The Colrain Manuscript Classic is a highly focused, 3-day conference designed for poets with manuscripts in progress. The Classic features in-depth pre-conference work and candid, realistic evaluation and feedback from nationally-known poets, editors and publishers. In preparation, participants work at home on pre-conference assignments and then, in the workshop, review, arrange, and winnow their work based on the pre-conference work. In addition to the manuscript preparation workshop and editor sessions, there will be an editorial Q&A, and an after-conference strategy session.
Friday: you will receive your Zoom* link via email at 4 pm EST on Friday, May 1. Introductions among participants and faculty take place (bring your own wine!). We’ll talk about backgrounds in poetry, goals and expectations. Faculty will present an overview of the weekend.
NOTE: There will be several built-in breaks, including for lunch, snacks and bathroom!
Saturday: workshops begin at 10 am EST. You’ll join via Zoom link at 9:45.
Sunday: editorial sessions begin at 10 am EST. You’ll join via Zoom link at 9:45.
(Pre-conference work will be sent pre-conference.)
Monday: wrap-up session and publication strategies going forward.
*We will be using Zoom, an easy-to-use online application. No need to have it installed–it will open in your browser when you click the link you get from Colrain. More info in the pre-conference instructions.
You will work with poet-editors Joan Houlihan, Stephen Motika, Martha Rhodes and Daniel Tobin.
Joan Houlihan is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Shadow-feast (Four Way Books). Her other books are: The Us, named a “must-read” book of 2009 by Massachusetts Center for the Book and the sequel, Ay (2014); The Mending Worm, winner of the Green Rose Award from New Issues Press and Hand-Held Executions: Poems & Essays. In addition to publishing in a wide array of leading journals, including Poetry, Boston Review, Harvard Review and Gulf Coast, she has served as critic and editor at a series of online magazines, most recently Contemporary Poetry Review. Her critical essays are archived online at bostoncomment.com. Her work has been anthologized in The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press) and The Book of Irish-American Poetry–Eighteenth Century to Present (University of Notre Dame Press). She has served as judge for numerous poetry awards and contests including the Louise Bogan Prize for Poetry (Trio House Press), the Jane Kenyon Award for Poetry (New Hampshire Literary Awards), and Massachusetts Center for the Book Award, among others. She has taught at Columbia University, Emerson College and Smith College and serves on the faculty of Lesley University’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts and she is also Professor of Practice in Poetry at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Houlihan founded and directs the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.
Stephen Motika, poet and publisher, is the author of Western Practice, published by Alice James Books in 2012. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Arrival and at Mono (2007) and In the Madrones (2011), and editor of Tiresias: The Collected Poems of Leland Hickman (2009). His articles and poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, At Length, BOMB, The Brooklyn Review, Eleven Eleven, Maggy, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Poets.org, Vanitas
Martha Rhodes is the director of Four Way Books, a literary press in New York City where she edits and publishes award-winning poets including Gregory Pardlo (Pulitzer Prize), Rigoberto Gonzalez (Lenore Marshall Award and Lambda Award) and Yona Harvey (Kate Tufts Discovery Award). She is author of five poetry collections: The Thin Wall (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), The Beds (Autumn House Press), Mother Quiet (Zoo Press, 2004), Perfect Disappearance (winner of The Green Rose Prize, New Issues, 2000), and At the Gate (Provincetown Arts, 1995). She has published widely in magazines and journals including Agni, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly, and her work has appeared in such anthologies as Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, The New American Poets, Last Call, and many others. Martha has taught at Emerson College, New School University, UC at Irvine, and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence and the Warren Wilson Low-Residency MFA program.
Daniel Tobin is the author of nine books of poems, including From Nothing, winner of the Julia Ward Howe Award,The Stone in the Air, his suite of versions from the German of Paul Celan, and most recently Blood Labors, named one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by the New York Times. He is also the author of the critical studies Awake in America, Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, and On Serious Earth, forthcoming in 2019. Tobin has edited The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Light in Hand: Selected Early Poems of Lola Ridge, Poet’s Work, Poet’s Play: Essays on the Practice and the Art (with Pimone Triplett) and To The Many: Collected Early Works of Lola Ridge, which received a Special Commendation from the Poetry Society. His poetry has won the “The Discovery/The Nation Award,” The Robert Penn Warren Award, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, the Stephen J. Meringoff Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors. He teaches at Emerson College in Boston.
How to Apply
Before you apply, please visit our Conference Criteria page to make certain this conference is right for you. Once you understand the nature and goals of the conference, please submit an application.
Following successful application, the registration fee is $1,000.00.