June Classic: June 4-7, 2021

The Colrain Manuscript Classic is a highly focused, 3.5 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.

Agenda

Friday:  you will receive your Zoom* link via email for our first meeting at 4 pm EST on Friday, June 4. 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.

Sunday:  editorial sessions begin at 11 am EST. (Pre-conference work will be sent pre-conference.)

Monday:  wrap-up session and publication strategies going forward begins at 11 am EST. NOTE: There will be several built-in breaks, including for lunch.

Faculty

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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.

motika2Stephen 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 NewsletterPoets.orgVanitas, among other publications. A 2010-2011 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Resident, he has taught at Naropa University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He is the program director at Poets House and the publisher of Nightboat Books.        

marthaMartha 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 AgniAmerican Poetry ReviewPloughshares, and TriQuarterly, and her work has appeared in such anthologies as Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American WomenThe New American PoetsLast 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.

Ellen2020Poet 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.

Conference Fee

Following successful application, the registration fee is $1,000.00.