Traveling Writers

A Day of Writing + Reading with Ellen Bass


A Day of Writing + Reading with Ellen Bass 

Friday, March 21, 2014, 10am-5pm  $185
Poetry reading from 7-9 pm

27 Powers is delighted to welcome back Santa Cruz poet, Ellen Bass, for an intimate day of writing, reading and workshopping. Ellen is like family to us here at 27 Powers. Not only because she’s a wonderful poet and teacher whose work has inspired so many of us, but because of the way she invites us into the rhythm of our own writing.

This workshop, while perfect for poets, welcomes nonfiction and fiction folks as well. Poets like Ellen have so much to teach us about precision and economy of language, but Ellen brings even more. Her work has been called praise poetry because it shines a light on the simple, cracked world around us, sweeping the reader into a place of appreciation and insight.  Ellen asks us to consider what would happen if we were to see one another as we actually are, “soaked in honey, stung and swollen, reckless, pinned against time?”

Please join us for this exquisite day with Ellen Bass.
Class limited to 18 people


Location & Details
27 Powers Ct. Alameda, CA 94501
Coffee/tea + snacks will be served. Please pack a lunch. $185

Poetry Reading
In the evening, Ellen will be reading from her new book, Like a Beggar.
Join us (open-to-all), from 7-9pm: 27 Powers Ct. Alameda, CA 94501

Ellen Bass has a new book of poetry, Like a Beggar, forthcoming in February, 2014 from Copper Canyon Press. Her previous books include The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press), named a Notable Book by the San Francisco Chronicle and Mules of Love (BOA Editions) which won the Lambda Literary Award.

Her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The Sun. She was awarded the Elliston Book Award for Poetry from the University of Cincinnati, Nimrod/Hardman’s Pablo Neruda Prize, The Missouri Review’s Larry Levis Award, the Greensboro Poetry Prize, the New Letters Poetry Prize, the Chautauqua Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and a Fellowship from the California Arts Council.

“I can never say how much I’ve learned from Ellen. Her teaching is brilliant, honest, and gentle. She’s funny! She encourages her students to give themselves permission to make their writing important, to work toward what is best in their writing, and to be patient with the process. She’s become very dear to me. I couldn’t have written my book without her.”

Pat Zylius, poet, author of Once a Vibrant Field

“Ellen’s writing workshop renewed my faith in my writing self, and in writing groups in general. Ellen’s kindness and wisdom, both as a facilitator of process for a diverse group of writers, and one-on-one in private sessions renewed my confidence in myself and my work. I will always be grateful.”

—Felicia Ward, Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and winner of the Nimrod Award for Fiction

About the Traveling Writers Workshops at 27 Powers

The 27 Powers Traveling Writers Workshops are an invitation to gather in Alameda California with a small group of other writers to write, read and talk about writing with some of the luminaries of poetry, nonfiction and fiction.

Writers such as Stephen Dunn, Ellen Bass, Tony Hoagland, Philip Gerard, Dorianne Laux, Joe Millar, Deena Metzger and Marie Howe have all brought their creative mojo to Powers Court and wowed us. Day-long and weekend classes held in a quiet, wooded home in Alameda are a chance to generate new work and get one-on-one feedback on existing work from these amazing writers, as well as meet and work with a community of like-minded souls.

Kind words from past Traveling Writers

“It turns out that not all the poets in America are jammed incestuously inside the walls of the universities and writing programs. Many of them are still valiantly free-range, making their poems and studying the impossible art in home-made, self-selected communities like the one Laurie Wagner runs at 27 Powers; a fantastic place to teach, study, read, and listen. What a great scene; talent everywhere like wildflowers, and intense, off-the-grid cultivation.”

– Tony Hoagland
Poet, Teacher

deena_lg“I have been teaching in my own home for thirty five years and wouldn’t have it any other way. That is why 27 Powers is one of the only places where I happily teach. In the day, while the writers and participants that Laurie has gathered so carefully, are writing, I look out at the light playing in the trees. At night, we watch the fire in the courtyard or the living room with the same delight. Laurie is gracious and devoted, the room is comfortable, informal, intimate and warm, everyone is welcomed heartfully, each one is safe, each writer can go very deep and very far into the mysteries and the unknown so seemingly easy – body, mind, heart, soul, word.”

Deena Metzger
Writer, Healer, Teacher

Being with Laurie Wagner and her students feels like a day in paradise — the care we are given, the beauty of the space,  the warmth of the group make a place for dynamic  possibilities. I wish i could be there once a month.”

Marie Howe

Gerard_Philip2“I’ve taught writers around the country and have rarely encountered the level of talent, commitment, and mutual support I found at 27 Powers. The experience of teaching turned out to be an intensive and energizing learning experience for me and in fact has informed every workshop I have done since. The informal, intimate setting lent itself to a close, trusting interaction between all the participants. It’s worth mentioning that the quality of the work derived as much from honest engagement with the world as from talent– these writers were coming to terms with their lives in crucial ways through the art and craft of writing, and it was downright inspiring. So much so that I solicited one of the essays for publication in Chautauqua, the literary journal of Chautauqua Institution, as a signature addition to our War & Peace issue.”

Phillip Gerard

Teaching at 27 Powers has been a terrific experience. Laurie’s warmth, good sense, and attention to detail create a space that’s perfect for teaching and learning. She gathers together a group that is enthusiastic, bright, and loves both the reading and writing of literature. This is community at its best!

Ellen Bass
Poet, Teacher

Laurie Wagner provides a wonderful atmosphere for both the visiting writer and her loyal constituency of participants.  I felt welcomed and listened to.”

Stephen Dunn
Poet, Teacher

“I was not surprised to see how many gifted writers there were in that group. After all, look who their teacher is! But what touched me most deeply was the care with which Laurie created an environment that was intimate, safe and wide-open. All I had to do was step into this magical space, open my mind and heart and watch the words come out of my mouth. And the participants were wonderful. I was very pleasantly surprised to hear how open they were to exploring their lives, to go beyond the story they wanted to tell in order to find the story that needed to be told. The day was magical and I feel deeply grateful to Laurie for enabling me to have this experience.”

Daniel Gottlieb
Ph.D., Author, Therapist

All I had to do was step into this magical space, open my mind and heart
and watch the words come out of my mouth.
– Daniel Gottleib

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