Instructor: Betsy Sholl
Date & Time: Tuesdays, January 23 – March 27 | 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Maximum Attendees: 12 FULL/WAIT LIST
Fee: MWPA Member $450 | Nonmember $600
Registration Closes: January 15

In this ten-week master class in poetry, writers will look at language as a vehicle for helping them move from what they already know (and know how to do) into new possibilities of expression. Participants will generate new poems and explore strategies for revising work in progress. They will also read a variety of poems and explore how the poet’s voice emerges, how each speaker engages with his or her inner and outer worlds.

The workshop will include writing exercises meant to broaden participants’ range as poets, and to help them explore their own most basic concerns and obsessions. Each week there will be in-class prompts and writing exercises to do at home, as well as a discussion of each participant’s work. Over the course of ten weeks, participants will generate many poems and have a chance to receive feedback from their fellow poets.

+ Each week’s session will include a warm-up exercise, a poem workshop and discussion of a certain craft aspect of poetry writing. Discussions will cover a range of subjects, including metaphor and image, voice, structure, poetic leaps, line breaks, possibilities of form—both traditional and organic.

+ Participants of this poetry workshop should be prepared to write a new poem each week as well.

+ Participants will study poems by a wide range of mostly contemporary poets like Elizabeth Bishop, Denis Johnson, Seamus Heaney, Christian Wiman, Olena Davis, Adam Zagajewski, Mary Szybist, and many others.

+ PLEASE SUBMIT Participants will be asked to submit a poetry manuscript of their writing in advance. Participants should please submit a manuscript of three poems (no more than five-pages) by no later than 9:00 a.m. on January 15. Please email the manuscript to with the subject line: “SHOLL WORKSHOP MSS.” *Word docs (ideally) or PDFs only, please.

DATES The workshop will meet every Tuesday between January 23 and March 27, unless unforeseen scheduling issues should arise.

PAYMENTS MWPA members may pay for this workshop in one payment, or may pay in three installments of $150, due at registration and the first of each month (February, March). *PLEASE NOTE If you have selected to pay for this multi-week workshop on the installment option, once you begin attending the workshop you are responsible for paying all of the remaining installments. If you should, for any reason, leave the workshop once it has begun, 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.)

Betsy Sholl served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011. Her eighth collection of poetry, Otherwise Unseeable, won the 2014 Maine Literary Award for poetry. Other awards include the AWP Prize for Poetry, the Felix Pollak Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and two Maine Individual Artists Grants. She currently teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Portland, Maine.

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.

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 January 12 at 9:00 a.m.

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