The Colrain Manuscript Classic is a highly focused, 3-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.
Friday: you will receive your Zoom* link via email at 4 pm EST on Friday, August 6. 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 10 am EST.
Sunday: editorial sessions begin at 10 am EST.
Monday: wrap-up session and publication strategies going forward.
You will work with poet-editors Peter Covino, Joan Houlihan, Martha Rhodes and Ellen Dore Watson.
Peter Covino is one of the founding editors of Barrow Street Press,a not-for-profit press connected to the nationally known journal, Barrow Street. The press publishes poetry collections through its annual contest and through solicitations. As a former professional social worker–who worked in the fields of foster care, AIDS services, and youth and family services for fourteen years, and as an Italian immigrant–poet, translator, and editor, Peter Covino’s creative writing and research interests continue to be strongly influenced by the interrelationship of ethnic culture, work in translation, and psychosocial identity. Covino is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at the U of Rhode Island, and author of the full-length poetry collections, The Right Place to Jump (2012); and Cut Off the Ears of Winter (2005) both from W. Michigan University Press, New Issues, along with Straight Boyfriend winner of Frank O’Hara Prize Chapbook Prize. He has also co-edited an essay collection on Italian American Literature, Bordighera CUNY (2012). His prizes include the PEN American / Osterweil Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence, two recent URI Research Council grants, and a Faculty Mentoring award; and fellowship / residencies from Richmond the American International University of London, the American Academy in Rome, and the Nida Translation Institute, among others. His work has been featured or is forthcoming in Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day, American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Community RAI Italian Television, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Journal of Italian Translation, Paris Review, Western Humanities Review, Witness, and the Yale Review. You can check out more of his work at: www.petercovino.com
Joan Houlihan is the author of six books of poetry, most recently It Isn’t a Ghost if it Lives in Your Chest (Four Way Books, 2021) and Shadow-feast (Four Way Books, 2018). Her other books are: The Us, named a “must-read” book of 2009 by Massachusetts Center for the Book, and Ay, both from Tupelo Press; 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, most recently at 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.
Martha Rhodes is the publisher 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 Agni, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly, and her work has appeared in such anthologies as Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, The New American Poets, Last 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 MFA Program.
Poet 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
Following successful application, the registration fee is $1,000.00.