Instructor: Rachel Contreni Flynn
Date & Time: Thursdays, April 18 to June 20 | 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: Member $450 [+ $5 materials fee] | Nonmember $600 [+ $5 materials fee]
Registration Closes: April 9

In this ten-week master class, participants will seek fresh and vibrant ways to jump-start their writing as they generate new poems and reimagine work in progress. They will bust open ideas and language like piñatas to discover what treats and treasures spill out when they’re willing to experiment and take risks. The class will read an assortment of eclectic, accomplished poems and adopt techniques to invigorate their work.

In this workshop, participants will start writing right away—each session will begin with a writing prompt meant to engage the senses, insert mystery, or push toward new inspiration. Each week the class will focus on exploring and discussing one another’s poems, looking for opportunities to leap out of old ruts and infuse the work with energy. Over the course of ten weeks, participants will generate many poems, informed by generous feedback from their fellow poets.

+ Each week’s session will include an in-class writing trigger, a poem workshop, and take-home exercises to further vivid writing. Class discussions will romp through a range of methods to enliven poems as participants study works that leap, cross genres, and are inspired by music and visual art.

+ Participants of this poetry workshop should be prepared to write a new poem each week and to engage in energetic revision of works in progress as well as poems that may be long-loitering, stale, or seemingly stuck.

+ Participants will study poems by a wide and diverse range of mostly contemporary poets who write with vim and vigor such as Carolyn Guinzio, Jamaal May, Kerrin McCadden, Gregory Orr, Evie Shockley, Dean Young, and many more.

+ SUBMIT After registering, participants are asked to please submit a manuscript of 3 to 5 poems (or up to 10 pages) in a single Word document (ideally) or PDF by no later than 9:00 AM on April 9. Please email the manuscript to with the subject line: “FLYNN WORKSHOP MSS”

DATES The workshop will meet every Thursday between April 18 and June 20, unless unforeseen scheduling issues should arise.

PAYMENTS MWPA members may pay for this workshop in one payment, or may pay in three installments of $151.70, due at registration and the first of each month (May, June). *PLEASE NOTE If you have selected to pay for this multi-week workshop on the installment option, once registration for the workshop has closed, you are responsible for paying all of the remaining installments. If you should, for any reason, leave the workshop after registration has closed, you are still responsible for paying all of the remaining installments. 

CEU The MWPA is proud to offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) for this workshop. The CEU is a nationally recognized method of quantifying the time spent in the classroom during non-credit learning. Ten hours of instruction equal one (1) CEU. (*Please note that by definition, CEUs are non-credit continuing education and therefore not transferrable as academic credit.)

Rachel Contreni Flynn is the author of two award-winning full-length poetry collections, Ice, Mouth, Song (Tupelo Press 2005) and Tongue (Red Hen Press 2010) as well as a chapbook, Haywire (Bright Hill Press 2009). In 2015 she won a Maine Literary Award and has also been honored with a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two grants from the Illinois Arts Commission. Rachel is the co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal, and she has taught creative writing at Colby College and Northwestern University.

All MWPA workshops require advanced registration. We accept registration by phone, mail, and online via PayPal. We cannot guarantee registration in the final 24-hours before a workshop, and can rarely accommodate day-of registration.

Interested writers should feel free to ask to be put on the wait list for any workshop that has filled. There is always a chance that an enrolled participant will need to cancel and space will become available.

If you need to withdraw from a class after registering for any reason, please email or call the MWPA immediately. You may be eligible for a partial refund or credit, depending on how far in advance you cancel.

For any questions regarding this workshop, please contact Hannah Perry at

Call 207-228-8263 and register with your VISA or MasterCard.

If you prefer to pay by mail, please print this registration form (downloadable PDF) and mail it to the MWPA with a check or credit card information.



The MWPA is proud to offer one full scholarship to this workshop for members-only. Scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Application Due in the MWPA office on April 1 at 9:00 a.m.

Registration in any MWPA workshop, program, or event constitutes your agreement to our terms and conditions.