Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314

Press Fifty-Three

560 N. Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Gathering of Poets
Saturday, March 4
9 AM – 5 PM
The Marriott
425 N Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

We Have a New Co-host, plus Friday-night Fun
Our co-host for the 2017 Press 53 Gathering of Poets is our local writing organization, Winston-Salem Writers, who will be sponsoring a Poetry Crawl through the Arts District on Friday evening, March 3, during the First Friday Gallery Hop. Gathering participants are invited to join in and share their poetry during this mobile open mic. The Arts District is on Trade Street, one block from the hotel, and the Press 53 office will be open for anyone who wants to stop in and visit. After the Poetry Crawl we will all gather at Finnigan’s Wake for refreshments and spontaneous poetry. (In case of inclement weather, the Poetry Crawl will become an Open Mic at the hotel.)
Workshops for Saturday, March 4
The Gathering is limited to 53 poets to assure smaller groups and a more intimate and personal workshop experience.
Participants may choose four workshops from the six offered by our award-winning faculty.
Workshops are 1.5 hours long, with two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
Check-in begins at 8 AM and workshops begin at 9 AM.

Breakfast and Lunch Provided
As we have done at previous Gatherings, a continental breakfast (pastries, fruit, yogurt, coffee, tea) and buffet-style lunch will be provided, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

​Sunday Morning Seminar
Tom Lombardo will be offering a two-hour Emily Dickinson seminar on Sunday morning from 10 a.m. until noon. This seminar will be limited to the first twenty people who register. The fee to attend is $20.

The cost to attend the 2017 Press 53 Gathering of Poets is $135. Registration includes four master-level workshops, continental breakfast, and a buffet lunch. If you want to also attend the Sunday morning Emily Dickinson seminar with Tom Lombardo the cost is an additional $20 and the workshop is limited to 20 poets.

Hotel Accommodations
If you plan to come in Friday or stay over Saturday, the Marriott is offering a discounted rate of $129 per night (regularly $229). Reserve your room now by calling 336-725-3500. Ask for the “Press 53 rate.” If, for some reason, the reservation agent is not aware of this group rate, make your reservation and then contact Press 53.

If you have any questions, please email Kevin Watson or call 336-770-5353. We will do all we can to help.

The 2017 Press 53 Gathering of Poets Faculty & Workshops
At the bottom of the page you will be asked to select four workshops.
Writing in the Mother Tongue: Approaches to Dialect and Colloquial Speech with Nickole Brown
Is it possible to write in a spoken voice, preserving not only what is said but the way something is said? And what is the best approach to get dialect on the page, to translate the rhythms and pronunciations of vernacular speech into written language? Based on Nickole Brown's twelve-year journey with learning how to write down the dialect her tough-as-new-rope Kentucky grandmother—a journey that began with her M.F.A. thesis of the same title that was published in The Writer’s Chronicle back in 2003 and culminated in the publication of a biography in poems called Fanny Says in 2015 which won the Weatherford Award in Appalachian Poetry—this workshop will cover the pitfalls of “regional” writing, balancing cultural stereotypes and political correctness, and making craft choices of spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Nickole Brown grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. Her books include Fanny Says, a collection of poems published by BOA Editions in 2015; her debut, Sister, a novel-in-poems published by Red Hen Press in 2007; and an anthology, Air Fare, that she co-edited with Judith Taylor. She graduated from The Vermont College of Fine Arts, studied literature at Oxford University as an English Speaking Union Scholar, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. She worked at the independent, literary press, Sarabande Books, for ten years, and she was the National Publicity Consultant for Arktoi Books and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. She has taught creative writing at the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, and was on faculty at the Sewanee Young Writers' Conference. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until deciding to write full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry at White Pine Press and is on faculty at the low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Murray State and at the Writing Workshops in Greece. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs.
Darling, You Look Fabulous with Richard Garcia
What is fabulism? Who are the writers working in that mode, and how does fabulism relate to magical realism, the fable, the fairy tale and the prose poem? And what is a prose poem, and how do we write fabulist prose poems? We will read examples from handouts. I will also lead you through exercises and we will write a few fabulist pieces that could be considered shorts, flash fictions, stories or prose poems. We will consider some attempts to classify the slipperiness of some genres: The New Fabulism, New Wave Fabulism, Domestic Fabulism, Modern Parables, Kansas with a difference, and Everyday Magic.

Richard Garcia won the 2016 Press 53 Award for Poetry for Porridge. He is the author of six books of poetry, and his poems have appeared in many journals, such as The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse, The Cortland Review  and Ploughshares. His work is also included in many anthologies, among them, The Best of the Prose Poem, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and Best American Poetry 2005. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, the Mudfish Prize from Mudfish Magazine, the Greensboro Award from the Greensboro Review, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, and the Georgetown Prize from the Georgetown Review. He was poet-in-residence at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles for twelve years, where he conducted workshops in art and poetry for hospitalized children. He teaches at the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing program. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, the poet Katherine Williams, and their dog Max. 
The Art of Revision: Tips & Tricks for Pushing the Boundaries of Your Poems with Jessica Jacobs
Writers often place a hard line between the acts of writing and revising. While the first is seen as an act of joyful inspiration, the second is generally viewed as drudging perspiration. But, in this workshop, through a series of innovative exercises and close readings of revision in the works of writers like William Stafford and Sylvia Plath, we’ll explore ways to integrate writing and revising with the goals of infusing both with joy and inspiration, as well as giving you a set of new techniques to take away with you. Participants are encouraged to bring a short poem of their own on which to work.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and Julie Suk Award. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us was just published by Sibling Rivalry Press. Jacobs holds an M.F.A. from Purdue University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Sycamore Review, and a B.A. from Smith College. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, editor, and professor, and now teaches in the graduate program of Lenoir-Rhyne University and serves as a member of Beloit Poetry Journal's Editorial Board. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown

The Tension in Your Vowels with Tom Lombardo
Vowel tension affects the mood and tone of a poem. Using the right vowels can ratchet up the tension or calm it down. Tom will give a short seminar on how vowel tension works and how to modulate those vowel tensions to create mood or tone in your poems. In the workshop portion of this session, you will work on poems you bring, focusing on the vowels. We will discuss your revisions openly, though not workshop each other’s poems. Each participant is asked to bring a poem that you can work on during the session. It doesn’t have to be a finished poem. Don’t worry about sharing your work, as this will not be an open workshop; instead, it will be more of a personal workshop with open discussion of revisions.

Tom Lombardo lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is editor of Tom Lombardo Poetry Selections, a Press 53 imprint. Tom actively reads journals, magazines, ezines, and anthologies in search of poets to bring to Press 53 by way of his poetry series. Tom is a widely published and respected poet, and is a graduate of the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. His mission is to bring 4-6 poetry collections to Press 53 each year. He has published two collections of his own poetry: What Bends Us Blue (WordTech, 2013) and The Name of This Game (Kattywompus Press, 2014). In 2008, Tom edited and published After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events (Sante Lucia Books), which features 152 poems by 115 poets from 15 countries.
The Beauty of Difference with Seth Michelson
This poetry workshop comprises a joyful, open forum for the high-energy exploration of the ways we exist in ourselves and in common. Together we will read, write, and share poetry, with our experience guided by the twin tenets of the embeddedness of poetry in the human condition and the complexity of each individuated human being. In other words, we will try to honor both the idea from the Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton that “poetry, like bread, is for everyone,” and the idea from the US poet Walt Whitman that “I contain multitudes.” Along the way we will take nothing for granted, collaborating wholeheartedly to examine how each of us is a poet in herself and how each of us overspills with unique, complicated, and fascinating intricacies necessary to the well-being of a healthy body politic. By empowering one another to trust in poetic play and to trace the complexities and even the contradictions comprising the self, we will generate loads of material, enjoying our shared experience in ways sure to carry each participant well into her writing future.

Seth Michelson is an award-winning poet, translator, and professor of poetry. He teaches the poetry of the Americas at Washington and Lee University, and his books of poetry include Swimming through Fire (A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection, forthcoming from Press 53, 2017) and Eyes Like Broken Windows (A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection, Press 53, 2013). His books of poetry in translation include Red Song, by the Uruguayan poet Melisa Machado (Action Books, 2017); Poems from the Disaster (Torremozas, 2016), by the Argentine poet Zulema Moret; roly poly (Toad Press, 2014), by the Uruguayan poet Victoria Estol; Dreaming in Another Land (Kritya, 2014), by the Indian poet Rati Saxena; and The Ghetto (Point of Contact, 2011), by the Argentine poet Tamara Kamenszain. His recent poetry and translations appear in the anthology Red Sky:Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women, and the journals Michigan Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, The New Humanist (United Kingdom), Nadwah (Egypt), and elsewhere. He has recently been featured at poetry events and festivals across the United States, as well as in Argentina, Uruguay, India, Kenya, and Germany.
Song of the Imperative with Susan Laughter Meyers
“Be unalone. Big up / your chest,” says poet Christian Campbell in the drumbeat of his poem “Incantation.” “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” says Adam Zagajewski in the quieter, softer music of his lines. What does a memorable poem of the imperative offer? Perhaps advice, instruction, a blessing, even a recipe—real or imagined. A rhythm of imperative verbs, always. Plenty of surprise. Syntax and image worthy of any good poem. This is the chance for you as poet to speak from the core, imaginatively and directly to the reader. Our agenda includes discussion and writing time to generate a poem, as well as a workshop packet of writing strategies, exemplary poems, and resources.

Susan Laughter Meyers is the author of two full collections: My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, recently published as the inaugural winner of the Cider Press Review Editors Prize; and Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press), winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize and a SIBA Book Award. Her chapbook Lessons in Leaving received the Persephone Press Book Award. Her work has also appeared in The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, and other journals and anthologies. A long-time writing instructor, she has an MFA degree from Queens University of Charlotte.
Space is limited, so reserve your space now to guarantee your spot.
Once you submit your workshop selections you may pay below using PayPal for a secure online payment experience with your credit or debit card. If you prefer to pay by check we will contact you via email with instructions. Once payment is received, you will receive a copy of your workshop schedule listing your morning and afternoon workshops. If you wish to attend the same workshop with a friend, please let us know and we will do all we can to accommodate you.
Please select your payment method
Cancellations and changes:

Once payment has been received, cancellations prior to February 11 will receive a full refund; cancellations on February 11 through 24 will receive a 50% refund; and cancellations after February 24 are non-refundable due to our obligation to the hotel and our faculty.

Questions: Please email Kevin Watson or call 336-770-5353
Optional Sunday morning Emily Dickinson Seminar with Tom Lombardo for $20
Your name:
Choose one workshop from each group below

First AM Session
9 – 10:30AM

Second AM Session
10:45AM – 12:15PM

First PM Session
1:30 – 3PM

Second PM Session
3:15 – 4:45PM
Established by Press 53 in 2011
2017 Press 53 Gathering of Poets
Pay securely online using your credit or debit card using the drop-down menu to select your Gathering of Poets experience.
FULL The Art of Revision: Tips & Tricks for Pushing the Boundaries of Your Poems with Jessica Jacobs  
FULL The Art of Revision: Tips & Tricks for Pushing the Boundaries of Your Poems with Jessica Jacobs  
FULL The Beauty of Difference with Seth Michelson
Thank you for a fantastic weekend!
We'll gather again in 2018! 
Sign up for email updates to be notified when our date is set for 2018.
Writing in the Mother Tongue: Approaches to Dialect and Colloquial Speech with Nickole Brown
Darling, You Look Fabulous with Richard Garcia
The Tension in Your Vowels with Tom Lombardo
The Beauty of Difference with Seth Michelson
Song of the Imperative with Susan Laughter Meyers
I will pay by credit/debit card
I will pay by check
Yes, I would like to attend
Writing in the Mother Tongue: Approaches to Dialect and Colloquial Speech with Nickole Brown
Darling, You Look Fabulous with Richard Garcia
The Tension in Your Vowels with Tom Lombardo
Song of the Imperative with Susan Laughter Meyers