©2020 by Kim Stafford - Oregon poet

Generative writing workshops with Kim Stafford

These workshops are online and open to writers of all kinds.



Your Poetic Table of Elements

A half-day generative writing workshop

Saturday, Jan. 9, 9-noon or 1-4, $50.

In this half-day workshop, we’ll consider the enlivening elements that make a poem sing by close reading of published work, and by exploratory writing from poetry prompts. What does a poem by Emily Dickinson call us to write—and how does she teach us to begin? What can we learn from a poem by Jericho Brown, and how can we deepen that learning by writing a poem of our own under the spell of his work?

      We will alternate between savoring how a poem works by reading, and deepening what we learn by writing. Elements to be considered will include title, first line, rhythm, the turn, and a reader’s silence after the poem ends.

To register (by Jan. 2), contact Rob Grant at robert@robertthomasgrant.com

Resilience Poems: Reading & Writing

not January 16-17 / moved to Feb. 6-7, 2021

This two-day workshop invites you to cast your net wide through the cultures of the world to find poems that speak to resilience in the personal, cultural, or natural worlds. Once each participant has a poem or two that sings for survival, we’ll convene online to read these lyrics one by one, and write in response to what we find there—in theme, story, word magic, or question we must live. The workshop will include many opportunities to write, and to share work in progress for supportive response from fellow writers. No experience required as a writer, just curiosity and hunger to explore. 


Saturday-Sunday, January 16-17, 2020, 9am – 3pm, via Zoom

Limited to 12 participants

Details coming soon here:  https://fishtrap.org/writing-workshops/

Poems for a Cause

January 22

Why give a speech at the protest rally when you could speak a poem, witness through lyric lines, testify with an urgent blessing, or teach an anthem all can sing together? Or maybe the poems you write out of love for your cause are quietly handed to friends and strangers, slipped into pockets to change hearts and lift spirits. In this one-day online workshop we will savor stirring texts, then write our own—for earth, for justice, for kindness and compassion.

Hosted by Hugo House, Friday, January 22, 10am-4pm

Details will be found here: 


Speak Beauty to Power

11-14 February 2021

Earth calls for testimony, but not stridency. In poetry and episodic prose, we will forge testimony to protect places we love, and sustain the planet, with utterance kin to natural beauty. As a river testifies, so shall we—flow, light, grace. As a tree testifies, so shall we—a lofty intelligence, rooted in fact. The loud conversations of our time require winsome witness for the wild world. After writing together, we will explore ways to make our witness public.


An online Writing retreat for the Santa Sabina Center,

San Rafael, California, Thursday-Sunday, 11-14 February 2021

Details to be announced here:


Oregon Writing Project: Poems for a Better Nation

February 20-21

In these days of frenzy and confusion, some bit of news, a scrap of story, a friend’s question, or some other morsel of language from the world may long to become a song, a poem, half a poem—may long to catch something mysterious about this life. A footnote to the inexpressible.

     In this online Oregon Writing Project course, we will celebrate the winsome habit of poetry to turn small discoveries into the half-page where we say much in a few words.

     We’ll read lively texts, start many lyric experiments, and talk along the way about how to use this quirky and welcoming writing practice to calm the self, and to explore with students and share with friends.

     No previous experience is necessary for participation in this course, which is open to all teachers and writers. The class will utilize the online platform Zoom, with each of the two days designed to develop a learning community through a series of conversations, writing prompts, solo writing time, then sharing and discussion.


hosted by Lewis & Clark College, Saturday-Sunday, February 20-21, 9am-5pm


The Practice of Writing

April 3-4

Pandemic, protest, fire, and politics—the daily news inflicts attrition because it is incomplete. It often gives hard facts without clear thought or consolation. A writing practice can ease this injury, providing ways to “talk back to all that darkness” by exploring questions in brief essays, mysteries in poems, alternate perspectives in blogs, and other scribbled ways to connect what we experience to what we say.

     This course is for writers interested in pushing their practice in multiple directions, and for teachers who want to engage the widest variety of student writers.

     We will utilize the online platform Zoom, with each of the two days designed as a series of conversations, writing prompts, solo writing time, then sharing and discussion.

hosted by Lewis & Clark College, Saturday-Sunday, April 3-4, 2020, 9am-5pm


Book Launch: 27 April 2021

Singer Come from Afar: Poems (Red Hen Press, 2021)

Details will be here: https://redhenpress.org/collections/spring-2021

Revision by Poetry’s Periodic Table of Elements                                      

Friday, April 16

Title, first line, line-break, voiced cadence, word-field, the turn…the opportunity for special effects is abundantly present in the decisions a writer makes with each element. All are at work no matter how long or short the poem may be, or what kind of poem it is—haiku to lyric to epic. Bring the latest drafts of your three most promising poems-in-process, and we will work through ways to make them more like what they want to be. This will not be a critique session, but a workshop in generative revision.


Hosted by Hugo House via Zoom, Friday, April 16, 9am-4pm, maximum 15 writers

details TBA by March 9 here: https://hugohouse.org/classes/course-catalog/



Earth Verse: Writing for the Earth                                                            

Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day)

When trouble comes in the human world, there may be a little story from the wild that can offer consolation. From the Gnomic Verses in Old English, to the Tao te Ching, and the writings of Dorothy Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, and Mary Oliver, we have cherished lyric remedies speaking the language of earth for human comfort. In this workshop, we will harvest close observations from your landscapes, and compose an archive of blessings, consolations, and manifestos for use as need comes. An online generative writing workshop to restore our earth with healing words.


Hosted by Hugo House via Zoom, Thursday, April 22, 9am-4pm, maximum 15 writers

details TBA by March 9 here: https://hugohouse.org/classes/course-catalog/

Mother River, Hero Tree

Date TBA

Are there Earth words with personal resonance for you—Metolius…cedar…hummingbird? Are there places that are like rooms in your house of spirit—Minam Summit…Jefferson Park…Cascade Head? In letter, blessing, poem, prose fragment, or lyric spell, we will write about your Earth ancestry—your life lineage that comes from the natural world. What places, creatures, landscape features, silences, nights, and other primordial elements formed your character? What are the sources of your identity, sense of mystery, apprehension of spirit, and perennial wellbeing? 

A two-day workshop hosted by the Sitka Center, Summer, date TBA

Details will appear here: https://www.sitkacenter.org