Thursday, September 14, 2017

Weekend Poetry Intensive with Maria Gillan and Laura Boss

with award-winning poets, Laura Boss & Maria Mazziotti Gillan
December 8 - 10, 2017
at an English Manor House in Mendham, New Jersey

St. Marguerite's Retreat House  (Photo by Mark Hillringhouse)

St Marguerite’s Retreat House, located in Mendham, NJ, is situated on 93 acres of wooded land with pathways for exploring the property. This serene, beautiful setting is perfect for contemplating nature and nurturing the creative spirit.

This poetry weekend intensive is open to all writers over the age of 18. It begins at 5 p.m. Friday, December 8 and ends at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, December 10.

The purpose of this retreat is 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.

Fifteen professional development credits granted.

Poetry Weekend Intensive Schedule:

Friday, December 8: Please arrive by 5 PM and settle into your rooms. Both Friday and Saturday wine will be served with dinner. 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 have just written.

Saturday, December 9: 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.

Sunday, December 10: 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.

Maria and Laura 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.

About the Poets

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 received the first International Poetry Award at the International Poetry Festival in Swansea, Wales. Laura’s newest collection is The Best Lover (NYQ, 2017).

Her other books include: Reports from the Front (CCC), Arms: New and Selected Poems (Guernica) and Flashlight (Guernica). She 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.

Her website is

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is winner 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 her book, All That Lies Between Us.

She is the Founder/Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, editor of the Paterson Literary Review, and director of the creative writing program/professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY.

She has published 22 books, including What Blooms in Winter (NYQ Books, 2016) and Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Cat in the Sun Books, 2014) and, most recently, Paterson Light and Shadow (Serving House Books, 2017). Visit Maria’s website at

Laura Boss and Maria Gillan

Fee: $425
Deposit by October 5, 2017 $300 with the balance of $125 due by November 20, 2017
*Total fee includes room, meals, and workshops.

*Early Bird Discount: deduct $25 if paid in full by October 25, 2017.
*Full refund will be given prior to November 20, 2017.
*Late registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Enrollment is limited. We already have a list of people signed up for this workshop, so if you are interested, please sign up early.

Make check payable to Maria Mazziotti Gillan to 40 Post Ave., Hawthorne, NJ 07506

Other questions? Call (973) 684-6555 or (973) 423-2921 or email to:

St Marguerite’s Retreat House is located at the convent
of Saint John the Baptist at 82 West Main Street, Mendham, NJ