I was fortunate enough to spend a wonderful week in Port Townsend, Washington at Centrum, an artist’s retreat that sponsors writing workshops every summer.
I studied with Mark Doty, the poet and memoirist, for one week. I learned so much about my own writing and about how to facilitate a workshop. Mark led 14 of us in a workshop, and his masterful facilitation skills convinced me that if we frame discussions about each other’s writing, we can all learn to become stronger writers. Even when we discussed poetry written by other people in the class that did not resemble my own, I learned because Mark kept saying things like: “If you write a poem like this, a few things to keep in mind might be…”
I plan to take this language to my own work with students: “If you want to write a story like this, a few things to keep in mind might be…”
Go to the Centrum website to learn more about this amazing place:
And, if you do not know Mark Doty’s work, I highly recommend these two titles:
Whatever you do, take the opportunity to learn from someone this summer…