"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Sierra Poetry Festival 2019: April's Poetry Month Finale

Nevada County Arts Council presented its 3rd Annual Sierra Poetry Festival on April 27, 2019 at Sierra College in Grass Valley, attended by some of our most exciting local, national and international poets and performers. In addition to its mainstage event, Sierra Poetry Festival marked National Poetry Month from the rolling foothills of California’s Gold Country to the rugged High Sierra, bringing our rich literary community together to celebrate the spoken word and reach out to brand new audiences in fresh ways. Readings, workshops, music, an activity fair for all ages and youth performances were preceded by a month of pre-festival pop-up poetry events.



CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO Beth Ruyack interviewed Keynote Speaker, Poet and Pulitzer winner Forrest Gander and Nevada County Arts Council Executive Director Eliza Tudor. I was honored to follow Forrest onstage to read new poems I've written this past winter.

For the morning workshop session, my partner-in-crime Barbara March and I attended Beyond the Self in the Personal Poem presented by Blas Falconer. We explored poems as models to ask Is every poem somehow an intimate glimpse into the poet's life? When does writing the personal poem become problematic? We considered ways to move beyond ourselves while still engaging our own narratives.



Barbara and Ray March participated in the Poetry Fair to spread the word about Surprise Valley Writers' Conference, a unique and beautiful 4 day workshop in rural Cedarville, CA.

In the afternoon session, we joined Marcello Hernandez Castillo for Introspection and Form in Poetry. This workshop inclined towards prose through multiple and spontaneous processes of introspection, We explored taking liberties within the rigid form of such ancient verses as the Ghazal and the sonnet, as well as practiced the possibilities of Duende as described by Lorca.



When I met Sara Borjas at the inn we were both staying in for the weekend, I immediately recognized she had things to teach me. In her workshop, she says definitions of “poetry of witness” are shifting as poets seek to defy the inherent passivity of the term “witness.” Increasingly, poets are interrogating the safety afforded by time and distance, engaging legacies of trauma, including those they have inherited or been proxy to, in order to confront the past and their own participation. She challenges writers and readers to create innovative forms that require the engagement and excavate often-invisible layers of participation, eschewing language of witness in favor of a poetics of active accountability. I want to learn more about witness and engagement for my own writing.



Monday, April 15, 2019

Write a Ten-Minute Play Workshop Series with guest dramatist / director Conrad Cecil


 Write a Ten-Minute Play Workshop Series

Friday, April 19th, 10 am – 1 pm
Friday, May 10th 10 am – 1 pm

These workshops include snacks, tea and coffee, and writers collaborating in a cozy living room in beautiful downtown Truckee. Hone your skills in dialogue, scene, drama, and character.  No drama experience necessary. Learn how to recognize and build the drama in your idea for a play or develop the crisis scene in your novel. The deadline for ten-minute play submissions to the Truckee Community Theater Labor Day Weekend Ten Minute Play Festival is June 1st, 2019. Workshops are $120 if you sign up for both or $65 each. Call for further details 530-386-3901. www.karenaterrey.blogspot.com

Conrad Cecil studied Directing & Dramaturgy at RADA and King's College London. Conrad runs workshops at Beyond Baroque literary arts center in Venice CA, and is Nevada County coach for Poetry Out Loud. In Paris, he founded a theatre company under the patronage of award-winning playwright Roland Dubillard and has directed at the Avignon Festival and on the Champs Elysees, assisting German filmmaker Werner Schroeter. Bibliography includes a bilingual book on performing arts production and preparing an original orthography edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets for hand printing.
Karen Terrey is a writer, editor, and writing coach, offering coaching, developmental editing, and creative writing workshops in Truckee through her business Tangled Roots Writing for clients of all ages.  She has taught at Lake Tahoe Community College, Sierra Nevada College, and Sierra College and has served as a poetry editor for the literary journals Pitkin Review and Quay. Her poetry chapbook Bite and Blood is available from Finishing Line Press and local bookstores. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

3rd Annual Sierra Poetry Festival looking for Vendors! April 27th



Nevada County Arts Council will present its 3rd Annual Sierra Poetry Festival on April 27, 2019 at Sierra College in Grass Valley, attended by some of our most exciting local, national and international poets and performers. Opportunities to join our family of benefactors are now available.

Sierra Poetry Festival encourages both a strong local presence and international and universal themes. Each year we choose a special anchor for these themes. For 2019 our anchor point is Breath and Shadow, breath indicating the ebb and flow of nature and the seasons, and shadow being symbolic of our ephemeral existence and self-reflection.



At the literaryvendor fair, Poetry Place, you can present your business, books, activities, and other materials related to the themes and values of the event. Our theme is Breath and Shadow and this is open to your interpretation, and we encourage you to have fun with it. Poetry Place will be open to festival goers from 9am–3pm on Saturday, April 27.

The cost for an all-day vendor space is $45. Preference is given to vendors with interactive activities.

What we offer exhibitors: An excellent location at the heart of our festival, The Gym flanks the Multi-Purpose room, where our mainstage readings take place:
  1. A 6x3 foot banquet table or round table (If a round configuration works for your activity, please let us know)
  2. Free listing in the  Sierra Poetry Festival Program (500 printed copies + unlimited online)
  3. 10% advertising discount in our  Sierra Poetry Festival Program (500 printed copies + unlimited online)
  4. The opportunity to donate an item/s or premium for our Swag Bag. This is an excellent promotional tool and ensures that your products reach upwards of 200 festival goers
  5. Opportunities to sponsor the  Sierra Poetry Festival. This will support Poet Leaders as well as attendance by young people via student scholarships. 
In addition to its mainstage event, Sierra Poetry Festival marks National Poetry Month from the rolling foothills of California’s Gold Country to the rugged High Sierra, bringing our rich literary community together to celebrate the spoken word and reach out to brand new audiences in fresh ways. Readings, workshops, music, an activity fair for all ages and youth performances will be preceded by a month of pre-festival pop-up poetry events.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Calling Writers for the Surprise Valley Writers Conference 2019


The Surprise Valley Writers Conference is different from any writing conference you've gone to before. While four mornings of workshop and afternoons with craft talks and a keynote are rigorous, the rural high desert and mountain surroundings make you feel as if you've entered another world for a very long weekend. I would ride my townie bike into town in the mornings and learned the patterns of the local quick red fox, the packs of quail, and the sweet brown cow on the corner. I had plenty of quiet alone time to write, but I also found inspiration from my time carousing with writers of all genres from around the West. 

Four-Day Schedule — May 31-June 4

Four days of writers’ workshops; Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings with ample time for lunch, craft lectures, writing and exploring. Evening events include a Welcome Reception, Staff Readings, Keynote Speech, Campfire Open Mic, shared meals, community building and a field trip. We also encourage attendees to write and discover Surprise Valley on your own. Our staff is available to offer suggestions on local sights, drives and adventures.
All workshops and lectures are held in downtown Cedarville.

Fees/Meals

Fees: $525 for the Poetry, Fiction and Non-fiction workshops. Opening reception and two dinners included. Breakfast and lunch on your own.

Limited Enrollment

The The Surprise Valley Writers' Workshop Conference is limited to 50 participants.

Accommodations

Typical accommodations in Surprise Valley and neighboring Alturas range from motel rooms to ranch-style lodging to a hot springs spa. Rates vary from around $60 to $145 per night.
ADVISORY! Room accommodations in Surprise Valley are somewhat limited. We urge you to make your reservations as early as possible.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Free Poetry Talk with Molly Fisk, Nevada County Poet Laureate comes to Philosophy, Truckee

FREE WINTER POETRY HOURS

FRIDAY, MARCH 8 AT 12PM/NOON

Philosophy, 10412 Donner Pass Road, Truckee
https://www.truckeephilosophy.com/

What is a Poet Laureate and what they do?

A poet laureate is someone chosen—originally by kings, now by governments and civic groups—to represent a region by composing poems for special occasions, reading in public, and helping to focus attention on poetry as an art form. Laureate refers to wearing a crown of laurel leaves, a symbol of honor in Ancient Greece for poets and heroes.
The Nevada County Poet Laureate Program was inaugurated at Sierra Poetry Festival in 2017 in the presence of California Poet Laureate, Dana Gioia. Our program involves writing poems to commemorate county events (the opening of the Madelyn Helling Library's new amphitheater, for instance), reading (at the Sierra Poetry Festival, the Yuba Lit readings, etc.), and developing one or more projects to boost community involvement in poetry.
Current Poet Laureate Molly Fisk has sponsored a community-written poem, run a month of daily writing prompts for county residents, and met with interested locals during monthly designated Poetry Hours in county caf├ęs and wine bars to answer questions and discuss poetry.
Molly Fisk is the author of the poetry collections, The More Difficult Beauty, Listening to Winter, Terrain (co-author), and Salt Water Poems and the essay collections Houston, We Have a PossumUsing Your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace; and Blow-Drying a Chicken. Her essays have aired weekly as part of the News Hour of KVMR-FM Nevada City, CA since 2005. https://www.nevadacountyarts.org/nevada-county-poet-laureate/

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Openings now available for this winter's Advanced Revision & Craft sessions: 2/7, 3/7, 4/11, and 5/9!

In this intimate workshop, the goal is to revise your first draft by pushing further to the next level, strengthening your writing skills, and simultaneously exploring meaning in your writing. Attention Nanowrimo-ers! This workshop is deadline- and goal-oriented to complete the next draft of a project for publication.  You will get professional feedback for developing the heart of the subject as well as the structure and organization of your project. 
Learn techniques to creatively unearth what really matters so that your writing stands out as surprising and original to an editor. We will meet from 5-8 pm on the first or second Thursday of each month. Expect readings and deadlines to keep you accountable and move your writing forward. $220 for four months. 5-8 pm. Tea and snacks.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Starting 10/11 Openings available for this advanced workshop in fiction and non-fiction

10/11, 11/8, 12/6, 1/10:  REVISION/DEVELOPMENT WRITING WORKSHOP FOR FICTION AND MEMOIR. 

Go deeper into what you really want to say.

 In this intimate workshop, the goal is to revise your first draft by pushing further to the next level, strengthening your writing skills, and simultaneously exploring meaning in your writing. Attention Nanowrimo-ers! This workshop is deadline- and goal-oriented to complete the next draft of a project for publication.  You will get professional feedback for developing the heart of the subject as well as the structure and organization of your project. Learn techniques to creatively unearth what really matters so that your writing stands out as surprising and original to an editor. We will meet from 5-8 pm on the first or second Thursday of each month. Expect readings and deadlines to keep you accountable and move your writing forward. $220 for four months. 5-8 pm. Tea and snacks.