I have been asked to teach in the spring of 2011 at the College of Poetry in Warwick, NY, a relatively new endeavor that bodes well for the future of poetry in the Hudson Valley and beyond. The current format includes three eight-week courses and one or two guest poets per semester, and past participants have included such heavyweights as Ed Sanders and, upcoming on November 13, Janine Pommy-Vega. I am unbelievably flattered to have my proposal accepted, and I'm probably most excited about being involved in the College so that I'll be able to say I was there "when".
The board of advisors consists of several poets whose work and personas I have been familiar with for years. William Seaton is a brilliant man, with an intimidating joy that he finds impossible to repress. Steve Hirsch is the longtime publisher of Heavenbone, a spiritually oriented literary magazine whose staying power is a miracle unto itself. Robert Milby is the hardest working man in Hudson Valley poetry, now hosting a mere three open mics every week but who has managed many, many more. He also keeps us up to date on who's birthday and death anniversary it is, and those juxtapositions alone are often intriguing and thought provoking. I am less familiar with the other members: Steve Calitri, Janet Hamill (who will also be offering a course this spring), Lynn Hoins and Mona Toscana, but their devotion to poetry is apparent by their very presence.
There is no great financial reward at this point for teaching at the College of Poetry, about an hour and a half from my home. There is rarely any financial benefit to poetry, unless one counts the money saved on therapists and bullets. But the satisfaction of participating is what excites me. An entire school devoted to just poetry! Sounds almost illegal, doesn't it?
I'll be teaching a version of my RANDOM WRITING workshops, which in themselves are intended to show poets where to find inspiration around them. A sort of planned obsolescence. Check out the website for more information, and contact Seaton on how to register at firstname.lastname@example.org. The College of Poetry is at http://www.collegeofpoetry.com/index.html.