Adult Programming

Literary and Art Workshops and Conferences

2022 Adult Workshop Offerings

 

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS

“SEEING THINGS 7”

AN INTENSIVE POETRY WORKSHOP TAUGHT BY ROBERT BENSEN 

MARCH 14 – MAY 16

All ages, Mondays, 7 – 9 PM, 10-week session 

Poetry enables us to “see things”: to see what is and what is not, in the domains of the senses and imagination. We develop our practice of writing by drawing upon both. Workshop participants send one or two new poems each week for the group to consider thoughtfully and respectfully with comments that encourage revision. In theory and practice, the workshop serves as an articulate, responsive audience for the poet, who learns from the members’ responses to the poem. We also write in-session with various prompts and group activities. Since all artists benefit by knowing the history and achievements of their art, we read poets from many time periods and cultures. We read poets with a range of subjects and forms as models for our own practice. We exchange ideas about publishing opportunities in online and print environments. Our agenda can be adjusted depending on the experience and preferences of the poets. While we met in-person for the first two 10-week sessions, we have met since March 2020 online. We also sponsor “Tiny Desk Readings,” which features poets outside the workshop whom we invite to read for 20 minutes at the beginning of a session. The workshop is conducted by Robert Bensen.

Robert Bensen has directed the Seeing Things poetry workshop since 2019.  His poetry has been published in six collections, including Before (Five Oaks Press) and Orenoque, Wetumka (Bright Hill Press). What Lightning Spoke: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming from Bright Hill. Along with non-fiction and literary essays, his poetry has appeared in AGNI, Akwe:kon, Antioch Review, Berfrois, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Jamaica Journal, La presa, Native Realities, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Wales, River Styx, Yankee Magazine, and elsewhere. He has edited anthologies of Native American and Caribbean literature and authored American Indian and Aboriginal Canadian Childhood Studies (Oxford University Press). His writing won a poetry fellowship from the NEA, research fellowships from the NEH and the Newberry Library, a shared Eric Hoffer Award, poetry awards from Harvard University, the New York State Council on the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, the Robert Penn Warren Award. His first book was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award (Academy of American Poets) and the Emily Dickinson Prize (Poetry Foundation). He is Professor Emeritus at Hartwick College, where he directed the writing programs for 39 years. He also taught at the University of Illinois, Parkland College (Champaign, Illinois) and SUNY Oneonta. He is the founding director of Woodland Arts Editions (Oneonta NY).

Bright Hill Tiny Desk Series to be published in 2022 featuring national poets. 

This virtual workshop runs every Monday for 10 sessions from 7 – 9 PM

SPRING SESSION: March 14 – May 16

Fee: $300

EMAIL beatrice@brighthillpress.org to confirm seat availability and register.

“SEEING THINGS 8”

AN INTENSIVE POETRY WORKSHOP TAUGHT BY ROBERT BENSEN 

All ages, Mondays, 7 – 9 PM, 10-week session 

FALL 2022 | Mondays:

September 19, 26

October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

November 7, 14, 21

7-9 pm on zoom

Poetry enables us to see things that are and are not, that come together in poetry’s “visionary gleam” (in Askold Melnyczuk’s phrase, after Wordsworth) that enables poets at once to witness and to participate in their own intensely personal way of perceiving.  We will begin by unlearning our habitual ways and by studying a long poem each week, to see how the long poem is sustained and what it accomplishes.* Once we are ready to begin our own writing, participants will offer a new poem or revision or addition each week for the group to respond to with comments that encourage revision.

We will read poets with a range of subject and form as models for our own practice. We will also consider the performative demands of reading to an audience, here again to unlearn our habitual “poet-voice” in favor of seeking the poem’s voice. We will also explore publishing in online and print environments.

*Among possible long poems to study are Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality,” Milton’s “Lycidas,” Keats’s “The Eve of St. Agnes,” Walcott’s “Arkansas Testament,” and/or others.

Robert Bensen has directed the Seeing Things poetry workshop since 2019.  His poetry has been published in six collections, including Before (Five Oaks Press) and Orenoque, Wetumka (Bright Hill Press). What Lightning Spoke: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming from Bright Hill. Along with non-fiction and literary essays, his poetry has appeared in AGNI, Akwe:kon, Antioch Review, Berfrois, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Jamaica Journal, La presa, Native Realities, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Wales, River Styx, Yankee Magazine, and elsewhere. He has edited anthologies of Native American and Caribbean literature and authored American Indian and Aboriginal Canadian Childhood Studies (Oxford University Press). His writing won a poetry fellowship from the NEA, research fellowships from the NEH and the Newberry Library, a shared Eric Hoffer Award, poetry awards from Harvard University, the New York State Council on the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, the Robert Penn Warren Award. His first book was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award (Academy of American Poets) and the Emily Dickinson Prize (Poetry Foundation). He is Professor Emeritus at Hartwick College, where he directed the writing programs for 39 years. He also taught at the University of Illinois, Parkland College (Champaign, Illinois) and SUNY Oneonta. He is the founding director of Woodland Arts Editions (Oneonta NY).

EMAIL beatrice@brighthillpress.org to confirm seat availability and register.

Workshop Instructor Robert Bensen

AFTER THE BEGINNING: WHAT’S NEXT?

Taught by Georgia Popoff

 

JUNE 6 – JULY 25 – POETRY WORKSHOP – ALL AGES

Participants in this 8-week session will examine their work through a series of lenses, each leading to further development and revision. As each element of literary devices and considerations is introduced, poems will transform and reveal. In the spirit of discovery and collaborative growth, there will be an opportunity to workshop some of the work as a “best test.” We will also examine poets whose work exemplify any of the various lenses we will use to answer three basic questions: What? Then What? and So What? as we employ poetic craft to bring a poem to its fullest potential. For even the seasoned poet, these considerations strengthen the keen eye needed in effective revision.

COST TO YOU (THANKS TO OUR FUNDERS): $250

ACTUAL COST: $600

Scholarships available to those in need.

Georgia A. Popoff, Syracuse, NY, is the YMCA of CNY’s Downtown Writers Center Workshops Coordinator and faculty member, arts-in-education specialist, editor/book coach, former Comstock Review senior editor, coeditor of an essay anthology on Gwendolyn Brooks, and coauthor of a book on effectively teaching poetry in K-12 classrooms. Her fourth poetry collection is Psychometry (Tiger Bark Press, 2019).

EKPHRASIS CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

Taught by Mark Blickley

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 5-8 pm

What is Ekphrasis creative writing? The word Ekphrasis translates to “description” in Greek and ekphrastic writing is a form of creative writing describing a work of art or visual image.

By imaginatively playing with a visual work of art, the writer can expand its meaning—not in terms of enlarging the original work, but in terms of offering more possibilities. By bringing two imaginations into conversation with one another—that of the visual artist and that of the writer—something new is born.

Unlike visual analysis, ekphrasis writing is interested in evoking or representing an image for its reader from outside of the framework or a mounted pedestal. The visual image can be a photograph, painting, collage, sculpture, drawing. By taking inspiration and source material from an image, the writer reconceives it through a written meditation that can be poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or drama. Ekphrastic impulses can take a vast number of forms, as individual as each human being.

I would like each workshop member to bring in one image, in any genre, that intrigues them. It doesn’t have to be a famous work of art—it can be a child’s drawing, a family photograph—whatever visual image has drawn you in. Please don’t bring an artwork or photograph that you’ve created. Through a series of discussions, examples and visual prompts, we shall all become literary ventriloquists that will allow visual imagery to speak. We can give voice to the artist who created the piece, or the characters in an artwork, but I believe most ekphrasis creative writing is rooted in a sort of self-interrogation.

Mark Blickley grew up within walking distance of the Bronx Zoo and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Scholarship Award for Drama. Eleven of his plays have been produced in the United States and abroad. Blick is the author of the story collection Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press, Los Angeles). His multi-genre collaborations with artist Amy Bassin include Weathered Reports: Trump Surrogate Quotes from the Underground (Moira Books, Chicago) and the text-based art book Dream Streams (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York). Blick’ video, Speaking in Bootongue, was selected to the 2018 London Experimental Film Festival and Widow’s Peek: The Kiss of Death, was selected to the 2018 International Experimental Film and Video Festival in Bilbao, Spain. He is a 2018 Audie Award Finalist for his contribution to the original audio book, Nevertheless We Persisted. In October, 2018 Blickley was co-curator of the Urban Dialogues art exhibition, Tributaries (Encontro de Rios) at Espaço Espelho D’Água in Lisbon, Portugal that featured artists from 5 continents. Two of his videos represented the United States in the 2020 year-long international world tour of Time Is Love: Universal Feelings: Myths & Conjunctions, organized by esteemed Togolese-French curator, Kisito Assangni. He has an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College and has taught creative writing, creative nonfiction, fiction, screenwriting and playwriting workshops at the City University of New York, HB Studio (NY), and the Women’s Studio Center (NY). Blick has also written for television and in 1992-93 was a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award Blue Ribbon Panelist.

Workshop Cost: $50

Scholarships available upon request.

iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY & EKPHRASTIC POETRY WORKSHOP 

LED BY MASTER TEACHING ARTIST NICK KELSH & LYNNE KEMEN (Poetry)

 

September 23, 24 & 25

SCHEDULE:
Friday, September 23
5:30PM to 8:00PM
Reception, opening remarks, preparation for all-day Saturday workshop
In addition to Nick’s introduction to the exciting world of making art with the iPhone, Lynne will share some thoughts about the history, value and beauty of ekphrastic poetry and provide some examples. A delicious
meal and refreshments will be had by all.
Saturday, September 24
9:30AM to 4PM
iPhone Photography Intensive
Shooting and editing group instructional.
Saturday’s curriculum will be reviewed Friday evening.
Sunday, September 259AM – 12 PM
One-on-ones scheduled with Nick and Lynne
One on ones are by appointment, and optional. Sign up for your slot Friday night.
Thirty minute one-on-one sessions with Nick and Lynne: these are by appointment only – Nick will talk about anything related to photography you wish to further explore, and yes, you can bring your big girl / big boy camera and spend the whole time talking about f-stops, shutter speeds, and ISO settings.
Also, the iPhone is probably the most fun camera ever invented which is one of the reasons that this workshop is so much, well, fun!
12 – 1 PM
Lunch at noon with Nick and Lynne
For those only interested in iPhone photography, this luncheon is optional.
Lynne will discuss all things poetry.
Nick will present work created on Saturday by iPhone photography workshoppers.
Poets from our Seeing Things poetry workshop will be invited to join, and
choose a photo by a workshopper which inspires them. Poets will be invited to submit their poem, alongside the iPhone picture, for a final exhibit which will be curated by Bright Hill executive and creative director Beatrice Georgalidis, to stream on Bright Hill’s social media platforms and website before the end of 2022.

iPhone Photography and Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop 

With Photographer Nick Kelsh And Poet Lynne Kemen

This fall Bright Hill Literary Center is offering an exciting, unusual, and fun workshop for words and pictures people.

 

The iPhone Photography and Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop for adults with world renowned photographer Nick Kelsh, and poet Lynne Kemen will be offered live, in person at Bright Hill Literary Center on Friday, September 23 – Sunday, September 25, 2022.

For those of you who might not know, ekphrastic writing has come to be defined as poems written about works of art. Ekphrastic poems are wonderful ways to stretch your powers of observation and find stories hidden in the world of art! 

This workshop will primarily focus on iPhone photography and artistic storytelling. This year, we’ve added ekphrastic poetry to the program, to further enhance the storytelling component.

All day Saturday we will talk about and practice composition, lighting, exposure, group shots, portraits, storytelling, all important editing and the very best way to share your photographs, which after all, is what this is all about.

By end of day Saturday, workshoppers will have selected their favorite photos that will be used as inspiration for poems.

Bright Hill has five iPhones that will be offered to participants who do not currently have one – first come, first serve, so email beatrice@brighthillpress.org to reserve and finalize your registration. Androids are also welcome.

Very simply, you will be a better photographer at the end of this weekend. And a better writer.

Here are workshop instructor Lynne Kemen’s thoughts about the history, beauty and value of Ekphrastic Poetry:

The Greeks were the first to coin the phrase ekphrastic. Long before iPhones or cameras or even postcards, travelers tried to share their experiences with others who couldn’t see the

actual image. It’s a form of storytelling.

Last year, members of the iPhone workshop and Robert Bensen’s Seeing Things Poetry Workshop joined together to share words and images based on the photos taken. Some of us were only photographers, and some were only writers. A few of us were both.

A good time was had by all. The result was a beautiful exhibition curated by Bright Hill’s Executive Director, Beatrice Georgalidis. You can see a video of that exhibit here 

https://brighthillpress.org/wordandimagegallery/.

Nick Kelsh will help you tell a story in pictures, and Lynne Kemen will show you how to combine these pictures with words.

 

SCHEDULE:

Friday, September 23

5:30PM to 8:00PM

Reception, opening remarks, preparation for all-day Saturday workshop 

 In addition to Nick’s introduction to the exciting world of making art with the iPhone, Lynne will share some thoughts about the history, value and beauty of ekphrastic poetry and provide some examples. A delicious meal and refreshments will be had by all.

 Saturday, September 24

9:30AM to 4PM

iPhone Photography Intensive

Shooting and editing group instructionals. Saturday’s curriculum will be reviewed Friday evening. 

Sunday, September 25

9AM – 12 PM 

One on ones are by appointment, and optional. Sign up for your slot Friday night.

Thirty minute one-on-one sessions with Nick and Lynne: these are by appointment only – Nick will talk about anything related to photography you wish to further explore, and yes, you can bring your big girl / big boy camera and spend the whole time talking about f-stops, shutter speeds, and ISO settings.

Also, the iPhone is probably the most fun camera ever invented which is one of the reasons that this workshop is so much, well, fun! 

Lunch at noon with Nick and Lynne

For those only interested in iPhone photography, this luncheon is optional.

Lynne will discuss all things poetry. 

Nick will present work created on Saturday by iPhone photography workshoppers. 

Poets from our Seeing Things poetry workshop will be invited to join, and choose a photo by a workshopper which inspires them. Poets will be invited to submit their poem, alongside the iPhone picture, for a final exhibit which will be curated by Bright Hill executive and creative director Beatrice Georgalidis, to stream on Bright Hill’s social media platforms and website before the end of 2022.

 

Registration Fee:

Early Bird Fee: $250 – Book between August 2 and September 5

Regular Fee: $297 – Book after August 23

Workshop Instructors Nick Kelsh and Lynne Kemen

PURCHASE ADULT WORKSHOPS TICKETS HERE

AFTER THE BEGINNING: WHAT’S NEXT?

In stock / Shipping Available

JUNE 6 – JULY 25 – POETRY WORKSHOP – ALL AGES

AFTER THE BEGINNING: WHAT’S NEXT?

Taught by Georgia Popoff

 

Participants in this 8-week session will examine their work through a series of lenses, each leading to further development and revision. As each element of literary devices and considerations is introduced, poems will transform and reveal. In the spirit of discovery and collaborative growth, there will be an opportunity to workshop some of the work as a “best test.” We will also examine poets whose work exemplify any of the various lenses we will use to answer three basic questions: What? Then What? and So What? as we employ poetic craft to bring a poem to its fullest potential. For even the seasoned poet, these considerations strengthen the keen eye needed in effective revision.

$250.00

EKPHRASIS CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

In stock / Shipping Available

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 5-8 pm

EKPHRASIS CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

Taught by Mark Blickley

 

What is Ekphrasis creative writing? The word Ekphrasis translates to “description” in Greek and ekphrastic writing is a form of creative writing describing a work of art or visual image.

By imaginatively playing with a visual work of art, the writer can expand its meaning—not in terms of enlarging the original work, but in terms of offering more possibilities. By bringing two imaginations into conversation with one another—that of the visual artist and that of the writer—something new is born.

$50.00

iPhone Photography & Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop – Early Bird

In stock / Shipping Available

September 23, 24 & 25

iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY & EKPHRASTIC POETRY WORKSHOP 

LED BY MASTER TEACHING ARTIST NICK KELSH & LYNNE KEMEN (Poet and Writer)  

At Bright Hill Literary Center – in person

94 Church Street, Treadwell, NY 13846

Registration Fee:

Early Bird Fee: $250 – Book between August 2 and August 23

Book after August 23 – Regular Fee: $297

Friday, September 23/ 5:30PM to 8:00PM

Reception, opening remarks, preparation for all-day Saturday workshop

 

Saturday, September 24/ 9:30AM to 4:00PM

Shoot, edit, write, group instructional. Curriculum will be reviewed Friday evening

 

Sunday , September 25/ Noon to 5:00 PM

One-on-ones scheduled with Nick/Lynne

$250.00

iPhone Photography & Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop – REGULAR PRICE

In stock / Shipping Available

September 23, 24 & 25

iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY & EKPHRASTIC POETRY WORKSHOP 

LED BY MASTER TEACHING ARTIST NICK KELSH & LYNNE KEMEN (Poet and Writer)  

At Bright Hill Literary Center – in person

94 Church Street, Treadwell, NY 13846

Registration Fee:

Early Bird Fee: $250 – Book between August 2 and August 23

Book after August 23 – Regular Fee: $297

Friday, September 23/ 5:30PM to 8:00PM

Reception, opening remarks, preparation for all-day Saturday workshop

 

Saturday, September 24/ 9:30AM to 4:00PM

Shoot, edit, write, group instructional. Curriculum will be reviewed Friday evening

 

Sunday , September 25/ Noon to 5:00 PM

One-on-ones scheduled with Nick/Lynne

$297.00

Seeing Things

In stock / Shipping Available

SEPT 19 – NOV 21, 2022

“SEEING THINGS 8”

AN INTENSIVE POETRY WORKSHOP TAUGHT BY ROBERT BENSEN 

All ages, Mondays, 7 – 9 PM, 10-week session 

$325.00

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