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, April 16. 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.
Saturday: workshops begin at 11 am EST. You’ll join via Zoom link at 10:45.
Sunday: editorial sessions begin at 11 am EST. You’ll join via Zoom link at 10:45.
(Pre-conference work will be sent a few weeks pre-conference.)
Monday: wrap-up session and publication strategies going forward. 11am EST.
You will work with poet-editors Gabriel Fried, Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison and Ellen Doré Watson.
Gabriel Fried has been poetry editor at Persea Books since 2001. Founded in 1975, Persea is based in New York City. It has remained independently owned and operated since its inception. Fried’s first collection of poems, Making the New Lamb Take, was named a Best Book of 2007 by Foreword magazine and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His second book, The Children are Reading is now available from Four Way Books. His poems have been published individually in the American Poetry Review, American Scholar, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Paris Review, and elsewhere. Fried currently teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Missouri and Sierra Nevada College.
Joan Houlihan is the author of six books of poetry, most recently, It Isn’t a Ghost if it Lives in Your Chest (2021). 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 taught at Columbia University and Smith College and currently teaches in the Lesley University Low-Residency MFA Program and is Part-time Professor of Practice in Poetry at Clark University, both in Massachusetts. Houlihan is founder and director of the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.
Rusty Morrison is an American poet and publisher. Her poetry book After Urgency won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize (2012). The Book of the Given is available from Noemi Press. the true keeps calm biding its story won Academy of American Poet’s James Laughlin Award, Northern California Book Award, Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, the DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America. Whethering won the Colorado Prize for Poetry. In 2001, Morrison and her husband, Ken Keegan, founded Omnidawn Publishing in Richmond, California, and continue to work as co-publishers.
Poet and translator Ellen Doré Watson is the former director of The Poetry Center at Smith College and is currently the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith. She also serves as poetry and translation editor of The Massachusetts Review. Her fifth full-length collection, pray me stay eager, is available from Alice James Books. Earlier books include Dogged Hearts (Tupelo Press, 2010), This Sharpening (also from Tupelo), and two from Alice James, We Live in Bodies and Ladder Music, winner of the New England/New York award. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Orion, and The New Yorker. Among her honors are a Rona Jaffe Writers Award, fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and to Yaddo, and a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship. Her best-known works of translation are The Alphabet in the Park and Ex-Voto, both by Brazilian Adélia Prado. Watson also teaches in the Drew University Low-Residency MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation and has for many years led a generative writing group in Northampton, MA.
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.