Mountain Writers Series

Writing Workshops 2016 - 2017

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If you have questions or wish to withdraw from a workshop, please call our message phone 503.232.4517 or write to programs@mountainwriters.org and we will get back to you soon.

If a reservation for a class or workshop is canceled 3 days or more prior to the start of a class or workshop, a refund of 75% will be made, less a $25.00 administrative fee. The reservation may be converted to a credit for an upcoming class or workshop, good for one year, if preferred. For any cancellation 48 hours or less before a class or workshop is scheduled to begin, no refund will be made, nor will a credit toward a future workhop or class be given.

John Brehm

Reading as a Writer: The Poetry of Philip Larkin

Asked in an interview what he had learned from studying Auden, Yeats, and Hardy, Larkin replied: “Oh, for Christ’s sake, one doesn’t study poets! You read them, and think, That’s marvelous, how is it done, could I do it? and that’s how you learn.” In this reading-as-a-writer course, we will read the marvelous poems of Philip Larkin and talk about them and wonder at how he does it and see if we can do it too. Four of our six class meetings will be devoted to Larkin’s work; two meetings, the third and final sessions, will focus on the poems you write in response to Larkin’s work.

  • Meets: Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, January 17 - February 21, 2017
  • Cost:  $290 (Six three-hour sessions)
  • Enrollment:  Minimum 4, Maximum 12.
  • Location: Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland [street parking available]


John Brehm is the author of two books of  poetry: Sea of Faith, which won the 2004 Brittingham Prize, and Help Is on the Way, which won the 2012 Four Lakes Prize, both from the University of Wisconsin Press. Brehm has published a chapbook, The Way Water Moves, from Flume Press (2002) and was the associate editor for The Oxford Book of American Poetry (2006). His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Boulevard, Gulf Coast, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, The Best American Poetry 1999. He has taught at Cornell, Emerson College, and Portland State University and received fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts and Yaddo. He currently lives in Portland.

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Annie Lighthart

Love Poems: The Good, the Bad, and the Delightfully Strange

Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

If you’ve been wary of writing love poems, or have had a folder of them stashed away for years, join us as we take a new look at love poetry. It’s true that love poetry is a wonderfully tricky form, but together we’ll read a range of vital poems and see what makes them tick. From forlorn to vibrant, from Rumi’s Friend to Christopher Smart’s cat, we’ll explore the many facets of love poems and try a variety of exercises to create our own. All levels of writing experience welcome.

  • Meets: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Saturday, February 11, 2017
  • Cost: $85 (one three-hour Saturday session)
  • Enrollment: Minimum 4; maximum 12
  • Location: Room 23,  Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland OR 

Annie Lighthart started writing poetry after her first visit to an Oregon old-growth forest. Since those first strange days, she published her poetry collection Iron String with Oregon’s Airlie Press. Her poetry has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac and chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye to be placed in Ireland’s Galway University Hospitals as part of their Poems for Patience project.  Annie has taught at Boston College, as a poet in the schools, and with students of all ages. She currently lives in a small green corner of Portland, Oregon.



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Following a River

Writing & Conference with Gary Miranda


                         Freedom is not following a river.
                         Freedom is following a river
                         though, if you want to.

                                             -- William Stafford

These tutoring sessions are intended to help serious poets improve their poems and writing skills through consultation and revision. While individual poems will receive careful attention and thorough feedback, the emphasis will be on finding the poet's overall strengths and weaknesses in an effort to maximize the former and minimize the latter. Gary Miranda likes to think of this in terms of a river: "Some poets need more current, others need more banks." "Banks," he notes, "are a lot easier to learn." 

Students will submit their poems to Mr. Miranda in the week preceding their appointment. Hence, the fee includes tutor preparation to read and annotate the poems, and the individual conference session (an hour) to discuss and suggest directions. These one-on-one writing & conference sessions, by appointment, will be held Wednesdays at the TaborSpace Cafe. Request for other days/hours will be considered on an individual basis.

  • Meets: By appointment, Wednesdays between 10 AM and 4:30 PM
  • Cost:  $385 for 4 individual sessions or $100 per session
  • Location: TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont, Portland 97215
  • Enrollment: Individual writing-and-conference sessions, by appointment.

Register securely online through Paypal at www.mountainwriters.org or send check payable Mountain Writers to 2804 SE 27th, #2, Portland, OR 97202.

Online registration: fill in amount on PayPal website, indicating in "Add special instructions . . . " your enrollment preference: instructor, number of sessions, etc.

Gary Miranda has taught writing and literature at various colleges and universities, including three years as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Athens in Greece and, as writer-in-residence at Reed College in Portland. His poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere, and widely anthologized. He has published four collections, one of which, Listeners at the Breathing Place, won the Princeton Contemporary Poetry competition and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He has also published a translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, nine awards from the Poetry Society of America, and an invitation by The Atlantic Monthly to serve as poet-in-residence at the Robert Frost Place in New Hampshire. His poems have been taped for Harvard University’s Lamont Poetry Collection and the Library of Congress Poetry Archive. He lives in Portland.

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