Sunday, March 6, 2016

Writing Your Way Home: A Poetry Weekend Intensive May 27-29

WRITING YOUR WAY HOME: A POETRY WEEKEND INTENSIVE with award-winning poets, Laura Boss & Maria Mazziotti Gillan, May 27 - 29, 2016.

St Marguerite’s Retreat House, an English Manor House in Mendham, New Jersey is situated on 79 acres of wooded land with pathways for exploring the property. This serene, beautiful setting is perfect for contemplating nature and nurturing the creative spirit on these weekends meant to give poets the space and time to focus on their writing away from the pressures and distractions of everyday life. Participants will draft poems in the workshops and should bring paper or a notebook, pens, and the willingness to take risks. Please also bring previously-written work for one-on-one critiquing sessions and for group readings.

At this retreat, poets will find:
• support and encouragement;
• stimulating writing exercises/prompts leading to the creation of new work;
• workshop leaders who are actively engaged in the writing life;
• opportunities to read their work aloud to the group;
• a community of writers and networking opportunities.

This poetry weekend intensive is open to all writers over the age of 18.
The weekend schedule:

Friday, May 27: Please arrive early because of the holiday weekend, between 2 pm and 5 pm, and settle into your rooms. Both Friday and Saturday before dinner, we will meet and greet at 5 pm in the lounge at the end of the hallway on the 1st floor (wine, cheese and crackers will be served). After dinner, we will break into two groups (about 12 to 15 in each), where we will have the opportunity to write poetry and share the work we’ve just written.

Saturday, May 28: After breakfast, we will break into two groups for morning workshops. Lunch will be served, followed by one afternoon workshop and either free time or a critiquing session with the poet faculty. Interested participants can sign up in advance (at the retreat house) and may bring previously written, typed work for feedback. After dinner, there will be an additional workshop.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, the two groups will come together and we will share our work—either something written on the weekend or previously.

Sunday, May 29: Breakfast followed by a workshop. A final reading by participants will serve as the “closing ceremony” to what we hope will be an inspiring and productive weekend. Lunch will offer another opportunity for socializing and networking.

We envision this intensive as a journey, allowing us to look at things differently, listen to our own inner voice, and create in stillness and community. This is an opportunity to retreat from the noise and busyness everyday life and invite the muse to inspire us. In the workshops, we will capture our stories and memories on paper, and discover how poetry can, so often, save our lives.

Laura Boss is a first-place winner of PSA’s Gordon Barber Poetry Contest. Founder and editor of Lips, she is the recipient of three NJSCA Poetry Fellowships, and in June 2011 received the first International Poetry Award at the International Poetry Festival in Swansea, Wales. Her books include: Reports from the Front (CCC), Arms: New and Selected Poems (Guernica) and Flashlight (Guernica). She recently co-edited with John Gallaher, Time Is a Toy: Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt (University of Akron, 2014). Her poems have appeared in The New York Times. Visit her website:

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP, the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). She is founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, editor of the Paterson Literary Review, director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published 20 books, including Ancestors’ Song (Bordighera Press), The Silence in an Empty House (NYQ Books), and Girls in Chartreuse Jackets (Cat in the Sun Books), and with her daughter, she is co-editor of four anthologies. Visit her website and blog:

English Manor House Poetry Weekend Intensive
with Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Laura Boss

St. Marguerite’s Retreat House

Friday,May 27, Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29, 2016
Friday evening through Sunday lunch.

Workshops, room, and meals all inclusive price: $425
15 professional development credits
For information, contact or send SASE to Maria Mazziotti Gillan, 40 Post Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506 or call 1-973-684-6555.

Download an information sheet and registration form