Intensive Poetry Workshop: Control and Illumination


Saturday, October 25, 2014
10:00 am - 4:00 pm


In a letter to longtime friend and correspondent Robert Lowell upon reading poems that would appear in his masterpiece Life Studies, Elizabeth Bishop wrote, “It seems to me it’s the whole purpose of art, to the artist (not to the audience)—that rare feeling of control, illumination—life is all right, for the time being. Anyway, when I read such an extended display of imagination as this, I feel it for you . . .” Taking our cue from Bishop and Lowell, who were great students and admirers of each other’s work, in this workshop we will approach our reading of each participant’s poems with the intent to help the poet reach for that “rare feeling.” Setting our own agendas aside, we will enter the unique imaginative space of each poem at hand to ask, “How does this poet and poem go about giving order and shape to experience? How can we help the poet achieve full control and illumination?”

Please bring 10 copies of 2-3 poems (no more than three pages). In the morning portion, led by Amy Clark, we will establish some practices for answering these questions by discussing two very different contemporary poems. We will then bring our attention to participants’ poems. In the afternoon, Molly Peacock will join us as we continue the in-depth exploration of one another’s poems.

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
10:00 am-1:00 pm with Amy M. Clark
1:00 pm-4:00 pm with Amy M. Clark & Molly Peacock


Widely anthologized, Molly Peacock’s poetry is included in The Best of the Best American Poetry and The Oxford Book of American Poetry, as well as in leading literary journals such as the Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Paris Review. She has published six volumes of poetry, including her 2008 collection, The Second Blush, and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems, both published by W.W. Norton and Company. One of the creators of New York’s Poetry in Motion program, Peacock co-edited Poetry In Motion: 100 Poems From the Subways and Buses.


Amy M. Clark’s book of poems, Stray Home (University of North Texas Press, 2010), won the 2009 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and was a 2011 Must-Read selection by the Massachusetts Council for the Book. Her poems have been featured on the Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily; in the anthologies Good Poems, American Places (Viking, 2011) and Old Flame: 10 Years of 32 Poems Magazine (WordFarm, 2012); and in various journals.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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HVWC in Sleepy Hollow
300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Times: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Ticket pricing:

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$175 - Members
$190 - Non-Members

Presenter: Amy M. Clark & Molly Peacock
Presenter Phone: ( 914) 332-5953

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