Sunday, February 5, 2017

Poetry Weekend Intensive March 24-26

English Manor House Poetry Weekend Intensive
with Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Laura Boss
at St. Marguerite’s Retreat House
Convent of St. John the Baptist
Mendham, NJ

Friday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26, 2017
Friday evening through Sunday lunch.
Workshops, room, and meals all inclusive: $425

At this weekend writing 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 is open to all writers over the age of 18. For teachers and others, 15 professional development credits are available for attendance.

The weekend will be held at St Marguerite’s Retreat House, an English Manor House in Mendham, New Jersey that 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  with the poets, and for group readings.
The weekend schedule:

Friday: 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: 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: Breakfast will be 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.

Fee: $425 is all-inclusive - for attendance Friday evening through Sunday lunch, including all workshops, room, and meals.
Deposit: February 20, 2017   $300
Balance:  by March 1, 2017   $125
*Early Bird Discount: deduct $25 if paid in full by March 1, 2017.
*Full refund will be given prior to March 7, 2017.
*Late registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Enrollment is limited, so please sign up early.

For more information, contact or send SASE to Maria Mazziotti Gillan, 40 Post Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506 or call 1-973-684-6555.

Laura Boss and Maria Mazziotti Gillan

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 the author of twenty-one books. She 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 Jennifer, she is co-editor of four anthologies.  Her latest publications are the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter. Maria's official website is at

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