SunJune Workshops

Current Workshops:
March 27: The End, Right? Right!
—a class on poetic closures with Laure-Anne Bosselaar

April 2-30: Kingdom Animalia: Finding a Poetry for Animals
—a workshop with Nickole Brown

Recorded Course: WAIT, WAIT!  LET ME REPHRASE THIS
—a poetry revision workshop with Laure-Anne Bosselaar


THE END, RIGHT? RIGHT!
March 27, 2023

There are countless ways to end poems, and yet the great majority of endings do one of two things: greatly contract the focus of the poem, or expand it wider than any first time reader could anticipate. By taking a close look at some poems we’ll discover how the use of imagery, line-breaks, quotes, leaps, surprises and other “tricks” lead to their satisfactory conclusions.

Expect a talk followed by a spirited Q&A. Handouts will be provided.

Class Dates & Time: Monday, March 27; 4-6 pm PT/7-9 pm ET
**this class will also be recorded and available for later purchase

Tuition: $50 (register here)

Instructor: Laure-Anne Bosselaar, former Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, is the author of These Many Rooms, published by Four Way Books in 2019, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, Small Gods of Grief, winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry for 2001, and of  A New Hunger – an ALA Notable Book. Her poetry was featured on Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem-a-Day” website, and in reviews such as Orion, Georgia Review, Ploughshares and Harvard Review.  Garrison Keillor read four of her poems on NPR’s “A Writer’s Almanac.”  A Pushcart Prize recipient, and the editor of four anthologies, she taught at Emerson College,  Sarah Lawrence College, and UCSB.  Laure-Anne is available for poetry mentorship services — guiding the poet through individual, in depth poem critiques and revision suggestions. She also offers editing services for chapbook and book-length collections.


Kingdom Animalia: Finding a Poetry for Animals
April 2-30, 2023

In a time of great anxiety both social and environmental, how can we foster a literacy of non-human beings? What might they have to teach, and provided animals do have something to say to us, how might we listen? How might we move beyond video clips and biology texts to get a sense of a living beast, each entirely complex and individual, real and breathing now? What words might we find to accurately depict their struggles without anthropomorphizing them or using them as metaphors for our own emotions? What words might we find to help save what’s left of them, to have art serve in stewardship, bringing awareness to animals and protecting them at the same time? This course will seek answers to these questions and more. With a diligent mix of research, observation, and an exploration of your own memories, dreams, and real-life interactions, we’ll deepen our awareness of all things fauna. Together, we’ll discuss poems and essays by others but also find our own poems that might bridge the divide between our kingdom and theirs. 

(Please note: this class, open to writers of all levels of experience, is designed as a generative workshop, with at least sixty cumulative minutes of writing built into each three-hour session. Capped at 30, the larger size of the group, while not conducive to typical workshop critique or individual conferences, should afford for rich conversation and ample time to create. There will on several occasions be opportunities for us to break into small groups of no more than five participants to share work and receive/give on-the-spot feedback, and Nickole will be available to the group a half an hour both before and after each class for direct conversation. Also, to aid in sharing thoughts and/or work that may be vulnerable or private, these sessions will not be recorded. No asynchronous option is available.)

Class Dates & Times:  Four Sundays, 1-4 pm EST: April 2, 9, 16, and 30

Class Size: Capped at 50 participants

Tuition: $325, with need-based sliding-scale spots available
(click here to purchase)
Should you want to take this course and have difficulty covering the tuition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. SunJune is dedicated to putting poets and poetry first, and we’ll help however we can.

Instructor: Nickole Brown


WAIT, WAIT!  LET ME REPHRASE THIS.

A RECORDED COURSE:
three craft classes
one bonus class to answer lingering questions and describe how you might create a workshop of your own using what you’ve learned
poems & craft documents

The focus of this workshop is on revision: how can we acquire the tools we need to revise our poems on our own? Many poets find it challenging to revise their work without the help of a poetry group, workshop or mentor. Participants will learn how to strengthen and hone their revision skills which will — systematically and in depth — address all the elements of craft in a poem. Title, form, syntax, tone, metaphor, imagery, line-breaks, assonantal and alliterative movements, punctuation, & more.

Fee: $75 (click here to purchase)
**After payment, we’ll send you a link and password for the videos and documents (if, after two days, you haven’t received a message from us , please email us at sunjuneliterary@gmail.com).


PAST ONLINE CLASSES: 2021 & 2022
A KINGDOM OF GREEN: Finding a Poetry of Plants & Trees, a writing workshop with Nickole Brown
WAIT, WAIT!  LET ME REPHRASE THIS
, a poetry revision workshop with Laure-Anne Bosselaar
IN THE BEGINNING: Exploring the Sacred with Poetry
, a writing workshop with Jessica Jacobs
TURN IT AND TURN IT: Exploring the Sacred with Poetry
, a writing workshop with Jessica Jacobs

ECOLOGY OF THE SPIRIT, a retreat with Nickole Brown & Jessica Jacobs


A KINGDOM OF GREEN: FINDING A POETRY OF PLANTS & TREES
September 5-26, 2021
In a time of great anxiety and unrest, how can we foster a literacy of the forest to read its long-evolved wisdom? What can root systems teach us about reciprocity through networks? How can we listen to leaves speaking in gestures and sounds we often can’t understand or know how to hear? What words can we find to save what’s left of our green spaces, much less our place among them? This four-week online course, open to writers of any level of experience, will seek answers to these questions and more. With a diligent mix of research, observation, and an exploration of your own memories, dreams, and everyday interactions, we’ll deepen our awareness of all things flora. Together, we’ll discuss poems and essays by others but also venture out under the canopy to find our own poems that might bridge the divide between our kingdom and theirs.

Class Dates:  Four Sundays, 1-4 pm EST: September 5, 12, 19, and 26.

Class Size: Capped at 12 participants.

Tuition: $400, with two need-based sliding-scale spots available.


WAIT, WAIT!  LET ME REPHRASE THIS.
September 13-October 4, 2021; August 1-15, 2022
The focus of this live online workshop will be on revision: how can we acquire the tools we need to revise our poems on our own? Many poets find it challenging to revise their work without the help of a poetry group, workshop or mentor. Participants will learn how to strengthen and hone their revision skills which will — systematically and in depth — address all the elements of craft in a poem. Title, form, syntax, tone, metaphor, imagery, line-breaks, assonantal and alliterative movements, punctuation, & more. After each 1 hour class, we’ll have an open discussion for ½ hour.

Class Dates:  Four Mondays, 7-8:30pm EST: September 13, 20, 27 and October 4.

Class Size: Capped at 14 participants.

Tuition: $400, with two need-based sliding-scale spots available.


IN THE BEGINNING: Exploring the Sacred with Poetry
Sept. 19-Oct. 15, 2021
We live in a time of always more, always faster, where what’s new insists on itself as what’s most important. But outside this frenzy are questions that demand slow pondering, queries old as human consciousness: Why are we here? Is there a God? How do we live knowing our lives have a definite deadline? What does it mean to pray? The long history of human engagement with these ideas, the striving after answers, is best recorded in religious texts. There, we find the stories and rituals, commandments and prohibitions, that, whether or not we believe in a faith of our own, have shaped the world in which we live. And, as a model for our own writing, we’ll be delving into the work of writers who’ve grappled with these ideas and texts.

Each week will focus on one of the following: Doubt, Modern Midrash, Imagining (Images of) God, Prayer.

Class Dates: Four Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm EST: September 21, 28 and October 5 and 12. Asynchronous option available.

TURN IT AND TURN IT: Exploring the Sacred with Poetry
Oct. 24-Nov. 19, 2021
“Turn it and turn it for all is within it,” said rabbinic sage Ben Bag-Bag about the Torah. Yet these words can speak to all religious texts and practices. For whether or not we believe in a religious tradition of our own, there we find the stories and rituals, commandments and prohibitions that have shaped the world in which we live. And in our month together, we’ll explore writing into and from these sacred stories, facets of mortality, ritual and religious practices, and theophany—the way the divine, however you define it, manifests in the world. As a model for your own poems, we’ll be delving into the work of writers who’ve grappled with these ideas and texts, poets such as Joy Harjo, Yehuda Amichai, Jane Hirschfeld, Jericho Brown, Naomi Shihab Nye, Matthew Olzmann, and others.

Each week will focus on one of the following: Modern Midrash, Rituals & Practices, Approaches to Mortality, Theophany (manifestations of the divine in the world).

Class Dates: Four Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm EST: October 26, November 2, 9, and 16. Asynchronous option available.

Notes for Both Courses: Intended for writers of all levels, writers of all faiths or none, each week will be a blend of close readings, spirited exchange, generative exercises, small-group feedback and in-depth instructor response on a new poem. Though both of these courses compliment each other, they can be taken independently. Each course is capped at 12 participants.

Tuition: Each course is $400, with two need-based sliding-scale spots available. If you’d like to sign up for both courses, the tuition is $700.


ECOLOGY OF THE SPIRIT: A Retreat with Poets Nickole Brown & Jessica Jacobs
November 4-6, 2022 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
In a time of great anxiety and unrest, how can we foster a literacy of the forest to learn from its long-evolved wisdom? What can root systems teach us about reciprocity through networks? In a culture designed to keep us distracted and always wanting to have and do more, how can we strengthen ourselves to pay attention and be present? How can we listen to leaves speaking in gestures and sounds we often can’t understand or know how to hear? How can trees, a symbol of the sacred in so many traditions, help us find the sacred within ourselves and in the larger world? What words can we find to save what’s left of our green spaces, much less our place among them?

This three-day retreat, open to writers of any level of experience, will seek answers to these questions and more. Turning to the 434 acres of the Arboretum as a safe haven, teacher, and companion, poets Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs will gather together to share work that will deepen our awareness of both non-human life and the spirit residing inside all of us, together. We’ll discuss poems and essays, try our hand at generative exercises, and also venture out under the canopy to find our own words that might restore us, might help us bridge the divides within ourselves in order to bridge the divide between our kingdom and theirs. 

Class Dates:  Three Sessions:

  • Reading & Conversation – Friday, November 4, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Generative Retreat – Saturday, November 5 , 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Generative Retreat – Sunday, November 6 , 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tuition: $325. (Arboretum member receive 10% discount. Scholarship support is also available and can be inquired about at adulteducation@ncarboretum.org)

Register for the class here and find more information about hotels in the Asheville area.

Class Size: 20 students

Location: The North Carolina Arboretum

Instructors:
Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition was reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and the audio book of that collection became available in 2017. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved time in the classroom in hope of writing full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going, a memoir-in-poems of love and marriage, winner of the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry and one of Library Journal‘s Best Poetry Books of the Year, and Pelvis with Distance, a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, winner of the New Mexico Book Award and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica serves as Chapbook Editor for Beloit Poetry Journal and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, with whom she co-authored Write It!, a collection of writing prompts from Spruce Books, an imprint of Penguin/RandomHouse. She is the founder of Yetzirah, a literary organization for Jewish poets, and unalone, her collection of poems in conversation with the Book of Genesis, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2024.


Questions? Contact us at sunjuneliterary@gmail.com

Have questions?

Contact us at sunjuneliterary@gmail.com