‘Why to These Rocks: Fifty Years of Poems from the Community of Writers’: In Touch With the World

by Meryl Natchez

When I applied to the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop in 1987, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, or that this unique summer program would become my poetry home. I had just read The Gold Cell, and saw an ad in Poetry Flash that mentioned Sharon Olds was teaching at the workshop. I blush to say that I’d never heard of Galway Kinnell or Robert Hass at that period of my life; with four children and full-time work, I was out of touch with the world of poetry. When I arrived in Olympic Valley that […]

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Where to Donate Your Abilities: A Sampling of Bay Area Community Organizations

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These are difficult days for writers, editors, teachers, and intellectuals of all kinds. Faced with fresh evidence of Auden’s claim that “poetry does nothing,” in the persona of President-elect Donald Trump, the temptation we face is to turn toward despair and disengagement. Yet this is the time we were made for. Now we must help each other to find our voices in the public sphere. What we’ve found to be helpful is combining our abilities—as storytellers, witnesses, and listeners—with a community commitment. The Bay Area has a surfeit of both literary talent and social justice work. The local organizations we’ve […]

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