Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown

2023 Summer Workshops

David Rivard Inviting the Surprise: A Poetry Workshop July 29 to August 3, 2018 Tuition: $600 Workshop: 9am-Noon Discipline: Poetry OPEN TO ALL On-site Housing NOT Available - Off-site Housing Options

As Grace Paley says, “You don’t write about what you know, you write about what you don’t know about what you know.” Using daily exercises and models, this workshop will focus on the practice of surprise, so that we can discover what we really feel and think as we write the poem. In letting the play of language – music, metaphor, image – show us where we need to go, we’ll work on inviting a wilder energy into our process, the energy of improvisation and invention. We’ll also talk about how, through revision, craft can help us share that energy on the page (and in the ear).

Please bring copies of three recent (unfinished) poems for workshop discussion. (Number of copies announced two weeks prior to workshop start date.)


David Rivard’s most recent book, Standoff, received the 2017 PEN New England Award in Poetry and was listed by The New Yorker in its “Books We Loved in 2016” roundup. His five other books include Otherwise Elsewhere, Sugartown, and Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Among numerous honors, he is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, and the NEA. He teaches at the University of New Hampshire.