master workshop for poets

(returning 2019 with a special session on chapbooks + short manuscripts)

A workshop for serious poets, whatever the words ‘serious’ and ‘poet’ mean to you.

Perhaps you’ve stopped growing as a poet, or know what to expect from your poems before they’re written, or seek exposure to a broader range of poetics and a broader spectrum of ideas about what the poem can do. Maybe you are eager to have your approach recognized and mentored and simultaneously hungry to be pushed to consider new areas of inquiry and creative risk.

It is my thesis that poetry is a way mores than a genre, and that the poem operates much like a body does. It is also my thesis that mastery has little or nothing to do with reaching a particular endpoint, and everything to do with operating from a state of perpetual, ravenous beginnerhood. We will explore all of our ideas about how poetry is born in an organic, chance way that reflects our actual relationships with poetic sense.

My goal for this group is to provide an intimate space where we can cultivate the multilayered approach to sense and meaning that is poetry and write an incredible number of new poems together. Here, you can expect a steady stream of exercises, and regular weekly due dates for new work from the very start. Our pace pushes us into a mode that allows less room for advance planning and self-editing, and allows the work to stretch, strain, change, and lead the way.

If you’d like to receive word to your inbox when future sessions open for registration, drop me an email at rgouirand [at] gmail [dot] com to get on my list for registration announcements.

The poets themselves would like to say:

Taking this workshop was the best decision I ever made. It has greatly expanded my ability to explore poetry and what it means to be a poet. Rae’s unique knowledge and poetic skill combined with her incredible editing sense have helped elevate my work. I especially appreciate how all of the members of this small workshop support and motivate each other. The synergy of this group has been one of the most powerful experiences in my writing career. (KB, Davis CA)

This workshop has broadened my experience of poetry and proven that reading is as important as writing–that what one reads and how she reads it provide rich fodder for future output. Rae’s education and experience complemented by her obvious love for teaching and her deep respect for students at all levels have left me inspired as a writer and changed as a reader and listener. (CW, Woodland CA)

Rae’s critical ear, open heart, seemingly limitless knowledge of all of poetry’s history and forms and meaning, all offered in an intimate setting, without pretense or pressure, were more than I could ever have imagined. She is a genius. (CG, Davis CA)

I am eternally grateful for all of Rae’s workshops I’ve attended. Through her leadership a dynamic, inspired, safe space is created where the Real can dwell. (DH, Winters CA)

Rae has a deft touch as a teacher and facilitator. The variety of work produced in this group speaks to her ability to let each poet shine with her own light. (SP, Davis CA)

Rae has allowed me the space and safety to grow toward the poet I strive to become. She has offered a safe place to dwell and think, filling the air with her wealth of knowledge and love and respect for the process. Her ability to string words together and to give them the extraordinary weight they deserve makes me feel I have found the thinking I always knew was out there, somewhere. This workshop, and the people in it, fill me to overflowing. (SZ, Corte Madera CA)