Start up some new poems and get great feedback with award-winning poet John Morrison

John Morrison's Generative Poetry Workshop: Jan 19 - Mar 8  |  Sure poetry can be serious business, but writing poetry needs a healthy dose of playful energy to get sparks to fly. In a session where we sketch out new work and workshop your draft poems, we’ll make our own inspiration as we tinker with various techniques to get poems started and rolling.

Learn more about John Morrison

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Work with New York Times "Notable Books" author Natalie Serber on your personal essays

Natalie Serber's Personal Essay Workshop: Jan 19 - Mar 8  |  You've got a story, a topic to explore, an observation, a memory and, best of all, a completely distinctive point of view—yours. In this course we will explore ways convert the messiness of life into an essay that impacts readers with the same vigor and vitality as our lived experiences have affected us.

Learn more about Natalie Serber

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Break the line with Claudia Savage's newest poetry workshop

TOPICS IN POETRY: Line Breaks and Breaking the Rules in Poetry Workshop with Claudia Savage: Jan 25 - Feb 29  |  What determines where a line stops in poetry? How does it continue? Knowing how you want to shape your poems allows you to make your poetic intent manifest.

Learn more about Claudia Savage

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Write with Salon, GQ, and Atlantic contributor Vanessa Veselka

Vanessa Veselka's Mixed Genre Workshop: Jan 25 - Mar 14   | This workshop could help you understand if your story needs to be told factually, or fictionally, and what makes the difference (or similarity) between the two. It's a great workshop for those writers interested in learning about the varieties of story and how changing from nonfiction to fiction, and back again, can crack open your best work.

Learn more about Vanessa Veselka

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Find more out about your life with Writing Fellow Franny French's autobiographical writing workshop

Franny French's Intro to Autobiographical Writing Workshop: Jan 28 - Mar 3  |  They say write about what you know. But when you sit down to write about what you should know best, yourself, it’s not so easy. What is a life story? What’s your story?

Learn more about Franny French

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Join Senior Fellow Merridawn Duckler's infamous Plot 101 workshop

Merridawn Duckler's Plot 101 Fiction Workshop: Jan 26 - Mar 1  |  Plot 101 will use weekly writing prompts and a close reading of individual work to view your fiction through the invaluable lens of structure, form and storyline.

Learn more about Merridawn Duckler

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Get into Wayne Gregory's latest fiction workshop

Wayne Gregory's Fiction Writing Workshop: Jan 28 - Mar 3 Learn new and basic elements of fiction and gain strategies to bring all these elements together into well-crafted writing. You'll walk away with a clear sense of where to go with your fiction and how to move to the next level.

Learn more about Wayne Gregory

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Make the time to write with Writing Fellow Jennifer Dorner

Jennifer Dorner's Sunday Afternoon Time to Write Workshop: Jan 31 - Mar 6  |  Writers of all experience levels are welcome for these great in-the-room exercises and inspiring discussions about your writing and the writing process. The spirit of Time to Write is community and also this — whether you are in the middle of a project or just beginning, you'll l leave the workshop each week with original writing and new stategies to keep writing.

Learn more about Jennifer Dorner

Register for this workshop  |  Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

New workshop in myth and folklore for YA with Oregon Book Award winner Emily Whitman

Emily Whitman's Fiction Writing with Myth and Folklore Workshop: Feb 4 - Mar 10  |  There’s a reason the stories of myth and folklore have lasted, and been retold, through the ages. There’s something immensely human and personal at their heart. Something transformative. Come find your unique connection to an ancient tale, gather inspiration through exercises and examples, and start writing a story that only you can tell.

Learn more about Emily Whitman

Register for this workshop  | Plus: When you participate in a meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Two new nonfiction workshops led by memoirist Brian Benson

Craft of Memoir: Feb 11 - Mar 17  |  Whether you're new to memoir or looking to improve your work-in-process, this new workshop is all about the art of crafting compelling stories from real-life experience.

Craft of Creative Nonfiction Feb 8 - Mar 14  |  The explosion of creative nonfiction has opened writers to new ways to share your stories and insight. Are you interested in writing memoir or personal essay? Literary journalism or travelogue?

Learn more about Brian Benson

Register for these workshops | Plus: When you participate in a writers' meetup, you are also eligible to have your $15 registration fee waived for a six or eight week workshop during the same term.

Congratulations, Atheneum Fellows for 2015-2016

Meet the Atheneum Class of 2016

Fiction: Emily Gillespie, Ryan Meranger, Carolyn O'Doherty, Rich Perin
 
Nonfiction: Leslie Knight, Jasmine Pittenger, Candice Schutter, Emily Rose Williams
 
Poetry: Celia Carlson, Joanna Rose, Ann Sinclair, Wally Schaefer
 
Faculty: David Biespiel, Wendy Willis, Merridawn Duckler, G. Xavier Robillard, Whiteny Otto, and Vanessa Veselka.
 
 
FACULTY READING:
Monday, Sep 14, 7pm, Stonehenge Studios, 3508 SW Corbett Ave, Free
 

Paulann Petersen appointed Senior Fellow at the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters

Paulann Petersen returns to teaching workshops this spring

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Paulann Petersen as a Senior Fellow in Poetry at the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters and to announce that she will resume teaching in the studio this spring. A beloved, wise, and inspirational poet and teacher, Paulann is the former poet laureate of Oregon. 

Learn more about Paulann Petersen

Join Paulann's spring workshop

Whitney Otto named Associate Fellow

Congratulations to Whitney Otto for being named the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters' newest associate fellow. 

Whitney Otto is the author of five novels: How To Make an American Quilt, which was a New York Times Best Seller (as well as other bestseller lists) and NY Times Notable Book; nominated for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award, and adapted into a feature film produced by Steven Spielberg. Now You See Her was nominated for an Oregon Book Award, and optioned for film. The Passion Dream Bookwas a Los Angeles Times bestseller, optioned for a film, and an Oregonian Book Club selection. A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity was a Multnomah County Library selection. Eight Girls Taking Pictures is being published by Scribner in November 2012. Her novels have been published in fourteen languages.

Her work has also appeared in anthologies, magazines and the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Oregonian. In 2006 she had an art exhibition of her shadow boxes at the Littman & White Galleries in Portland, OR.

Check out Whitney's upcoming workshops

POETS ON BROADWAY | 2015-2016 Season

Poetry is downtown.

The Portland'5 Foundation and The Attic Institute are pleased to present: Poets on Broadway – a free poetry series hosted by Portland'5. Three monthly poetry events will be presented October 2015 – April 2016 in the Antoinette Hatfield Hall Rotunda. Nationally renowned poets will read alongside local emerging poets in the greater Portland community and the Pacific NW. Readings are free.

 
John Beer anD MICHELE GLAZER

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 8PM

 

SAMIYA BASHIR AND KEVIN CRAFT

MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 8PM

 

KAREN HOLMBERG AND JENNIFER RICHTER
MONDAY, APRIL 25, 8PM 

 

Attic Institute president David Biespiel says why poetry matters in the New York Times

Poems Hold the Mysteries of the Present, Dreams of the Future

David Biespiel

David Biespiel's most recent book of poems is "Charming Gardeners." His anthology "Poems of the American South" is due out next month in the Everyman's Library series.

JULY 21, 2014, 11:42 AM

I write this by campfire light in the back country of British Columbia, cut off from the digital world and miles from the nearest town.

Every society we've ever known has had poetry, and should the day come that poetry suddenly disappears in the morning, someone, somewhere, will reinvent it by evening . . . 

Read the article

How a life in poetry keeps poetry alive: An interview with David Biespiel on 'New Books in Poetry."

David Biespiel

View on Amazon

John Ebersole sits down with the president of the Attic Institute to discuss his upbriging, the world of contemporary poetry, and his latest book, Charming Gardeners. 

"David Biespiel‘s Charming Gardeners (University of Washington Press, 2013) is unlike any book I’ve read in a long time. Filled with epistolary poems, his book – despite being populated by the poet’s friends and family – is actually a work of great loneliness. In many ways, Biespiel’s journey is America’s, where the road is both a symbol of arrivals, but also departures, and in between is solitude. On the surface, Biespiel’s poems seem like the private meditations of one man. However, his poems encompass each of us, socially and politically, by illuminating our nation’s contradictory character: a longing for enchantment in a disenchanted world. The poems in Charming Gardeners live between the wilderness and the civilized and the poet, finding himself in this zone of uncertainty, does what any of us would do: call out to those we love. In our conversation we discuss his years in Boston and D.C., the Attic Institute in Portland, the poetry wars, and so much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did." ~ John Ebersole

 

Atheneum alum Celeste Hamilton Dennis remembers Levittown in the Huffington Post

A LOVE LETTER TO LEVITTOWN

Celeste Hamilton Dennis (Atheneum, '12)

published in The Huffington Post

_________________________________

Dear Levittown,

I'll be the first to admit: Our love hasn't always been a Billy Joel song.

In our early years together, I loved to spend my days swimming at your pools and hanging out at block parties and eating as much as I could at pancake fundraisers for high school sports teams. But my favorite thing? It was easy for me to find the bathrooms at all of my friend's houses. I liked how they all looked and felt the same.

Then I got older and your sameness started to make me feel weird. I sabotaged us. I stole bras from your department stores. I toilet papered your manicured lawns. I smoked pot in the sump behind the village green. I made out with boys on baseball fields and ruined pitching mounds.

Read the rest

Jennifer Lauck named senior fellow at the Attic Institute

 

 

Congratulations to Jennifer Lauck for being named the Attic Institute's newest senior fellow. 

Jennifer Lauck is an award winning journalist and the author of four memoirs including the New York Times Bestseller, Blackbird. Featured on The Oprah Show, Winfrey told her audience, "this should have been a Book of the Month book. Read it now!"

Lauck's work has been translated into twenty-two languages, has been the bestseller lists in London, Ireland and Spain and has been featured in Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, Talk Magazine, People, Glamour and Writer's Digest.  Her other memoirs include: Still Waters, Show Me the Way and Found.  Lauck has also published several essays in analogies, magazines and on line at Huffington Post. 

Lauck has an MFA in creative writing and a BA in journalism.  She's currently working on her first novel.

 

Check out Jennifer's classes

 

Natalie Serber joins the Attic Institute as a teaching fellow in 2014

Welcome, Natalie!

Natalie Serber is a fiction writer, essayist, and educator. She is the author of the story collection Shout Her Lovely Name, a New York Times 100 “Notable Books” of 2012, a summer reading pick from O, the Oprah Magazine and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest for 2012. Her fiction has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Essays and reviews have appeared at The Rumpus, The New York Times, and Salon. Her awards include The John Steinbeck Award, Tobias Wolff Award, HE Francis Award, all for fiction, and an honorable mention for the Annie Dillard Award for Non Fiction. Natalie received her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and she is currently working on a novel set in Boring, Oregon.

Brian Benson joins the Attic Institute as an Associate Fellow

Welcome, Brian!

Brian Benson is a proud alum of the 2011-12 Attic Atheneum. A former Spanish instructor and nonprofit organizer, he has taught extensively in classroom and experiential settings. His first book, Going Somewhere, a memoir about a cross-country bike trip and the search for personal direction, will be published in early 2014.

Register for Brian's upcoming workshop

Emily Whitman joins the Attic Institute as Associate Fellow

Welcome, Emily!

Emily Whitman writes books for children and teens. Her YA Wildwing won the 2012 Oregon Book Award for Young Adult Literature and was a Bankstreet College Best Children’s Book. Radiant Darkness was #1 on the IndieBound Kid’s Next List, selected by independent booksellers, and was an Oregon Book Award finalist. Emily has taught at writing conferences including the Pacific Northwest Children’s Book Conference and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Oregon Conference, and she writes poetry, prose and nonfiction for educational publishers. She’s currently at work on a Middle Grade novel.

Register for Emily's next workshop

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Notes from David Biespiel, President of the Attic Institute

 

Letter announcing the new Attic Institute

"Eleven years have gone by in a blink. But today begins a new era as we renew our dedication both to the word and to the world."

 

Interview about the founding of the Attic Institute

"All sorts of excellent pieces of writing get started and finished here. That's what it means to be a literary studio."

 

Farewell commentary as editor of Poetry Northwest: " A Sense of Form and A Sense of Life"

"I realize now that the divide between Modernist American poetry and, let's call it, Rilkean American poetry is largely unnecessary. Poetry can be both a repository of wisdom and contain revolutionary feeling -- even in the same poem."

 

Essay on poets and democracy in Poetry magazine: "This Land Is Our Land"

"America's poets have a minimal presene in American civic discourse and a miniscule public role in the life of American democracy. I find this condition perplexing and troubling -- both for poetry and for democracy."