Mountain Writers Series

Writing Workshops 2018



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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


Voice in Poetry

Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, February 20 - March 27, 2018

A distinctive, compelling voice in a poem instantly commands our attention—it casts a spell over us and draws us in. And a voice that feels flat or overly familiar will fail to engage us, regardless of how interesting what it’s saying happens to be. In this six-week workshop, we’ll read a variety of strongly voiced poems by Denez Smith, Chrys Tobey, Ellen Bass, Robert Hass, Frank O’Hara, Ron Padgett, Lucia Perillo, and others, and investigate how such poets create—through rhythm, volume, pitch, tone, attitude, etc.—unmistakable voices in their work. Weekly prompts will encourage participants to experiment with different aspects of voice in their own poems.  

  • Meets: Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, February 20 - March 27, 2018

  • Cost:  $300 (Six three-hour sessions)
  • Enrollment:  Minimum 4, Maximum 12.
  • Location: Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland

John Brehm is the author of two books of poetry: Sea of Faith and Help Is on the Way, both from the University of Wisconsin Press. Brehm is the associate editor for The Oxford Book of American Poetry (OUP, 2006), and the editor of The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy (Wisdom, 2017).  His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Boulevard, Gulf Coast, The Sun, New Ohio Review, The Best American Poetry 1999 & 2017, and many other journals and anthologies. He has taught at Cornell, Emerson College, and Portland State University and received fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts and Yaddo. 



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Judith Barrington


Prose from the Poet's Toolbox


What can we find in the poet's toolbox that will make our prose writing shine with images and sing with the sounds of the words? Whether we are writing memoir, creative nonfiction, or a piece of fiction, we can look beyond plot and character, dialogue and setting, to the language itself for the reading pleasure that need not be limitd to poems. Virginia Woolf said, "All writing isnothing but putting words on the backs of rhythm"; and William Carlos Williams said, "No ideas but in things." We'll look at prose example that echo these and other poetric principles. You may find yourself writing prose or poetry -- or wondering which is which.

  • Meets: Saturday, February 24, March 10, March 24, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Location: Room 23/12/23:  Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark, Portland
  • Cost:  $285 for 3 sessions


Judith Barrington’s fifth collection of poetry, Long Love: New & Selected Poems will be launched on June 12th.  She is also the author of The Conversation (2015), whose title poem was the winner of the Gregory O’Donoghue International poetry award. In 2001 Lifesaving: A Memoir was the winner of the Lambda Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Judith is also the author of the best-selling Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art and has been a faculty member of the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s MFA Program. She has taught workshops around the U.S. as well as in Britain and Spain and is one of the founders of Soapstone Inc.





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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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