Back to Calendar

2017 Summer Writing Workshop - "Making Meaning: Writing and Revising Poems That Help Us Understand the World" with Sasha West

Add to my calendar

ACC Highland Campus
6101 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78752

8/14/2017 to 8/19/2017

Online registration for the 2017 Summer Writing Workshop is now closed. If you'd like to register, please call our offices at 512-499-8914.

$329 for Members (Please log in for member pricing)
$389 Non-Members

Please read both the credit card handling fee information and the refund policy at the bottom of this page before purchasing a ticket.


"Making Meaning" Class Meeting Times:

Monday, August 14: Orientation, 6pm
Tuesday through Saturday, August 15-19: 9:00am to 3pm (one hour break for lunch)


Poems make something happen. As readers, they offer us a lens into the lives of others and into our own. As writers, the act of writing a poem changes our relationship to its material. A poem is a kind of alchemy.

Whether you are new to writing poems or have been writing for most of your life, this class promises to be nurturing, challenging, and engaging. Students will emerge with new angles of approach for both drafting and revising meaningful poems.

In the morning sessions, students will experiment with various methods for transforming the world into verse. We’ll draw on the visual arts, music, our lives, and poetry itself as inspiration for our drafts. Some exercises like erasures and collage will allow us to play. Other exercises, focused on devices like persona poems and wisdom lines, will allow us to say the most important things we know.

In the afternoon sessions, students will hone vital poetic tools like description and revision. We will practice ways to see the world more fully, which will help us give our readers a fuller world inside our work. We will use revision exercises to help poems come to full fruition. By the end, you’ll have poems that excite you.

All participants can also sign up to submit work for an optional workshop on three of the afternoons. Students who elect to participate must submit 2-3 poems by July 24. (Workshop details and submission guidelines will be emailed to all class registrants at time of registration).
If you are new to poetry and don’t yet have poems to submit for this optional workshop, don’t worry! You’ll still have a chance to share your drafts in other class sessions , if you so wish. Students who choose not to participate in the three afternoon workshops may use that time for themselves, to write (writing exercises will be given) or to explore.

In the optional afternoon workshops, participants will read their fellow students work and collectively offer supportive comments that aim to help each writer take the next step in revising. Workshop will also give all of us a rare, backstage look at the writing process. As instructor Sashs West says, "More than half of what I’ve learned to do as a writer came from thinking through other people’s poems-in-progress." It's expected that partiicpants will leave the workshop inspired and eager to go back to their desks and find new discoveries in their own work.

This class is appropriate for both new and experienced writers of poetry.


About the Instructor

"Sasha West...writes with depth and expresses herself with an economy of well chosen words and poetic structure."
-Review of Sasha West's 2013 poetry collection,
Failure and I Bury the Body

Sasha West was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her first book, Failure and I Bury the Body (Harper Perennial), won the National Poetry Series and the Texas Institute of Letters First Book of Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as The Kenyon Review Online, West Branch, American Poet, and The Southern Review. She has been invited to lead workshops and craft classes for Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Poetry at Round Top, Inprint, and Public Poetry Houston. She holds graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, where she was the editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Her awards include a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Fellowship, Rice University’s Parks Fellowship, and a Houston Arts Alliance grant. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, where she lives with her husband and daughter.


(Note: All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee - this fee can be avoided by mailing in a check for registration with a form. Click HERE for the form to mail with your check.).


(Please read this refund policy closely before registering for the 2017 Summer Writing Workshop; no exceptions will be made):

Through May 15, 2017: 100% refund available.
May 16 - June 23, 2017: 50% refund available.

All cancellations will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

After June 23, 2017: No refunds will be made, but registrants can transfer their registration to another person as long as advance notice is given to the Writers' League of Texas. If you wish to transfer your registration, please call the WLT at 512-499-8914.