryforge.typeform.com/to/O8LnNN.

As with the traditional 21 Day Poetry Challenge, our writing will stem from our reading of thoughtfully selected poems and original writing provocations—all of them designed to spark a generative process in under 15 minutes.

Our pathfinder poets will include May Swenson, Steph Burt, Warsan Shire, and others.

Five days, five poems, five provocations, and an invitation to join Holly for a live workshop on Monday, May 20, via video, at 12:00 Noon EST.

Register to participate in the May Mini Poetry Challenge:


Read Holly’s most recent newsletter, for more context: https://mailchi.mp/a15279465283/may-mini-challenge-invite

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Words on Fire 2019: Hot Lead and Letterpress for Writers
10:00 AM10:00

Words on Fire 2019: Hot Lead and Letterpress for Writers

Words on Fire 2019: Hot Lead and Letterpress for Writers

In this hands-on workshop, writers of all kinds have the opportunity to print their own words on an antique restored letterpress. Submit up to 30 words by 4/11/19 and we'll cast them in hot lead for you to print in the workshop at Big Wheel Press with assistance from Lisa Hersey of Antler Editions and Holly Wren Spaulding of Poetry Forge. 

On April 14 you will learn how to cast your name in hot lead, set up your custom type, and micro-publish your work as postcard-size broadsides.

Take home a limited edition of 20 to frame, mail or give to friends and readers. 

Sunday, April 14th from 10am-1pm


Space is limited, please register early via the Big Wheel Press website.

Be sure to wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and bring a water bottle.

Big Wheel Press is now located on the ground floor of the Cottage Street Studios, please see our photographs and map. https://www.bigwheelpress.com/pages/contact

*When submitting your words, be careful to proofread carefully, and indicate line-breaks clearly, as we will be casting your words before you arrive. We will not be able to accommodate revisions. Please email your work to sales@bigwheelpress.com with the subject "Words on Fire Workshop." It is best to send your words over as a .jpeg or .pdf to avoid any formatting issues with line breaks. This could be as simple as a photograph of a screen or clearly written paper. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

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Reading at Geoffrey Young Gallery
5:30 PM17:30

Reading at Geoffrey Young Gallery

Poet and founder of Poetry Forge, Holly Wren Spaulding, will give a public reading in collaboration with performance and conceptual artist, Karen Dolmanisth. This event will close a group show entitled “Meshes,” at the Geoffrey Young Gallery in downtown Great Barrington, Massachusetts. 5:30 pm. FREE

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