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, January 14. 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, Brian Komei Dempster, Gabe Fried and Joan Houlihan.
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
Brian Komei Dempster
Brian Komei Dempster is an award-winning poet, editor, and teacher. His volumes of poetry, Seize (Four Way Books, 2020) and Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), have received several honors, including the Julie Suk Award, an NCPA Gold Award in Poetry, and a Human Relations Indie Book Silver Winner award. He has taught creative writing to diverse groups; he edited two collections based on his classes, From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday, 2011). Dempster is a professor of rhetoric and language and Director of Administration for the Master’s in Asia Pacific Studies program at the University of San Francisco, where he was a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to teaching poetry workshops for the university, he has led classes for Kearny Street Workshop and Literary Arts and been a Poetry Fellow at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry.
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.
How to Apply
Following successful application, the registration fee is $1,000.00.