Another Language (and another, and another): Strategies for Generating New Poems

We’re celebrating National Poetry Month with this special Poetry Weekend, April 1-3, 2022! Come join us!

In W. S. Merwin’s “The Blind Seer of Albon,” he begins, “I always knew I came from another language.” Isn’t each poem, in fact, “another language,” previously undiscovered? A narrative poem, for instance, is one language—one shape, one conceptual strategy—while a poem that explores or defines an idea is an entirely different language, a different shape, a different strategy of development. Some poets—William Stafford, Yannis Ritsos, or Pablo Neruda—seem to have written almost daily, seldom running out of material for—or shapes to—their countless poems. What if writing a poem is as simple as being aware of multiple “shapes,” each a different kind of thinking, each a different strategy of development?

In this retreat, participants will explore—over the course of five separate sessions—14 conceptual strategies for generating and shaping poems. While all strategies will be introduced, particular focus will be given to four or five specific strategies. Participants will study and discuss sample poems and then write their own work.


Cost: $425.00 per person (includes 2 nights in a private suite, 5 meals, snacks, 5 workshops, and plenty of private time for writing)

Date: April 1-3, 2022

Place: Rockvale Writers’ Colony
6994 Giles Hill Road
College Grove, TN 37046

The Schedule (tentative)

Friday, April 1, 2022:

4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Check-in and settle in. You’ll be given a short tour and we’ll show you to your assigned room.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Welcome and Overview of Retreat

7:15 p.m. – Writing Workshop

9:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Saturday, April 2, 2022:

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop

10:30 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

12:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop

2:30 p.m. – Free Time for Writing

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop

8:30 p.m. – Reading / Share your Writing – Sharing is optional; however, we ask that you attend whether you read or not, in order to support other writers.

10:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Sunday, April 3, 2022:

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come any time you’re ready

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop

10:00 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

11:00 a.m. – Checkout and Goodbye

Facilitator: Jeff Hardin

Jeff Hardin is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being, No Other Kind of World, and Small Revolution. His seventh collection, Watermark, is forthcoming in early 2022, and his eighth, Strange Land, is scheduled for the second half of 2022. His work has been honored with the Nicolas Roerich Prize, the Donald Justice Prize, and the X. J. Kennedy Prize from Texas Review Press. He is a professor of English at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.