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Literary Websites and Writers'
Conferences for Poets

Our picks of some of the best the web has to offer for poets and writers.

Zeugma Poetry Workshop is one of the oldest literary websites focused specifically on providing forums for your poems-in-progress. Zeugmites have implemented a policy of registration approval to keep its forums spam-free. For materials encouraging more effective writing and more useful criticism, visit the ongoing Poetry Handbook and Poetry Links in the Resources section here. These pages are produced for the love of poetry, without ads and gaudy flashing banner sidebars. Pure black-on-white poetry.

Poetry workshop | Books | Every month, a different poet sets an exercise, chooses the most interesting responses from readers and offers an appraisal of them. Concise writing prompts by well-known authors challenge readers with writing exercises based on historical forms as well as contemporary themes. Recent themes include Tony Williams's workshop on 'commodity,' Roger Robinson's workshop on fatherhood, and praise poems, edited and selected for critique by Glyn Maxwell.

Poets & Writers is the essential literary arts organization which publishes Poets & Writers Magazine and acts as a clearinghouse of information for writers. PW magazine includes a listing of contests and competitions for poets and fiction writers, a listing of state grants, announcements of literary awards, interviews with notable writers, and essays on the business and craft of writing. The PW website offers a speakeasy, job bank, and a great monthly literary trivia question challenge.

Switched-On Gutenberg Johann Gutenberg (1398-1468), reported to have been the first European to print with moveable type, would stroke his silky beard and roll his blue eyes were he to see his digital image here. Now in its fifteenth issue, this site remains one of triumph of content over form. Graphics and layout are kept to a minimum while an emphasis is placed on publishing high-quality literary talent from authors such as Jane Hirshfield, David Ignatow, Galway Kinnell, Maxine Kumin and Joyce Carol Oats. Reginald Gibbons, Patricia Goedicke, Heather McHugh, Alicia Ostriker and Stan Rice appear in the second issue. Accepts poetry submissions.

The Cortland Review fully integrates written poetry with streaming audio in both Real Audio and Flash MP3 formats. TCR places the printed poem and written word where it originally began: in the listener's ear. Recorded poetry by Philip Levine, Gerald Stern, David St. John, Anne Waldman, Kate Daniels, and many, many more. Founded in 1997, in Courtland, New York, TCR editor Ginger Murchison presents poems from a fair mix of both established and up-and-coming writers from the print and online world. TCR is one of first online magazines to bring several prominent poets from the print world to the Internet for the very first time. Listen to, read, and enjoy The Cortland Review.

Should you would wish to list your poetry website here, please let us know.

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.

-- Novalis

Writers' Conferences for Poets

Many teaching poets travel far and wide to a variety of writers' conferences to give you personal encouragement and guidance in developing your craft.

Below are a few writers' conferences where you may meet these teachers as well as your peer-poets who are as dedicated and enthusiastic as you are to learn the art and practice of poetry writing.

Though most writers' conferences take place over the summer, contact the directors of these conferences now and ask them to add you to their mailing lists.

Vermont College of Fine Arts This 15th Annual Postgraduate Writers' Conference takes place on August 9 - 15, 2010 and features small workshop size, intimate settings for in-depth discussions of participant work, and features a poetry faculty consisting of Cynthia Huntington, Rick Jackson, A. Van Jordan, and Cleopatra Mathis. In this supportive and inclusive community, the majority of participants have MFAs in creative writing, but the conference philosophy is to ensure that participants are at an appropriate level of development to benefit from the conference.

Santa Fe Writers' Conference The Southwest Literary Center, a division of Recursos de Santa Fe, proudly presents the 25th Annual Santa Fe Writers Conference on June 11 - 13 with an exceptional faculty of acclaimed writers and teachers. While this conference has featured such notable poet-teachers as Brenda Hillman, Garrett Hongo, Donald Justice, Carolyn Kizer in the past, this year's conference focuses on topics having to do with the rapidly changing nature of writing and publishing, and how to Write, publish, and thrive in the digital age.

The Squaw Valley Writers' Conference A week's intensive workshop in August in which you write a new poem every day and have the chance to review it with faculty poets Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, Evie Shockley, Dean Young, and Lucille Clifton. Workshops take place in the living rooms of ski lodges at the time of year when the stellar's jay and mule ears are abundant. Each teaching poet delivers an afternoon craft lecture and an evening reading. A short trip to the shores of Lake Tahoe for a beach barbecue mid-week helps to relieve the intensity of this workshop. Here you find the opportunity to meet one-on-one with some of the most outstanding American poetry teachers and students. Some financial aid is available. Expect to form lasting friendships at this conference high in the high Sierra.

The Napa Valley Writers' Conference is the confluence of wine grapes and poetry. Less intense than the Squaw conference, the Napa conference offers a place to convene for fellowship and for a serious concentration on craft. Workshops are held at the Napa Valley College's new facility in the historic village of St. Helena near the Napa River. Participants discuss new works generated at the conference in the morning workshop sessions, and also have the opportunity to have a private manuscript consultation with one faculty poet in the afternoon. The week's schedule is constructed to allow you time to write. Faculty poets in recent years have included Brenda Hillman, Major Jackson, Arthur Sze, and C.D. Wright. Endowed by local wineries, this conference offers some tuition scholarships. Evening readings with faculty poets and fiction writers are held in the conference rooms of local wineries, such as the magnificent Mondavi Winery. Applicants are selected based on manuscript submission.

Should you would wish to list your conference here, please let us know.

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Poetry, even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality.

-- James Joyce

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