the 6th annual
Taos Writers Conference
will be held LIVE and on-line via Zoom on Friday, July 29 to Sunday, July 31, 2022
All registration closes on Thursday, 7/28/22, at 5pm
FRIDAY - July 29, 2022
10:00 – 4:00 One-Day Online Intensives
Connie Josefs – Mapping Memoir (online only)
Veronica Golos – Walking the Wild; Writing the Wild (live)
Sawnie Morris – The Sequence Poem (online only)
Bob Arellano – Setting in Motion: Generative Writing with D.H. Lawrence (live)
Leeanna Torres – Finding Querencias: An intensive/generative writing workshop (live)
5:30-6:30 – drop-in Meet & Greet reception & Book sales – all attendees and faculty welcome! (live)
Keynote by Ana Castillo (live at the Harwood Museum, 238 Ledoux Street, Taos)
SATURDAY - July 30, 2022
Melanie Sumner – Build a Short Story (live)
David Meischen – Intersections in Poetry: The Landscape of Story, The Story in Landscape (online only)
Don Cellini – Translating Poetry CANCELLED
Mary Oishi – The Zen of Poetry (online only)
12-2 Author Book sales
Lunch (on your own), book sales, and roundtable brown bag lunch discussions
12:15-1 Michael Blevins: Tips for Self-Publishing (live)
1:15-2 Adrienne Pond: Partnering with an Editor (online only)
Stephanie Han – Master Narrative – a Deep Dive (online only)
E J Levy – It’s You! Writing in Second-Person (live)
Elizabeth Jacobson – Intimate Immersion: Create and Critique CANCELLED
Amy Beeder – The Ordinary & Extraordinary: A Poetry Workshop (live)
Sawnie Morris – Poetry & Punctuation (online only)
Faculty Readings Book signings/sales (live)
SUNDAY - July 31, 2022
Linda Michel-Cassidy – The Sum of the Parts: Short Lyrical Prose (online only)
T.J. English – The World of Nonfiction Writing (live)
Jesse Maloney – Patient Patiently: Using lived details in narrative CANCELLED
Sean Murphy – The Writer’s Voice (live)
Juan Morales – Hunger and Ritual: Writing poetry on Food (live)
INTENSIVES ($175 Early Bird/ $199 Late Registration)
Choose one from the following five, all-day Intensive classes.
Each class runs from 10:00 – 11:30 and 1:00 – 4:00 on Friday only.
Weekend Workshops AND Friday Intensive: $449/$499
July 29, 2022
10:00 – 4:00
Mapping Memoir (online only)
“The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into new land.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
There’s something intriguing about opening a book and finding a geographical or geneological map. To look at a map is to say, “Tell me a story.” Mapmakers and writers consider many of the same questions: From which point of view should I render this world? What are its borders? What details should I include? How closely does this reflect reality?
Walking the Wild; Writing the Wild (live)
This is a generative workshops, where we will drive (about 30 minutes) to Wild Rivers, bringing writing materials and lunch, and do a short hike, to view the meeting of the rio Grande and Red rivers, looking down on ancient cliffs, surrounded by forest and fields and plains. We will sit at outdoor tables, eat, and have a writing period; participants will have a packet, with example poems and suggestions for writing. Then, we will move to a stone outdoor amphitheater, where writers will read their work to the audience, the trees, the wide sky, and the sounds of birds.
The Sequence Poem (online only)
A sequence poem is akin to an archipelago. Each sequence within the poem is an island, though as Muriel Rukeyser pointed out, “like us, they are connected underneath.” Where a narrative poem moves causally through time –– like a boat across the water –– and a lyric poem expresses a particular moment in time –– like the splash of a swimmer diving in –– a sequence poem expresses multiple dimensions or emotional intensities in time by way of connection, association, and juxtaposition. We will read together and learn from examples of historical and contemporary sequence poems, then respond by beginning the creative process of writing our own. Prompts will be provided to be used (or not) and time will be made for sharing of results and for individual feedback from the instructor. Please bring pen, paper, and laptop if you have one.
Setting in Motion: Generative Writing with D.H. Lawrence (live)
Through his novels, stories, and poems, David Herbert Lawrence left behind breadcrumbs for other writers to follow and find secrets of his style. Connecting focused readings of timeless literature with timely writing prompts, workshop participants will travel across three countries and immerse ourselves in three literary settings through Lawrence’s words, undertaking an examination of the clues he left behind. We will alternate textual teleportation with three generative-writing sessions inspired by Lawrence’s examples, and we will finish the day with a round-robin workshop to share our discoveries and offer constructive suggestions expanding on the magic of transforming setting into motion. This workshop is great for writers of all levels and all genres, as well as for teachers of writing and the arts to take strategies back to their own classrooms.
Finding Querencias: An intensive/generative writing workshop (live)
The word “Querencia” is a popular term in the Spanish-speaking world that is used to express a deeply rooted love of place and people. And while a Spanish-word, the IDEA of Querencia is truly universal, and it’s translation via expression, endless and ever-widening.
Querencia – the place of your deepest identity, your deepest longing; a place in which we know exactly who we are; the place from which we speak our deepest beliefs.
Writers such as J. Drew Lanham might refer to this concept as “home-place”; similarly Robin Wall Kimmerer might call it “kinship”. And while New Mexican writers are familiar with “querencia” (that which gives a sense of place, that which anchors us to the land…a deeply rooted knowledge of place…” we will explore this theme in the broadest sense.
In this “generative” workshop we’ll utilize both open-ended and “mapping prompts”.
Thus at the conclusion of this workshop the writers will have a start(s) to what exploring querencia might mean to them. While this workshop is intended primarily for creative-non-fiction, memoir, essay type of work, the “idea” of querencia easily crosses all writing genres.
Querencia is not an elusive concept, rather, it exists, and it is unique to each person, in the details, in the memory, and in our lived experiences.
WORKSHOPS ($299 Early Bird/ $325 Late Registration)
Choose one workshop from each time slot for Day 2 and Day 3.
Weekend Workshops AND Friday Intensives: $449/$499
July 30, 2022
9:00 – 12:00
Build a Short Story (live)
Do you want to write a short story but dread looking at that blank screen? In this workshop, you will be guided to create your story one piece at a time. As you complete exercises for character creation, setting, point-of-view, and plot, you will begin to see the emergence of your story. Some of the exercises require individual work while others encourage interaction with other participants in the workshop. You are encouraged to share your exercises with the group and to invite their feedback. When you have gathered all the parts of your story, you will choose one of several methods to outline it in a way that makes sense to you. At the end of the workshop, you will have enough material to write a first draft of your short story.
Intersections in Poetry: The Landscape of Story, The Story in Landscape (online only)
I’ve spent a lifetime immersed in place—reflecting on, finding words to evoke place. The farm where I grew up is bound by its legal borders; it has not and does not move. But it is not a static landscape. No landscape is. How, then, when we sit down to write, do we convey the dynamism of the places we invest with our attention? How, when we venture into narrative, can we reinvigorate the shapes of story, engaging readers in new and exciting ways? And what about urban landscapes? Streets, buildings, interiors—sometimes noisy, sometimes cluttered—Edward Hopper instead of Ansel Adams. How to invite these into our poems? Participants in this three-hour workshop will examine works by Hanif Abdurraqib, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Natalie Diaz, Mary Oliver, Ocean Vuong, and others. Their poems will serve as springboards into our own. Participants will share and respond constructively to each other’s drafts.
Translating Poetry: Traduttore/Traditore – Translator/Traitor (online only)
The Zen of Poetry (online only)
We usually think of haiku when we think of Zen as it relates to poetry. But this is not a haiku workshop. In our time together, we will:
- Distill a narrative scene to its emotional core, resulting in the fewest lines that capture the essence of the event.
- Bring the reader or listener into the “white space” between the lines, making their experience part of the poem, making them your co-poet, so to speak.
- Get out of linear, logical mind and magnify the moment, the experience.
- While haiku is more nature-centric, in this workshop we pivot to shared human nature/experience/emotions.
- After reading some examples, we each write and share one or more tanka, a Japanese form that predates haiku, as well as other shorter forms.
The goal of The Zen of Poetry workshop is for participants to leave feeling like they’ve been to a “calligraphy for poets” intensive, able to craft an artful poem from its simplest, most symbolic strokes.
July 30, 2022
2:00 – 5:00
Faculty Readings Book signings/sales (live)
7PM – 9PM
Master Narrative – a Deep Dive (online only)
What is a Master Narrative? This generative creative process workshop explores the complexities and ideas of Master Narratives. What is the difference between an implicit and explicit Master Narrative? How do they govern our lives and thus determine our narrative voice?
Writers will explore how and why Master Narratives are foundational to our framework of belief, community, and self. Participants will also examine their creative literary process in relation to Master Narratives. The creation of the world on the page, including the nuance of a character, and how we construct plot, conflict, and resolution are formed by our conception of our Master Narratives. Most significantly, the Master Narratives guide our approach to our subject matter and our identities as writers.
Writers will have the opportunity to generate ideas and write into the questions unearthed by the discovery of their own Master Narratives. The knowledge and created text about the writer’s personal Master Narratives will serve as a resource for writers as they embark on the stories that only they can write.
It’s You! Writing in Second-Person (live)
Point of View is often said to be the most important decision we make in writing prose, but that choice is often a reflexive or unconscious one. This craft seminar invites participants to consciously explore second-person POV: how it can reveal character, heighten effect, draw the reader in. Discussion of examples from fiction and nonfiction by Offill, Diaz, Houston, Kenan, Kincaid, and Moore will be followed by a writing exercise to explore the rich potential of an underrated POV and to generate excitement for point-of-view’s possibilities. Participants can expect to expand their options for story and leave with a new draft piece.
Intimate Immersion: Create and Critique (online only)
The Ordinary & Extraordinary: A Poetry Workshop (live)
How do you write the ordinary? The extraordinary? What is an “audible web of sound” and how does it lend beauty and conviction to a poem? Have you ever written poems that are confessions, lists, spells, or rumors? What happens if you replace Latinate words in your poem with Germanic ones?
The purpose of this workshop is twofold: to engage in passionate & inspiring discussion, and to generate new work through at least three in-class exercises. We will begin by reading a few poems and discussing different poetic elements (such as line length, diction, image) and modes (like observation, address, catalog) before we focus on in-class writing exercises. I hope these exercises will push you to try new forms and subjects, and take fresh imaginative leaps.
Poetry & Punctuation (online only)
W.S. Merwin abandoned punctuation, declaring that it “seems to staple the poem to the page.” Emily Dickinson, on the other hand, famously said that a real poem caused her hair to stand up on her head –– and Emily was queen of the dash and other well-placed marks on the page. We will examine a range of poems by classical and contemporary poets, giving our attention over to punctuation that serves as enlightening notation and guiding signage. We’ll also consider the freedoms and risks inherent to unpunctuated space. Come prepared to enter sentences and their elements. Bring pen, paper, and/or lap-top, plus three poems of your own whose punctuation or lack of it you question and/or are willing to experiment with altering.
July 31, 2021
9:00 – 12:00
The Sum of the Parts: Short Lyrical Prose (online only)
Short-form writing has been having a moment of late. Some of the most exciting brief writing lands between poetry and prose, taking cues from both. We’ll investigate fragmentary writing, and its potential: lyrical and story-like, compressed, but with an eye toward detail and voice.
We’ll look at prose poetry, flash prose, list stories, American Sentences, and other such forms for clues to embolden our own writing. These small pieces truly straddle the worlds of both prose and poetry, luxuriating in this in-between place. Best of all, they are fun to write and are a great way to shake up your writing.
When collected, they create narratives that feel fresh and captivating. We’ll talk about compiling into groupings, creating through-lines and tension, the power of accumulation, and of the muscularity we can get with minimalism.
This class is appropriate for writers of all genres, the only requirement being an openness to experimentation.
The World of Nonfiction Writing (live)
The three-hour workshop will explore the world of non-fiction writing, which includes journalism, essays, reviews, and long-form narrative non-fiction for magazines and online publications. The course will also deal extensively with conceiving, researching and writing a non-fiction book for publication. The first half of the course will deal with the creative nuts-and-bolts of narrative non-fiction writing: coming up with subjects and ideas, conducting interviews, doing research both archival and online, cultivating sources, the organizing and structuring of the writing itself, etc. The second half of the course will deal with the business side of the writing life: writing a book or magazine proposal, pitching it to magazines and publishers, finding an agent, keeping your head above water financially, etc. Driving this course will be a series of thematic questions: why do you want to be a non-fiction storyteller? What do you have to say? What makes you unique as a writer and storyteller?
Patient Patiently: Using lived details in narrative (online only)
The Writer’s Voice (live)
How do we uncover our most natural voices as writers? In this workshop we’ll learn how to get going and keep going by using free-writing and other techniques to stimulate creativity and encourage fresh ideas for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or journaling. We’ll learn tricks to beat writer’s block, and experiment with structure, styyle, and the observation skills that bring our writing alive. this approach is suitable for writers of all levels, in any genre from fiction to memoir to poetry. It’s terrific for breaking through blocks or simply rekindling that old excitement in the creative process.
Hunger and Ritual: Writing poetry on Food (live)
In this workshop, we will look at poetry and short forms to awaken our sensory details in our writing, lines, and forms. We will look at influential writers and depictions of food in order to write about our explorations of what we eat and the relationships they cultivate. Whether it be issues of sustainability, memories of family meals, the recipes we struggle to recreate, or the places we cook, we will work our writing muscles to discover how food teaches us to remember and to create rituals in our lives and on the page.
The Taos Writers Conference offers lunchtime Roundtables on Saturday, Day 2 only.
These value-added lunch events are informative and free to attend. Bring your brown-bag lunch to the group discussions with local experts on topics of interest in the literary world.
Saturday 12-2 Author Book sales
July 24, 2021
Michael Blevins: Tips for Self-Publishing (live)
July 24, 2021
Adrienne Pond: Partnering with an Editor (online only)
A good editor will partner with a writer, rather than act as a fixer. In this brief workshop, Adrienne will offer information on the different stages and levels of editing, what to expect from a relationship with an editor, and some steps to take to prepare your manuscript for editing.
Early Bird Registration ends 6/15/22. All registration closes on 7/28/22.
PLEASE NOTE OUR CANCELLATION POLICY: 100% refund minus a $35 administrative fee for cancellations dated 6/15/22 or earlier; 50% refund minus a $35 administrative fee for cancellations received between 6/16/22 – 7/25/22 No refunds given for cancellations received after 7/25/22.
Open Tues-Sat 12pm-4pm 575.758.0081 108 Civic Plaza Drive
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3225, Taos, NM 87571
THANK YOU TO OUR FUNDERS
SOMOS programs are made possible in part by these organizations: New Mexico Arts, a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts • Taos Community Foundation • The McCune Foundation • The National Endowment For The Arts • The Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation • Taos County Lodgers Tax • TaosNetLLC for high speed internet service • LANL (Los Alamos National Labs) • New Mexico Humanities Council • Frost Foundation • Witter Bynner Foundation • Amazon Literary Partnership • Literary Emergency Fund