Poem-making: The Exploration of Wild Discovery

Wed, Jan 3, 9:30-3:30pm, 2018

poetryAll art-making hinges on discovery.  Poet Jeanne Marie Beaumont urges us to “go further, deeper, wilder.” The focus of this workshop is on studying and generating poems that dig deep to make surprising discoveries. In poem-making, the discovery of truth allows us to begin a poem in one place and arrive in an unexpected place. This then takes the reader on a visceral journey into our shared humanity. Invoking both sense and insight, we will excavate the extraordinary lying beneath the mundane as Ellen Bass skillfully reveals in her poem “Prayer for Peace”:

And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheelchair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer as the earth revolves:
less harm, less harm, less harm.


Date: Wed, Jan 3. Time: 9:30-3:30 pm (Please bring a sack lunch and a tea mug.) Location: Methow Valley Inn, 234 E. 2nd Ave., Twisp (Special thanks to Chris Webb.) Class size: Limited to 9 students. Fee: $65 (To reserve a spot, please mail a check to: PO Box 692, Twisp, WA 98856.) Register: cindy@grito-poetry.com (Please bring 2 unfinished poems to the workshop.)


Instructor Bio: A recipient of the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship and winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama, poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez draws inspiration from the silent and silenced voices of history and herstory. Cindy was selected by Poets & Writers Magazine as a 2014 Notable Debut Poet and her poetry collection, the small claim of bones published by Arizona State University’s Bilingual Press, won second place in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. Poems have appeared in Borderlands, Calyx, Harvard’s Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s Periódico de poesía, Portland Review, Quiddity, and ZYZZYVA, and have been anthologized in Basta: 100 Latinas Write on Violence Against Women (University of Nevada-Reno) and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse Press). Cindy’s ekphrastic poem “A Linguist Stick Speaks Up” was selected by Robert Pinsky as a finalist for Artlines2: Art Becomes Poetry sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Her poems have also been exhibited in People, Places, and Perceptions: A Look at Northwest Latino Art at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. She has performed her Aztec-inspired poems accompanied by pre-Hispanic music at colleges, museums, libraries, and senior centers through Washington Humanities Inquiring Mind series. Plays include Words That Burn which premiered at Portland’s Milagro Theatre in 2014 and was subsequently produced in 2017 at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp and at the Linkville Playhouse in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and A Dialogue of Flower & Song featured in the 2012 GEMELA (Spanish and Latin American Women’s Studies-pre-1800) Conference co-sponsored by the University of Portland and Portland State University.

Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics and creative collaboration. She has taught poetry to K-12 youth through Methow Arts, the Portland Art Museum, the Right Brain Initiative, and Writers in the Schools as well as to adults through the Attic Institute, Literary Arts’ Delve Seminars, the Oregon Council for Teachers of English, the Oregon Poetry Association, and USM’s Stonecoast MFA Program. Cindy is a founder of Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writers’ collective, and Grupo de ’08, a Lorca-inspired, Northwest collaborative artists’ salon.