Past Programs


September 8
Chen Chen with Brandon Rushton

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr., Poetry Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, The Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. A Kundiman fellow, Chen is pursuing a Ph.D. in English and creative writing at Texas Tech University.

Brandon Rushton’s poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Passages North, and Verse Daily. In 2016, he was the winner of both the Gulf Coast Prize and the Ninth Letter Award for poetry. He co-founded the poetry outfit Oxidant | Engine and teaches writing at the College of Charleston.

September 9
Poetry Seminar
Chen Chen, "The Art of Telling"

Typically, "show, don’t tell" is sound advice for writers aiming to evoke and enact complicated emotion, to surprise through imagery and sensory detail, and not explain a theme or tell the reader exactly what to feel. In this seminar, though, we’ll talk about how we might use "telling" in beautiful, unexpected ways. We’ll examine modes and moods of "telling," like the discursive, meditative, and conversational, and forms of "telling," like aphorism, paradox and subverted cliché. We’ll discuss abstract poems and those that magically persuade us to read the abstract as imagistic, and consider how a fresh combination of abstract and concrete can create new, startling connections. We’ll do short writing experiments between discussions.

October 13
Emma Bolden with Miho Kinnas

Emma Bolden is the author of medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013). Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry and The Best Small Fictions. She received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA and serves as Senior Reviews Editor for Tupelo Quarterly.

Miho Kinnas is a Japanese poet. Her book of poems is Today, Fish Only (Math Paper Press 2015). Her poems appeared in Quixoteca: Poems East of La Mancha (Chameleon Press 2016) and The Classical Gardens of Shanghai (HKU Press 2016). She holds an MFA from City University of Hong Kong.

October 14
Poetry Seminar
Emma Bolden, "Breaking the Block: How Playing By the Rules Can Get You Back in the Game"

Writer’s block: every writer faces it, no matter where they are in their career. Sometimes, it’s the fear that overcomes you at the sight of that blank page; sometimes, it’s the blank that happens when you try to perfect your piece. We’ll explore ways to break through writer’s block at every point in the process through language games that can help you play your way into a solution to even the most difficult the puzzles of poetry.

November 10
Eugenia Leigh with Melissa Slayton

Eugenia Leigh is the author of Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows (Four Way Books), the winner of the 2015 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry. The recipient of fellowships and awards from Poets & Writers Magazine, Kundiman, The Frost Place, Rattle, and Asian American Literary Review, Eugenia received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Melissa Slayton’s writing can be found in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, San Pedro River Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Apalachee Review, and others. She attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and the Hub City Writing-in-Place Conference as the recipient of PSSC’s Summer Scholarship.

November 11
Poetry Seminar
Eugenia Leigh, "Telling the Truth, but Telling It Slant"

This seminar—part conversation and part workshop—will excavate the power behind poems that draw from personal or collective experiences that are "true." In Emily Dickinson’s poem with the famous first line, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant," Dickinson also insists "The Truth must dazzle gradually." How does a poem manage to tell its truths by not only dazzling, but by also dazzling gradually? What craft elements can a poem employ to slant its truths? The study of contemporary poems by living, truth-telling poets who master the Art of the Gradual Dazzle will help us answer these questions and steer us to create our own Dickinson-approved poems.

December 8
Holiday Party, for members only.
Details will appear in the newsletter.
Click here to join.

January 12
Annual Open Mic in memory of Susan Laughter Meyers

Susan Laughter Meyers’s last release, My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, won the inaugural Cider Press Review Editors Prize, and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and the Robert Dana Anhinga Poetry Prize. She was the 2013 recipient of The SC Academy of Authors’ Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship. Her poems appear in Prairie Schooner, NC Literary Review, Poemeleon, and Rabbit.

A longtime PSSC officer, as well as co-coordinator of Litchfield Tea and Poetry and the Piccolo Spoleto Sundown Poetry Series, Meyers passed away suddenly last June. We will take this open mic to remember and read poems by and in memory of our dear friend.

February 9
Emilia Phillips with Angela Pilson

Emilia Phillips is the author of three poetry collections from U. of Akron Press, Signaletics (2013), Groundspeed (2016), and Empty Clip (due Spring 2018), and three chapbooks, most recently Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike (Bull City Press, 2015). Her poems and lyric essays appear in Agni, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at UNC Greensboro.

Angela Pilson is a second-year MFA student at the College of Charleston, where she is also a graduate assistant for Crazyhorse. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from Coastal Carolina University. Pilson’s work appears in North American Review.

February 10
Poetry Seminar
Emilia Phillips, "I Am Trying to Be Marvelous: The Poetics of Body Positivity"

The title of our course comes from Chen Chen’s "Winter," a poem that candidly describes the body’s excretions while celebrating its beauty, sexuality, and humanity. In this course, we will examine the poetries that have arisen alongside the body positivity movement, paying special attention to poets of color, poets with disabilities, female poets, and LGBTQ+ poets. Through our discussion and attendant workshop, we’ll discover ways in which we can break down misconceptions and prejudices related to our bodies, and we will draft our own work so as to consciously embody body positivity. In doing so, we might find that our approach and usage of language changes, and that the forms of our poems reflect bodily acceptance.

March 9
Jonathan Brown with Ann Herlong-Bodman

Jonathan Brown holds a BA in Communication from the College of Charleston, an MA in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California, and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. In 2013, he earned the John Woods Scholarship to study in Prague. His poems have been published in the Worcester Review, The Nashville Review, and Indiefeed.

Ann Herlong-Bodman is author of Loose in Far-away Places (2017, Press 53) and her poems appear in Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, and The South Carolina Review. After receiving degrees from Columbia College and the University of South Carolina, she taught at the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications and at Lander University. After the Berlin Wall fell, she taught in Eastern Europe under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State.

March 10
Poetry Seminar
Jonathan Brown,
"The Poem’s Speaker"

Is the speaker of your poem you? A little or a lot? Always or never? Can you ever really step outside of your own voice and inhabit someone else’s perspective? And if so, what would be the purpose of doing so? In this workshop we’ll discuss these questions and more. How (and maybe more importantly why) would a writer leave his or her own voice behind in favor of someone else’s?

April 13
Bruce Weigl with Catherine McCullough

Bruce Weigl, distinguished professor at Lorain County Community College, has published over a dozen award-winning poetry collections, most recently the forthcoming Poulin award-winner from BOA Editions. His has received awards from the American Academy of Poets, Pushcart, Patterson Poetry, Yaddo Foundation, Bread Loaf, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Song of Napalm was a 1988 Pulitzer nominee. Many of his poems are inspired by his time in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Catherine McCullough holds a BA from Middlebury College, an MA in English Literature from the University of South Carolina, and is a current candidate for the MFA in Poetry at the College of Charleston. She has attended both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers’ Conference. Before beginning her MFA, Catherine worked for twenty years as a non-profit fundraiser. She lives in Mt Pleasant with her husband and two children.

April 14, 10 a.m. - noon
Poetry Seminar at the Library Society
Bruce Weigl, "Writing at the Juncture of Memory and Imagination."
We’ll discuss two short essays and then talk about this notion as it relates to finding the poems that are already inside of us.

April 14, 2 - 3:15 p.m.
College of Charleston, Tate Center (9 Liberty St) Room 202
Special Appearance, Bridging Between
Some of Bruce Weigl’s award-winning poems involve his experiences in the Viet Nam War. PSSC is pleased to host him for a special visit to Bridging Between, an informal group that meets at the College of Charleston North Campus to explore the literature of soldiering. This reading with Q&A is free and open to the public. Click here to read ”Song of Napalm“.

This project is supported by South Arts in partnership with the SC Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department.

May 11
Annual Forum with Len Lawson

Len Lawson is the author of the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press) and editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press). He is a Ph.D. student in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He won the 2016 Jasper Magazine Artist of the Year Award in Literary Arts. He received a poetry fellowship from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and a poetry residency from Vermont Studio Center.

May 12
Poetry Seminar
Len Lawson, "Poet at Work: Shaping the 21st Century Poet"

With modern technology, knowledge of past literary periods, and the wealth of poets writing and influencing the world, the barriers to entering the craft of poetry remain few and nonthreatening. However, for anyone who calls themselves a poet or accepts the call to poetry, this workshop will sift and shake those calls to harness the poets’ profession into a clear purpose. Strategies will include researching views of poets throughout history, investigating how poets view themselves, and exploring innovative poetry forms.


September 9, 2016
Ginger Murchison with Marcus Amaker

Ginger Murchison earned her MFA from Warren Wilson’s program for poets and assisted Thomas Lux to found POETRY@TECH in Atlanta. She is Editor in Chief of the acclaimed Cortland Review. Her new collection of poems, a scrap of linen, a bone, was published January, 2016 by Press 53.

Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina’s first Poet Laureate, as appointed by Mayor John Tecklenburg. He is also an award-winning graphic and web designer, videographer and musician. His poems have been featured on PBS Newshour and the Huffington Post. His seventh book, Mantra, is also an app.

September 10, 2016
Poetry Seminar
Ginger Murchison, "Grammar: the Way to Intensity in Poems"

We’ll explore ways grammar works to do much of the heavy lifting to build intensity, to sharpen images, write crisper and fresher lines and add energy to our poems. Even poets who think they have forgotten most of what they knew about grammar will delight in watching time march down the page in narratives and stand still in lyrics, in seeing constructions that hammer energy into a poem, supporting what poets have known all along: that a poem is indeed a made thing.

October 14, 2016
Paul Allen with Jozie Konczal

Poet and songwriter Paul Allen received the SC Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (George Mason University), the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize for American Crawl, the Distinguished Research Award from The College of Charleston, and a Pushcart Prize. Ground Forces (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2008), poet Andrew Hudgins says, is about "brokenness and, with richly explored theological implications, everything in the broken world, the fallen world." Allen retired Professor Emeritus from the College of Charleston, and currently lives on the road in a camper.

Jozie Konczal is a poet and student currently at the College of Charleston. Her work has been featured in Poetry Quarterly, the Concho River Review, and elsewhere. She enjoys reading the work of Jack Gilbert, Maggie Nelson, and Terrance Hayes, and listening to the work of Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott. She hopes to further her education in an MFA program next year.

November 11, 2016
Traci Brimhall with Raena Shirali

Traci Brimhall is the author of three collections of poetry: Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton) and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press) and the forthcoming Saudade (Copper Canyon). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, and Best American Poetry. She lives in Manhattan, KS.

Poet and educator Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2016). Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Ninth Letter, Tupelo Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, and many more. Her honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize and the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize.

November 12, 2016
Poetry Seminar
Traci Brimhall, "Tuning Your Tension"
Every writer has their strengths, but we often tend to over-rely on what we already know we do well.  In "Tuning Your Tension" we will focus more on how to create a balance of tension in poems. We will look at poems that model a balance of tension between clarity and difficulty, diction and subject matter, emotion and intellect. We will then use an exercise to generate new work that tries to balance our inherent strengths by employing vocabulary, syntax, and tonal choices we normally shy away from. If you have a natural gift for image and metaphor, what happens when you incorporate philosophy or meditation? If you tend to write simple, declarative sentences, how would your work change if you wrote a poem in a single, long, winding sentence and focused on the musicality of language rather than clarity? Keats said in a letter to Shelley that he should "load every rift of his subject with ore." In this seminar, we will try and do just that.

February 4, 2017
PSSC Writers’ Group

10 February 2017
John Milkereit with Laura Rashley

John Milkereit has been published in various literary journals such as Texas Poetry Calendar and San Pedro River Review. He is finishing a low-residency M.F.A. program at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, WA. His new collection of poems, A Rotating Equipment Engineer is Never Finished, was published in 2015.

Laura Rashley is a poet from Lugoff, South Carolina. She is currently in her last semester at the College of Charleston studying Creative Writing and Arts Management. She was recognized as both a YoungArts finalist and as one of fifteen U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts in 2013. Her work has appeared in Fall Lines, Memoryhouse Magazine, and others.

March 10, 2017
Terri McCord and Brian Slusher

Terri McCord has work included in journals, anthologies, and collected in the Art and the Wait and In the Company of Animals. She has received awards from the South Carolina Arts Commission, Emrys, Furman University, Poetry Society of South Carolina, and Hub City. She earned her MFA from Queens University (Charlotte).

Brian Slusher teaches English and Theatre at Mauldin High School. His poetry has been published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife Terri McCord, three cats, and a collie dog. He never regrets eating the last piece of cheesecake.

March 11, 2017
Poetry Seminar
Terri McCord and Brian Slusher, "PO(L)ETICS: Should Poetry Be Politics-Free?"

Throughout history, writers have used their words to critique the social events of their time. While both the novel and the essay are well-established in the service of political commentary, poetry appears less comfortable in the role. Richard Wilbur said, "[when] poets begin preaching to the choir, it takes the adventure and variety out of the poetry." Does a poet have the obligation to engage in the political arena? Is poetry even suited for the task? In this workshop, we will examine prominent examples of the political poem, discuss the strategies and weaknesses of such work, and maybe get started on a political poem or two of our own.

April 7, 2017
Celeste McMaster with Susan Laughter Meyers

Celeste McMaster is an associate professor at Charleston Southern University.  She has published poetry and fiction in Short Story, The Dos Passos Review, Mslexia, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, and The Whale, and is the winner of the 2016 Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest.  She also won CSU’s 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Susan Laughter Meyers’s new release, My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, won the inaugural Cider Press Review Editors Prize, and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and the Robert Dana Anhinga Poetry Prize. She is the 2013 recipient of The SC Academy of Authors’ Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship. Her poems appear in Prairie Schooner, NC Literary Review, Poemeleon, and Rabbit.

April 8, 2017
Poetry Seminar with Celeste McMaster

May 12, 2017
Annual Forum with Joseph Bathanti

Joseph Bathanti is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award in Literature. He is the author of nine books of poetry, including The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by LSU Press in fall of 2016. His latest novel, The Life of the World to Come, was published by University of South Carolina Press in 2014. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University.

May 13, 2017
Poetry Seminar
Joseph Bathanti, "Writing the Longer Narrative Poem"

This workshop will focus on writing longer poems that tell stories through utilizing classic conventions of fiction such as dialogue, plot, conflict, characterization, setting/place, etc., while still relying heavily on key elements of poetry such as compressed, often impressionistic, language; rhythm; stylized line and stanza breaks; and attention to sound. We’ll strive to balance the image-charged voltage of poetry with traditionally discursive narrative strategies of fiction and creative nonfiction, focusing on the occasion of the poem, and the dramatic situation that inspired it. Participants will be provided with examples of narrative poems aimed at triggering the narrative impulse.

This program is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.


September 11, 2015
Rhett Iseman with Raena Shirali

Rhett Iseman Trull’s first book of poetry, The Real Warnings (Anhinga Press, 2009), received several awards, including the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She and her husband publish Cave Wall in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Raena Shirali currently teaches English at College of Charleston, and received her MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University. Her work has appeared in several journals, and she is the recipient of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and a 2013 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize.

September 12, 2015
Poetry Seminar
Rhett Iseman, "Submitting Your Poetry—Advice from an Editor"

Seeking publication for your writing can be daunting and can feel like a cold, impersonal process. But it doesn’t have to be. The more you learn about the way the publishing world works, the more successful you will be in terms of finding a home for your poems. Why do we send our work out there? How do we even begin to do so? This seminar will offer advice on where to search for the right journal/press for your work and how to submit, as well as how to think about "rejection" in a different, more positive way. As editor of Cave Wall, I will explain our submission-reading and decision-making process to give you an insider’s view. There will be plenty of time for Q & A and a broader discussion of the publishing industry. All levels of writing and publishing experience are welcome.

9 October 2015
Jericho Brown with Lisa Hase-Jackson

Jericho Brown is the recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal. He is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.

Lisa Hase-Jackson teaches English and Poetry at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. Her current projects include an anthology of poems celebrating New Mexico’s 2012 centennial and a manuscript of her own poetry. Her poems have appeared in Kansas City Voices, Pilgrimage, Jasper/Fall Lines and elsewhere. She is the Review Editor for South 85 Journal.

10 October 2015
Poetry Seminar
Jericho Brown, "Jump Start"

Seminar with Jericho Brown will guide participants in generating new work through a set of unconventional exercises that keep our ears open and our fingers moving. The workshop engenders new ideas about writing, and as there is a profound relationship between reading poetry and writing it, participants will read, discuss, and even recite the work of several poets whose examples might lead us to a further honing of our craft. Poets should bring a single, short poem of their own for one of the exercises if time allows.

November 13, 2015
Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs

Nickole Brown wrote two collections of poems, Fanny Says, and Sister, and co-edited the anthology Air Fare. 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 is an Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance, a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe (White Pine Press, 2015). The 2016 Hendrix-Murphy Writer-in-Residence at Hendrix College, she is on faculty at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, and lives in Little Rock with her wife, Nickole Brown.

November 14, 2015
Poetry Seminar
Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs, "Writing the Persona"

Write what you know: This most common of writing advice can also be the most confining—but only when limited to your own personal experiences. Instead, this generative workshop will invite you to take on other lives and voices in your poems, to write from perspectives, time periods, and even genders not your own.

February 12, 2016
Carol Potter with Eugene Platt

Carol Potter is the 2014 winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize from Oberlin College Press for her new book, Some Slow Bees.  Her fourth book of poems, Otherwise Obedient was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBT poetry. Previous books are Short History of Pets, Upside Down in the Dark, and Before We Were Born. Potter was awarded a Pushcart Prize in 2002 for her poem, "Three Crows." Other honors include residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, Fundacion Valapariso, Millay, Centrum, and at Cummington Community of the Arts.

Eugene Platt, long-time member and former vice president of the Poetry Society, is a native Charlestonian. He has given over 100 public readings of his work across the nation. Books include Summer Days with Daughter, Saint Andrew’s Parish, and Nuda Veritas. He lives with his wife Judith and corgi Henry.

February 13, 2015
Poetry Seminar
Carol Potter, "Lying in the Middle of the World and Twitching: The Work of Comic Poetry"

Comic poetry. What’s funny about it? Why isn’t everyone laughing? In this seminar we will focus on comic poems that are engaged in serious, often desperate discourse. This is furious and funny poetry, poetry that uses humor to "contain the terrible softness"; (Tim O’Brien); poetry that uses humor to criticize an imperfect society, and expose the pretensions and frailties of the self and others; poems that floodlight the underside; poems that cajole, make you chuckle and feel sweet, then bang you on the head, or make you weep. We will look at some reliable tactics, (puns, change-ups, word-play, use of character, situation, pop-ups, etc..) How is humor effective? Does it trivialize the "softness" or create order out of chaos? How does humor give one the permission to speak of the almost unspeakable? We will also look at one or two poems also that attempt humor and fail, ending up with cute. Poets under discussion: Berryman, Simic, Stone, Potter, Garcia, Watson, Dobyns, Cynthia MacDonald, Soto, Dickinson, James Tate, Whitman, Dean Young, Koncell, Edson. As time allows.

March 11, 2016
Katie Bickham with Ellen Hyatt

Katie Bickham’s debut poetry collection, The Belle Mar, is the recipient of the 2014 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize. Katie’s poetry has also won the 2013 Missouri Review Editor’s Prize, and her work has appeared in Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. She currently teaches creative writing at Bossier Parish Community College.

Ellen Hyatt’s writing has garnered recognition from professional, literary, and mainstream sources. Her works have twice been the recipient of what the Poetry Society of SC refers to as "the big one" (the Dubose & Dorothy Heyward Society Prize) and are featured quarterly in Azalea magazine. Fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, professor, columnist, and appointee to the Board of Governors of the SC Academy of Authors, Ellen serves organizations promoting literacy and the arts. Her chapbook is entitled ...Or Wrap Ourselves in What Remains.

March 12, 2016
Poetry Seminar
Katie Bickham, "Sacrificing Self: How Removing the I Can Save Poetry"
When did grand narrative, history, injustice, and current events step exclusively into the realm of prose writers? It is possible that, as poets, we have become so invested in our own stories that we are missing the larger call of the genre? We’ll look at the work of some notable poets who have rejected the "I" and discuss how their work might make poetry more appealing and more necessary for a wider audience. Suggested Reading: The Belle Mar by Katie Bickham; Holocaust by Charles Reznikoff; selected poems by Martin Espada (freely available via

April 8, 2016
Barbara Hamby with McKayla Conahan

Barbara Hamby is the author of five books of poetry, most recently On the Street of Divine Love: New and Selected Poems, University of Pittsburgh Press (2014). She is a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry, and her book of short stories, Lester Higata’s 20th Century, won the 2010 Iowa Prize and was published by the University of Iowa Press.

McKayla Conahan is an Astrophysics major at the College of Charleston. Her work appears in Best Teen Writing 2013 and in Miscellany, the College of Charleston’s Literary and Art Journal, where she is now employed as Managing Editor. She loves hiking, dogs, green things, feminism, stellar corpses, and particle physics.

April 9, 2016
Poetry Seminar
Barbara Hamby, Ode Without End: Praise Poems from the Psalms to the Present Moment.

May 13, 2016
Annual Forum with Hastings Hensel

Hastings Hensel is the author of Winter Inlet, winner of the 2014-2015 Unicorn Press First Book Prize, and the chapbook Control Burn, winner of the Iron Horse Literary Review 2011 Single-Author Contest. The most recent South Carolina Arts commission fellow in poetry, his poems have appeared in storySouth, The Greensboro Review, Cave Wall, 32 Poems, and elsewhere. He lives in Murrells Inlet, SC and teaches in the English department at Coastal Carolina University.

May 14, 2016
Poetry Seminar
Hastings Hensel, "‘I have wasted my life.’: The Merits and Drawbacks of the ‘Punchline Poem’"

Taking a look at James Wright’s "Lying in a Hammock..." and Rainier Maria Rilke’s "Archaic Torso of Apollo," among others, as examples of "punchline poems"—poems whose endings seem to come from nowhere and serve as ironical jokes—we will discuss the merits and drawbacks of such surprise endings. Seminar participants are encouraged to think about which of their poems might be considered "punchline poems," and to bring these to the seminar.


September 12, 2014
Richard Garcia and Friends
Richard Garcia is the author of six books of poetry. The Other Odyssey, winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and his acclaimed book of prose poems, The Chair, from BOA Editions, Ltd., were both published in 2014. He teaches in the Antioch University L.A. MFA program in creative writing, and lives on James Island with his wife, Katherine Williams, and their dog, Max.

Five of the Long Table Poets, Richard’s ongoing study group, will open for him:

Helen Brandenburg
Ed Gold
Kit Loney
Susan Finch Stevens
Tim Taylor

September 13, 2014
Seminar with Richard Garcia, "Darling, You Look Fabulous"
What is fabulism? Who are its writers, and how does it relate to magical realism, fable, fairy tale and prose poem? And how do we write fabulist prose poems? We will read examples, write a few fabulist pieces that could be considered shorts, flash fictions, stories or prose poems, and look at a call for submission for a work of this type, for which there is no fee and the prize is $20,000. Really. Suggested reading: my book recently out from BOA, The Chair.

October 10, 2014
Jon Pineda with Davis Sawyer Jon Pineda is author of The Translator’s Diary (2007 Green Rose Prize), Birthmark (2003 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry), the forthcoming Little Anodynes (Palmetto Poetry Series), and a novel, Apology (2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize). He teaches creative writing at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, where he lives with his family, and is a member of the core faculty of the Queens University MFA program.

Davis Sawyer is a student at the College of Charleston. His poems have been featured in several student anthologies including National Poetry Quarterly and The American Library of Poetry. In 2013, he self-published Holy Native, a collection of original poetry.

October 11, 2014
Seminar with Jon Pineda, "The Element of Surprise"
We’ll look at various strategies for both generating and revising our work, especially putting together collections. Participants should bring pen/paper/journal as we’ll be doing an in-class writing exercise.

November 14, 2014
Roger Reeves with Gary Jackson Roger Reeves, Ph.D. (Univ. of Texas) teaches at U. Chicago and has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, and Best New Poets. Among his honors are a 2013 Pushcart Prize, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, and fellowships from Ruth Lilly Endowment, Cave Canem, NEA, and Princeton University. His first collection is King Me (Copper Canyon, 2013).

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, Tuesday, and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Professor at the College of Charleston.

November 15, 2014
Seminar with Roger Reeves, "(Troubling) Image, Beyond Description"
In this class, we will examine two poems—"The Dragon" and "Iskandriya" by Brigit Pegeen Kelly—in an attempt to think through image and lyric meditation. Through careful close-reading, we will investigate how Kelly moves beyond description into image via metaphor, aporia, and the prismatic rendering of what is to be seen. We’ll investigate the troubling image, be it historical, personal, social, surreal, or fantastic, and find our way around it. What meditative potential or insight does an image have beyond its physical description?

February 12, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Special Event: PSSC Presents Colin D. Halloran at the
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

This program, focusing on the experience of returning to civilian life after deployment, is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit the VAMC website.

south Arts Logo This program is funded in part by a grant from SouthArts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

February 13, 2015
Colin D. Halloran with Worthy Evans
Colin D. Halloran served with the US Army, deploying as an infantryman to Afghanistan in 2006. After being medically evacuated, he returned to civilian life and earned an MFA from Fairfield University, where he now teaches. His new book of poems, Icarian Flux, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag, which in 2012 published his debut collection, Shortly Thereafter, of poems on war and redeployment.

Worthy Evans wrote Green Revolver (University of South Carolina Press, 2010) and is a self-taught collage artist. When he isn’t writing in notebooks, typing up poems, cutting up magazines, making collages, and fathering two brilliant children, he is a communications specialist for a Medicare contractor in Columbia, SC.

February 14, 2015
Seminar with Colin D. Halloran, "Poetry as Mask and Medicine: Redefining the I through Persona."
We will explore the paradigmatic shift in narrative perspective in war poetry throughout the ages, going from the invocations of the ancients, to a collective voice of national conscience in the World Wars, into a deeper, more confessional "I" starting in Vietnam. Additionally, we will look into the value that a persona can bring to poems of both political and personal trauma, and do a writing exercise.

March 13, 2015
Meg Kearney with Ellen Hyatt

Meg Kearney’s books include Home By Now, winner of the 2010 PEN New England L.L. Winship Award for Poetry; An Unkindness of Ravens; two Young Adult novels-in-verse, The Secret of Me and it sequel, The Girl in the Mirror; and a picture book, Trouper (Scholastic, 2013) with illustrations by E.B. Lewis. She is Director of the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Program of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Ellen E. Hyatt’s poetry and nonfiction have garnered recognition from professional literary, and mainstream sources (including what the PSSC’s refers to as "the big one," twice). Fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, professor, columnist, and appointee to the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Academy of Authors, she serves organizations promoting literacy and the arts.

March 14, 2015
Seminar with Meg Kearney, "A Crown of Sonnets: Formal Verse that Boggles the Brain" This reading, talk, and Q&A session will focus will be the heroic crown, a narrative sequence created in 15 interlocking sonnets, usually addressed to one person and/or concerned with a single theme, each of the sonnets exploring one aspect of that theme. We will explore the ways that formal verse can tell a story and provide a "safe" structure for developing emotionally difficult subjects.

April 10, 2015
Dzvinia Orlowsky with Joe Zealberg
Pushcart Prize recipient, translator, and Founding Editor of Four Way Books, Dzvinia Orlowsky has published five poetry collections with Carnegie Mellon University Press—her most recent, Silvertone (2013). She serves as core poetry faculty at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College and as Special Lecturer of Poetry at Providence College.

Covalence is Joe Zealberg’s first collection of poems, which have appeared in qarrtsiluni and Poemeleon. Previously the Director of Emergency Psychiatric Services in Charleston, he now works in private practice and at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC and is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of SC in Charleston. An active member of PSSC, he extends thanks to Richard Garcia and the Long Table Poets.

April 11, 2015
Seminar with Dzvinia Orlowsky, "The Illusive Chameleon: Prose Poem or Prose?" What differentiates Atwood’s prose poem "Making Poison" from flash fiction "Bread"? Why was Berg’s Shaving enthusiastically reviewed as short creative non-fiction while Jorie Graham praised him as "master of the prose poem"? We will try to sort out these genres so similar in execution, imagery, and tone, and overview the prose poem from Bertrand to the present. Please bring a poem or short piece of prose to develop into a prose poem.

April 18, 2015 `
PSSC CSRA Regional Seminar with Malaika Favorite and Anthony Kellman
Morris Museum of Art,
One Tenth St., Augusta GA.
Sponsored by the Poetry Society of South Carolina, The Authors Club of Augusta, The Augusta Poetry Group, and the Morris Museum of Art.

A mix of presentation and writing exercises, the seminar will be team-led by Malaika Favorite, award-winning visual artist and poet, and by Anthony Kellman, retiring Professor of Communications at Georgia Regents University. This will be the couple’s "farewell appearance" before removing to Barbados, Professor Kellman’s island of origin. Refreshments will be served.

Fulbright scholar Malaika Favorite is a visual artist and writer. Mainly in oil, acrylic, and water color, she has carried out experiments with folded canvas and the written word. Her provocative paintings and sculptures emanate as much from her personal history as from the wider world.

Anthony Kellman, a multi-genre writer and musician, was born and raised in Barbados. He is Professor of English & Creative Writing at Georgia Regents University and the originator of the poetic form Tuk Verse. His five poetry books include South Eastern Stages and Limestone, the first published epic poem from Barbados. His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and Barbados’s Prime Minister’s Award.

May 8, 2015
Annual Forum with Dan Albergotti

Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as a limited-edition chapbook, The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, and Pushcart Prize XXXIII. Albergotti is a Professor and Chair of the English Department at Coastal Carolina University.


September 13, 2013
Nick Bozanic with Danielle DeTiberus

Nick Bozanic has two chapbooks of poetry, Wood Birds Water Stones and One Place, and three collections, The Long Drive Home (Anhinga Prize, 1989) and This Once: Poems 1976-1996, and Lost River Fugue (bedouin, 2013). His work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Raritan Review, Modern Painters, Manoa, The Yale Review, and others. Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs at Ashley Hall, he has received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Danielle DeTiberus lives and teaches in Charleston. Her work has appeared in The Southeast Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, Arts and Letters, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Tar River Poetry. Her first manuscript, Love and Other Hand Grenades, is currently seeking a home.

September 14, 2013
Poetry Seminar
Nick Bozanic,"Poetic Silence"
Octavio Paz once claimed that poems are carefully contrived devises for creating silence. Regarded as such, poems could remedy for the noise that Kierkegaard understood to be the existential illness of modernity. In this seminar, we’ll explore how poems engender silence—both in the author and in the audience—and the character of that silence, as well as what the curative powers, if any, of that silence might be.

22 September 2013
Writers’ Group with Deborah Lawson Scott Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon

October 11, 2013
Anna Journey and David St. John

Anna Journey, author of Vulgar Remedies (LSU Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (UGA Press, 2009; National Poetry Series), has published in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, FIELD, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the NEA. She teaches creative writing in the Pacific U MFA in Writing program. [Photo: S. Diani]

David St. John has received NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, and Rome fellowships, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize for teaching and poetic achievement, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his ten volumes of poetry is Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry; Where the Angels Come Toward Us is his collection of essays, interviews, and reviews. He teaches at The University of Southern California and lives in Venice Beach.

October 12, 2013
Poetry Seminar
Anna Journey, "Aesop’s Offspring: Poets and the Contemporary Beast Fable"

October 27, 2013
Writers’ Group with Richard Garcia Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon

November 8, 2013
Susan Meyers with Aubrey Moore

Susan Laughter Meyers’s new release, My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, won the inaugural Cider Press Review Editors Prize, and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and the Robert Dana Anhinga Poetry Prize. She is the 2013 recipient of The SC Academy of Authors’ Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship. Her poems appear in Prairie Schooner, NC Literary Review, Poemeleon, and Rabbit.

Norris Aubrey Moore is a junior at the College of Charleston majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She graduated from the School of the Arts, where she also majored in Creative Writing and received a National Gold from the Scholastic Writing Awards. She published her poetry collection Cause We’ve Ended as Children in 2011 and intends to further her studies in poetry by working toward an MFA degree.

November 9, 2013
Poetry Seminar
Susan Meyers, "The Epistolary Poem: Letters from Within."

Good letter poems are satisfying to steam open," says poet Robin Behn. Though their subjects may seem ordinary, beneath the surface lies urgency. Written to an individual but to be read by many, they allow the poet to be both intimate and public. We’ll immerse ourselves in the epistolary—with discussion, writing, and letter poems such as Jane Springer’s "Dear Blackbird" and Melissa Morphew’s "The Missionary Writes to Her Fiancé Concerning Blindman’s Bluff." Let’s delve into the imagination—and, this time, strike up a correspondence.

November 23, 2013
Writers’ Group with Susan Meyers Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon

December 12, 2013
Special Event:
A Celebration of Seeking
with Nikky Finney and Jonathan Green

$15 benefitting the Library Society)

Join us for a reading from Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, with Conway native Nikky Finney and other contributors, and remarks by artist Jonathan Green. Co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at USC, Finney has written five books, Head Off & Split (2011 National Book Award), The World Is Round (2003), Heartwood (1997), Rice (1995), and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985), and edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007).

January 25, 2014
Writers’ Group with Kit Loney Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon

February 14, 2014
Josh Bell and Jillian Weise

Josh Bell is the author of No Planets Strike (U. of Nebraska Press, 2005). He has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s workshop and a Ph.D. from U of Cincinnati. Formerly a Lecturer in the MFA program at Columbia University, he is currently Briggs Copeland Lecturer on English at Harvard University. He has recently published poems in The New Republic, Tin House, The Awl, and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

Poet, playwright, and Clemson assistant professor Jillian Weise is the author of a poetry collection, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, and a novel, The Colony. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, The New York Times, Tin House and elsewhere. Her new The Book of Goodbyes, comprising poems written as a Fulbright Fellow in Argentina, won both the James Laughlin Award and the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award.

February 15, 2014
Poetry Seminar
Josh Bell, "Another Valentine’s Day Seminar on the Love Poem"

March 14, 2014
April Ossmann with Denise K. James

April Ossmann is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books), recipient of a 2013 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, and former executive director of Alice James Books. She is a publishing and editing consultant, and teaches at the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Sierra Nevada College.

Denise K. James was awarded PSSC’s Forum Prize in 2013. Her poems have appeared in Illuminations Magazine, RE:Union Literary Journal, the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and other publications. Denise lives and writes in Charleston.

March 15, 2014
Poetry Seminar
April Ossmann, "Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order a Poetry Manuscript"

February 23, 2014
Writers’ Group Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon

March 22, 2014
Seminar in Greenville with Phebe Davidson
in co-operation with Emrys Foundation
Sears Shelter in McPherson Park, 100 E. Park Ave, Greenville, SC
$20 for PSSC and Emrys members, $25 nonmembers.

Phebe Davidson is the author of some 20 published collections, most recently Waking to Light (2012), Plasma Justice (2011), and Seven Mile (2009), all from Main Street Rag. What Holds Him to this World won the 2013 SC Poetry Archive Book Prize and will be released by 96 Press. A contributing editor at Tar River Poetry and a staff writer for The Asheville Poetry Review, her book reviews, poems, and essays appear regularly in print and online. Distinguished Professor Emerita of USC Aiken and six-time Pushcart nominee, she has won the Kinloch Rivers, Amelia, Soundpost Press, and Ledge Press manuscript prizes. She is "still a recovering academic, up to her neck in poems."

Poets are often told they should trust the language. This is good advice but often hard to follow. Distractions abound: the sound of a doorbell or oven timer, the urge to get out of the house or office, a neighbor’s dog barking at three a.m., a feral cat singing his lust into the night. Even the desire to dodge a heavy rhyme can pull us away from that seemingly simple goal: Trust the language. So think of this as an exercise in not overthinking process. Today we'll put words in the driver’s seat, while we enjoy the ride. Note: Davidson has offered to read 3-5 poems (maximum 40 lines each) by participants for a $30 fee. PSSC thanks Nancy Dew Taylor for planning this event.

April 11, 2014, Circular Church, Upper Lance Hall
Stephen Knauth with Samuel Carlyle Graebner

Stephen Knauth is the author of The River I Know You By and Twenty Shadows, both from Four Way Books, and several other poetry collections. His poems have appeared in FIELD, North American Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, and Poetry Daily. He has received grants from the NEA and the NC Arts Council.

Samuel Carlyle Graebner is a senior English Major at the College of Charleston, with a concentration in Creative Writing in poetry. He won the Eugene O'Neill Young Playwrights award in 2007, and has been published in Flashquake. Most recently, he successfully crowd-funded his first book of poetry, Condor

April 12, 2014, Charleston Library Society
Poetry Seminar
Stephen Knauth, "Shaking the Family Tree"

The family has always been a deep source of material for writers, but revealing family secrets and intimate personal details can lead through difficult emotional terrain, especially when family members may read the work and resent it, question its accuracy and your motives for publishing it. We’ll discuss some of the land mines along the way, share experiences, and look at some examples of poems that use direct and indirect methods of handling volatile personal and family issues.

March 23, 2014
Writers’ Group with Mary Harris Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon

May 9, 2014
Annual Forum with Alan Michael Parker

Alan Michael Parker is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Davidson College and a Core Faculty Member in the Queens low-residency MFA. Among his awards are three Pushcart Prizes, Best American Poetry, the Fineline Prize from Mid-American Review), and the Medwick Award (PSA). He has written three novels and seven collections of poems, most recently Long Division (Tupelo).

May 10, 2014
Poetry Seminar
Seminar with Alan Michael Parker, "The Poetics of Time"

In this program, we will consider how a poem makes, breaks, or otherwise slakes time. Bring writing materials and some kind of chronometer—a watch, a smartphone, etc.

April 27, 2014
Writers’ Group with Katherine Williams Charleston Library Society, 10:00 a.m. until noon


September 8, 2012
Alan Michael Parker with Deborah Lawson Scott

Alan Michael Parker is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Davidson College; he is also a Core Faculty Member in the Queens University low-res MFA. Among his awards are three Pushcart Prizes, a poem in Best American Poetry, the Fineline Prize from the Mid-American Review, and the Medwick Award from PSA. He has written three novels and seven collections of poems, most recently Long Division (Tupelo Press, June, 2012).

Deborah Lawson Scott, a native Baltimorean, lived in Miami for 25 years before moving to Charleston in 2003, and also spends time in the Catskills and Stockholm. Her lyric poems reflect these varied landscapes; as a Long Table Poet, she also enjoys collaborative writing. She is an MFA graduate of Queens University of Charlotte and among her numerous poetry prizes is the DuBose & Dorothy Heyward Society Prize. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including My South, Poetry in the South, Kakalak, and Boomtown.

September 15, 2012
Poetry Seminar with Alan Michael Parker

October 12, 2012
David St. John with Anna Journey

David St. John has received NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, and Rome fellowships, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize for teaching and poetic achievement, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his ten volumes of poetry is Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry; Where the Angels Come Toward Us is his collection of essays, interviews, and reviews. He teaches at The University of Southern California and lives in Venice Beach.

Anna Journey is the author of two collections of poetry: Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. She teaches creative writing at the University of Southern California.

October 13, 2012
Poetry Seminar with David St. John

November 9, 2012
Jillian Weise with Josh Bell

Poet and playwright Jillian Weise is the author of a poetry collection, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, and a novel, The Colony. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, The New York Times, Tin House and elsewhere. Her manuscript The Book of Goodbyes won the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, and will be published by BOA in Fall 2013. She wrote some of these poems while on a Fulbright Fellowship in Argentina. She is an Assistant Professor at Clemson.

Josh Bell is the author of No Planets Strike (U. of Nebraska Press, 2005). He has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s workshop and a Ph.D. from U of Cincinnati. Formerly a Lecturer in the MFA program at Columbia University, he is currently Briggs Copeland Lecturer on English at Harvard University. He has recently published poems in The New Republic, Tin House, The Awl, and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

November 10, 2012
Poetry Seminar with Jillian Weise

February 8, 2013
Paul Allen

Poet and songwriter Paul Allen received the SC Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (George Mason University), the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize for American Crawl, the Distinguished Research Award from The College of Charleston, and a Pushcart Prize. Ground Forces (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2008), poet Andrew Hudgins says, is about "brokenness and, with richly explored theological implications, everything in the broken world, the fallen world." Allen retired Professor Emeritus from the College of Charleston, and currently lives on the road in a camper.

February 9, 2013
Seminar with Paul Allen

March 8, 2013
Keith Flynn

Keith Flynn, founder and editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, has authored four collections of poetry, most recently The Golden Ratio (2007). His poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, The Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Rattle, and hundreds of others. He has been nominated six times for the Pushcart Prize, was awarded the Paumanok Poetry Prize in 1996, and has given thousands of performances from his work across North America and abroad. In 2005 and 2006, Flynn served as the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for North Carolina, working to promote the cultural importance of poetry in his home state.

March 9, 2013
Seminar with Keith Flynn

April 12, 2013
Brian Turner

Soldier-poet Brian Turner is author of two poetry collections, Phantom Noise (2010) and the award-winning Here, Bullet (2005). His poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, and other journals, and included in the documentaries Voices in Wartime and Operation Homecoming. He earned the MFA from the University of Oregon and has lived abroad in South Korea. In 2009, Turner was selected as one of fifty United States Artists Fellows.

Brian Turner’s readings and seminar are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

April 13, 2013
Seminar with Brian Turner

May 10, 2013
Annual Forum with Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson has published four collections of poetry, including Terrestrials, winner of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Award (2004), and The Interpretation of Waking Life, winner of the Arkansas Poetry Award (1991). He coordinates the Department of Writing and Linguistics’ creative writing concentration at Georgia Southern University.


September 9, 2011
Sandra Beasley with Rosalyn Cowart

Sandra Beasley won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize for I Was the Jukebox, selected by Joy Harjo (W.W. Norton, 2010). Her first collection, Theories of Falling, won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize judged by Marie Howe. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Believer, and Best American Poetry 2010. She has received the 2010 Univ. of Mississippi Summer Poetry Residency, a DCCAH Individual Artist Fellowship, and the Friends of Literature Prize from the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she is on the faculty of the Writer’s Center.

Rosalyn Cowart grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. She has a degree in architecture from Clemson University and an MFA in creative writing from Florida State University. Recent projects include a collaboration entitled Soaking Lima Beans with Her Muse from the Carolinas, her manuscript Beasts in the Dark, and a few poems on chickens along the way.

September 10, 2011
Seminar with Sandra Beasley,
"The Gyroscope of Form: Sestinas Past, Present, and Future"

The sestina, with its patterning and repetition, is one of the most acrobatic and challenging of all forms. Where did it come from, what makes it work, why is it rising in popularity today? We will read contemporary sestinas, discuss where the form is heading, and consider ways to honor the tradition in poems that are fresh, funny, and impassioned.

Editor’s note: To read Sandra’s blog entry about her PSSC experience, "How Charleston Won My Heart," [click here].

October 14, 2011
Landon Godfrey and Susan Meyers

Landon Godfrey is a poet, artist, actress, and teacher. Chosen by David St. John for the Cider Press Review Book Award, Second-Skin Rhinestone-Spangled Nude Soufflé Chiffon Gown was published in 2011. Her work has been published in The Southeast Review, Lyric, POOL, Cimarron Review, Best New Poets 2008, featured by Broadsided, in Polish translation in Studium, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Born and raised in Washington D.C., she now lives in Black Mountain, NC.

Susan Laughter Meyers was awarded last spring’s Verna Ubben Fellowship, a two-week residency at VCCA offered by PSSC and member Don Ubben. She is the author of Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press) and the chapbook Lessons in Leaving. She has poems forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, North Carolina Literary Review, Poemeleon, and Rabbit.

October 15, 2011
Poetry Seminar
Landon Godfrey, "Imaginative Acts of Attention: Ekphrastic Poetry"

How poets see and describe what they see, "translate" the visual into the aural and back, move beyond interpretation into generation, meditation, and exploration—ekphrasis has concerned poets ever since the ancient practice became a rhetorical device. We will think about ekphrastic strategies by considering poets’ descriptions of shields, rustic cups, bed covers, urns, murals, statues, paintings, and the beloved.

November 11, 2011
Carol Ann Davis and Emily Rosko

Carol Ann Davis has recent or forthcoming work in Volt, The Iowa Review, The Threepenny Review, The Kenyon Review, and Denver Quarterly. In 2007, Psalm was published by Tupelo Press and Davis received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry; Atlas Hour is new from Tupelo. She directs the undergraduate creative writing program at The College of Charleston, where she edits Crazyhorse with her husband, Garrett Doherty.

Emily Rosko is the author of two poetry collections, Prop Rockery, recently awarded the 2011 Akron Poetry Prize, and Raw Goods Inventory, winner of the 2005 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2007 Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers from Shenandoah, and editor of A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line (U. of Iowa Press 2011). A former Wallace Stegner Writing Fellow at Stanford University, she also is the past recipient of Poetry’s Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. She joined the Department of English at the College of Charleston in 2010.

November 12, 2011
Poetry Seminar
Carol Ann Davis, "Re-Vision: Ways of Putting Pressure on Process"

What if, through new engagements with language and process, we wake ourselves up to new possibilities for existing poems, compose new poems differently, and then follow the thread of revision in some heretofore unseen way? In a seminar that’s part craft lecture, part prompt, and part strategy session/workshop, we will aim toward putting pressure on our existing processes.

February 10, 2012
Frank X. Gaspar

Portuguese-American Frank Gaspar was born and raised in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He is Professor Emeritus at Long Beach (CA) City College, and teaches in the MFA Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. He has published four poetry collections, Night of a Thousand Blossoms (2004), Field Guide to the Heavens (Britting-ham Prize, 1999), Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death (Anhinga Prize, 1994), and The Holyoke (Morse Prize, 1988), and several novels. His awards include an NEA fellowship, inclusion in Best American Poetry, and three Pushcart prizes.

February 10, 2012
Special Event: PSSC Presents Frank Gaspar at the
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Frank Gaspar’s readings and seminar are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

February 11, 2012
Poetry Seminar
Frank Gaspar, "First Magic: the verbal music and internal dynamics of poems"

We will start off by learning to notice this first magic that inheres beneath subject and beyond meaning: the cadences and musicality of language and the inner tensions and dynamics between sections or stanzas that make the free verse poem a kinetic work of art. Then we’ll try to see connections between the artistry in free verse and the techniques we associate with more conventional verse forms, with a view to carrying a sense of their importance to our own writing process.

February 18, 2012
Seminar in Beaufort with Starkey Flythe, "The Ant and the Elephant"
Starting off with the smallest possible subject, not love or time or death; starting, say, with a flea—see 16th century poets—instead of a hippo, a hummingbird instead of an albatross. Reducing the poem from Britannica to Pocket Book. An exercise in moment—see Emily Dickinson. Intensifying emotion. Excluding the extra; murdering, as they say, "your little darling."

February 18, 2012
Art Works (in the K-Mart shopping Ctr.)
Beaufort Town Center

Starkey Flythe, Jr. has taught in public high schools and colleges in South Carolina, Georgia, and Indiana. A Georgia Poetry Circuit winner, as well as a Yaddo, Breadloaf, and SC Arts Commission Fellow, he helped found the Sand Hills Writers Conference. His poetry collections Paying the Anesthesiologist and They Say Dancing were published by Furman University’s Ninety-Six Press; The Futile Lesson of Glue recently won the Violet Reed Hass Award given by Snake Nation Press.

March 9, 2012
Gerry LaFemina

Gerry LaFemina has authored two collections of prose poems and six of poetry, including Vanishing Horizon (2011, Anhinga Press). His numerous awards include fellowships from the Irving Gilmore Foundation and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a Pushcart Prize, and the Bordighera Prize in Poetry. He directs the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing at Frostburg State University, where he is an Assoc. Professor of English.

Brit Washburn studied creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy, Eugene Lang College, and Goddard College. Brit’s work has appeared in The Albion Review, Controlled Burn, The Dunes Review, Earth’s Daughter’s, Foreword Magazine, Guideword, Manoa and A New Song, Mourning Our Mothers: Poems About Loss, and A New Guide to Charleston. Brit edits the lo-fi journal Re:Union, manages the East Bay Meeting House, mothers three sons, and serves on the board of the Poetry Society of South Carolina.

March 10, 2012
Poetry Seminar
Gerry LaFemina, "Walking the Poetic Line"

We will talk about how line relates to voice, content and tone, discuss the complex relationship between the sentence and the line, how various contemporary free verse poets "use" the line, and how readers walk the line from the top of the poem to its final line.

March 31, 2012
Seminar in Beaufort with Jillian Weise
"The Magician’s Workshop: Tricks of the Trade from Magical Realists"

Co-sponsored with the Emrys Foundation

February 18, 2012
Bobby Pearce Center
904 Townes St, Greenville

Jillian Weise is the author of a book of poems, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, and a novel, The Colony. Her essay, "Going Cyborg," appeared in The New York Times in winter of 2010. She has won fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Fulbright Program and her work was chosen for "Poetry Everywhere," an animated film series produced by PBS and The Poetry Foundation. She teaches workshops, seminars and survey courses on 20th- and 21st- century American literature at Clemson.

April 13, 2012
Rich Ferguson and Guitarist Chris Clary

A native of Charlotte, Los Angeles performance poet Rich Ferguson has appeared with Patti Smith, on The Tonight Show, and on NPR stations. His ecstatic delivery, more Pentecostal preacher than slam poet, juxtaposes the personal and the eternal in a sharply humorous way. Rich has published in the LA Times, Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts, and The Moment, and presented at colleges throughout Southern California. He contributes to and is a poetry editor of the online journal The Nervous Breakdown. Read a surrealist interview of Ferguson on Digitel Charleston

Kit Loney is the recipient of the 2012 Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship from The South Carolina Academy of Authors. She has won a number of prizes from PSSC, most recently the DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize. Her poems have appeared in Kakalak, Yemassee, Redheaded Stepchild, and Qarrtsiluni, and are forthcoming in Poetry East and Emrys Journal.

April 14, 2012
Poetry Seminar
Seminar with Rich Ferguson, "From the Page to the Stage"

Through use of mass media and discussion, we’ll study the history of spoken word/performance poetry, and search for our own voice within the genre. Bring a short poem, yours or someone else’s, to read as a performance piece. Musical accompaniment is welcome. In preparation, please visit Rich Ferguson’s Links Page

May 11, 2012
Annual Forum with Lola Haskins

Lola Haskins’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, the London Review of Books, The New York Quarterly, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Among her ten books of poetry are Hunger (Iowa, 1993), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Still, the Mountain (Paper Kite, 2010), which won silver in the 2010 Florida Book Awards. Her most recent effort, The Grace to Leave, will be available from Anhinga Press, August 1 of this year.

Ms. Haskins’ prose publications include Fifteen Florida Cemeteries: Strange Tales Unearthed (University Press of Florida, 2011), Solutions Beginning with A, illustrated fables about women (Modernbook), and a poetry advice book, Not Feathers Yet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Poetic Life (Backwaters, 1998). Among her awards are two NEA fellowships, four Florida Cultural Affairs fellowships, and several prizes for narrative poetry. For more information, please visit her at

May 12, 2012
Poetry Seminar
Lola Haskins, "The Dance of Revision"

This talk will watch several sequential drafts of three poems on their way to the dance, and explain how they got there. There will be a handout with a list of principles, as well as the poems involved. Questions and comments are welcome along the way. If there’s time left over, Ms. Haskins will address a few poems from attendees that present useful points of departure.


September 10, 2010
Atsuro Riley

Goose Creek native Atsuro Riley, of Palo Alto, is the author of Romey’s Order (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2010), a sequence of remarkable poems about the Lowcountry boyhood of his protagonist, Romey. Atsuro’s work has appeared in Poetry, The Threepenny Review, and McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets; he has received the Pushcart Prize, the Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship, and Poetry magazine’s Wood Prize. Kay Ryan has said of Romey’s Order, "When you put this book down, American poetry will be different than when you picked it up."

September 11, 2010
Poetry Seminar Atsuro Riley, "May the Streams Be Many: Widening the Net of References, Resources, Refreshments"

We will range around outside the bounds of contemporary American poetry, sounding out poems, poets, and distinctive moves from the many lively streams of English, past and present.

October 8, 2010
Young Smith

Young Smith has received fellowships from the NEA, the James Michener Foundation, and the Kentucky Arts Council. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Iowa Review, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, Agni, and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, among others, and last year Black Zinnias Press published his In a City You Will Never Visit. He is Associate Professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, and coordinates their Brief-Residency MFA.

October 9, 2010
Poetry Seminar
Young Smith, "Contemporary Polish Poets"

Herbert, Milosz, Szymborska, Zagajewski...Why many of my favorite contemporary poets are Polish, rather than American, and why they should be among your favorite poets as well (even if, like me, you can read them only in translation).

November 12, 2010
Michael McFee

Michael McFee has published 13 books, recently a chapbook of one-line poems, The Smallest Talk (Bull City Press, 2007); a prose collection, The Napkin Manuscripts: Selected Essays and an Interview (U. of Tennessee Press, 2006); and two books of poetry from Carnegie Mellon U. Press, Shinemaster (2006), and That Was Oasis (forthcoming). He directs the Creative Writing Program and teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill. Poems by Michael McFee are available online at Story South, Poetry, The Blue Moon Review, and Slate, and you can read more about his work at Story South.

November 13, 2010
Poetry Seminar
Michael McFee, "Contemporary Scottish Poets"

We all know about Seamus Heaney, probably Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon and other Irish poets, and perhaps Geoffrey Hill and various living English poets. There’s a vigorous contemporary poetry scene in Scotland, which—perhaps like Southern poetry—is a significant part of America’s national literature and yet distinct from it. In this seminar, we’ll review the work of a dozen or so Scottish poets, including Don Paterson, Kathleen Jamie, Robert Crawford, Carol Ann Duffy, and Robin Robertson.

January 21, 2011
PSSC 90th Anniversary Celebration with Billy Collins

Called "the most popular poet in America" by the New York Times, Billy Collins was Poet Laureate of the United States between 2001 and 2003. He served as Poet Laureate for the State of New York from 2004 until 2006. Collins is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida.

February 11, 2011
Nathalie Anderson

SC native Nathalie Anderson’s books include Following Fred Astaire (1998 Washington Prize), Crawlers (2005 McGovern Prize), and Quiver, due this fall (Penstroke Press). She has authored libretti for three operas with composer Thomas Whitman and Philadelphia’s Orchestra 2001. Anderson is Professor of English Literature at Swarthmore College, where she directs the program in Creative Writing.

Febuary 12, 2011
Poetry Seminar
Nathalie Anderson, "Writing to be Sung: The Poet as Librettist"

Drawing on Nathalie Anderson’s experience as librettist for three operas, The Black Swan, Sukey in the Dark, and A Scandal in Bohemia, this seminar will explore the potential for musicality in verse, through exercises in adapting literary passages and familiar narratives to be sung.

March 11, 2011
Donald Platt

Purdue University professor Donald Platt has four books, Fresh Peaches, Fireworks, & Guns (1994), Cloud Atlas (2002), both from Purdue U. Press; My Father Says Grace (U. of Arkansas Press, 2007); and Dirt Angels (New Issues, 2009). Anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000 and 2006. He has received an NEA fellowship, the Paumanok Poetry Prize, the "Discovery"/The Nation Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes.

March 12, 2011
Donald Platt, "Writing the Other’s Experience"
We’ll read and discuss a few poems that are sparked by extraordinary empathy for "others." In light of our discussion, we’ll try to formulate some strategies for writing about the experience of others without appropriating or distorting that experience. The session will end with a writing prompt that participants may follow on their own.

April 8, 2011
Cecilia Woloch Cecilia Woloch is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Carpathia (BOA, 2009). She is currently a lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Southern California, as well as the founding director of The Paris Poetry Workshop. She spends a part of each year traveling, and in recent years has divided her time between Los Angeles, Atlanta, Shepherdsville KY, Paris, and a small village in the Carpathian mountains.

April 9, 2011
Cecilia Woloch
"The Pleasures of the Pantoum"

Explore this simple and elegant verse form and generate a pantoum from "recycled materials"—beautiful lines you’ve already composed. Participants should bring a minimum of four discarded or orphaned lines from their own writing to use or swap during the generative part of the workshop.

April 15, 2011 (Friday)
Sandra Beasley

Sandra Beasley is the author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Joy Harjo and published by W. W. Norton.

Co-sponsored by Friends of the Library.
7:00 p.m., Friday, 15 April
Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street

May 13, 2011
Annual Forum with Carol Ann Davis Carol Ann Davis has recent or forthcoming work in Volt, The Iowa Review, The Threepenny Review, The Kenyon Review, and Denver Quarterly. In 2007, Psalm was published by Tupelo Press and Davis received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry; Atlas Hour is forthcoming from Tupelo. She directs the undergraduate creative writing program at The College of Charleston, where she edits Crazyhorse with her husband, Garrett Doherty.


September 11, 2009
Lynn Thompson

Lynne Thompson’s first full-length manuscript, Beg No Pardon, was the winner of the 2007 Perugia Press First Book Award as well as the 2008 Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Thompson’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry International, Spillway and the online zine Chaparral Poetry, among others.

September 12, 2009
Seminar with Lynne Thompson, "The Business of Poetry"
How do we best approach compiling and submitting work for publication in print and online journals? How is this process different from the submission of full-length manuscripts to contests and other publishers? And once we have our book in print, how do we promote the work through readings and other activities in the poetry community? Time permitting, participants will also be led in exercises designed to generate new work.

October 9, 2009
Bryan Penberthy

A former AWP Intro Award winner, Bryan Penberthy lives in Charleston. He holds an MFA from Purdue University, where he was poetry editor for Sycamore Review. His poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, West Branch, Bat City Review, River Styx, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. His debut collection of poetry, Lucktown (2007), was awarded the National Poetry Review Book Prize.

October 10, 2009
Seminar with Bryan Penberthy, "The Poetic Sequence"

November 13, 2009
Doug Van Gundy

Doug Van Gundy’s poems and essays have appeared in The Oxford American, Ecotone, Waccamaw, and other journals. His first book of poems, A Life Above Water, was published in 2007 by Red Hen Press. He has read at various venues from New York to Los Angeles. Doug plays fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin in the old-time duo, Born Old. He lives in Elkins, West Virginia, and teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Doug Van Gundy, "Ironing in Vienna"

November 14, 2009
Seminar with Doug Van Gundy, "Traditional Music and Poetry"
Details to be announced.

February 12, 2010
Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson has published four collections of poetry, including Terrestrials, winner of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Award (2004), and The Interpretation of Waking Life, winner of the Arkansas Poetry Award (1991). He coordinates the Department of Writing and Linguistics’s creative writing concentration at Georgia Southern University.

Eric Nelson, "Stilts"

February 13, 2010
Seminar with Eric Nelson, "The Love Poem"

March 12, 2010
Malena Mörling

Malena Mörling grew up in southern Sweden. Her books are Ocean Avenue, (New Issues Press Poetry Prize, 1998) and Astoria, (Pittsburgh Press, 2006). Her poems have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Washington Post Book World and numerous other periodicals. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, she teaches Creative Writing at UNC, Wilmington and the Low Residency MFA program at New England College.

Malena Mörling, "When Our House Was Old"

March 13, 2010
Seminar with Malena Mörling, "On Translation"

April 9, 2010
Dennis Ward Stiles

Dennis Ward Stiles grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Illinois. He served thirty years in the Air Force as a pilot and military diplomat. He has published widely in journals, has five chapbooks, Saigon Tea (2000), Black Mirrors (2003), Spit (2004), A Strange Wind Rises (2006), and Humdinger (2007), and a full-length collection, The Fire in Which We Burn (2009). He lives in Charleston with his wife Mary Jane.

May 8, 2010
Annual Forum with Bryan Penberthy


September 12, 2008
Phebe Davidson with Ed Madden

Phebe Davidson is the author of several published collections of poems, most recently Fat Moon Rising, released this year by Main Street Rag. She is the founding editor of Palanquin Press, a staff writer for The Asheville Poetry Review, and Reviews Editor of Yemassee. Her poems and reviews appear in a wide range of print and electronic venues. She received both the Erica F. Wiest poetry award from Cream City Review and The Blue Earth Review’s flash fiction award in 2007. Self-described as "a recovering academic," she lives in Westminster, SC, with her husband Steve and their cat Fripp.

Phebe Davidson, "Always"

Ed Madden’s first book, Signals, was selected by Afaa Weaver as the third annual winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. Madden teaches English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina and is writer in residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Gardens. He is the author of Tiresian Poetics and coeditor of Geographies and Genders in Irish Studies. His essays on politics and Southern culture have appeared in many newspapers and journals and been featured on NPR. Madden was selected by editor Natasha Trethewey for inclusion in the anthology Best New Poets 2007.

Ed Madden, "Osage Orange"

September 13, 2008
Poetry Seminar
Ed Madden, "Leaps, Shifts, and Turns: Exploring Poetic Structures"

In 1972, Robert Bly called for "leaping poetry," and more recently Michael Theune has suggested that poets think about poetic structures that are distinct from poetic forms—dialectical, descriptive-meditative, and ironic, for example, rather than sonnet, villanelle, or blank verse. When Alice Quinn stepped down as poetry editor of the New Yorker, she noted that there seems to be a lot more "leaping" in contemporary poetry. In this workshop, we will explore ideas of structure—the leaps, shifts, and turns that may animate and inform our own writing processes.

October 10, 2008
Evie Shockley

Evie Shockley is the author of a half-red sea (2006) and The Gorgon Goddess (2001), both published by Carolina Wren Press, and her poetry and criticism appear in numerous journals and anthologies, recently including PMS: poemmemoirstory, Center, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, No Tell Motel, and The Southern Review. She is currently a guest-editor of jubilat; in 2007, she guest-edited a special issue of MiPOesias featuring the work of contemporary African American poets. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, Shockley is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where she teaches African American literature and creative writing.

October 11, 2008
Poetry Seminar
Evie Shockley, "A Sound Foundation for Poetry"

This seminar reminds us of poetry’s origins in the oral and its long historical relationship with the lyric by focusing on the music of language, as well as considering other ways of bringing music into (and into conversation with) our poems. We will look at (and listen to) ways that sound, when not taken for granted, can become an important foundational part of the formal structure, emotional resonance, and/or intellectual pleasure of the poems we create.

November 14, 2008
Laurel Blossom and Linda Lee Harper

Laurel Blossom’s book-length narrative prose poem, Degrees of Latitude, was published by Four Way Books in 2007. Earlier books include Wednesday: New and Selected Poems, The Papers Said, What’s Wrong, and Any Minute. Her work appears in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day and in journals including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Pequod, The Paris Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Deadsnake Apotheosis, Many Mountains Moving, Seneca Review, and Harper’s. Blossom received fellowships from the NEA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and Harris Manchester College. She lives in rural South Carolina.

Laurel Blossom, "Mellon"

Linda Lee Harper has received four Pushcart nominations and three Yaddo fellowships, and produced six collections of poetry, including most recently Blue Flute (Adastra Press) and Kiss Kiss, winner of the 2007 Open Competition from Cleveland State University Press. Her work has appeared in over 80 literary journals in the U.S., Europe and Canada, including The Georgia Review, Nimrod, Rattle, and Southern Humanities Review, where she won the Hoepfner Award for Best Poem of the Year. She resides in Batesburg-Leesville, SC, and Augusta, GA, where she never plays golf.

Linda Lee Harper, "I Know the Man"

January 13, 2009
Open Mic with Kurtis Lamkin, Emcee

Poet Kurt Lamkin plays the kora, a 21-string African instrument, and has performed internationally at festivals, concerts halls, prisons, and universities, as well as on radio and television. He was featured on Bill Moyers’s Fooling With Words television special, and his animated poem "The Fox’s Manifesto" was aired for two years on PBS. He is currently touring with his latest CDs, Magic Yams and String Massage. His poetry appears in Paterson Literary Review, Crazy Horse, Black American Literature Forum, Elements of Literature, and elsewhere.

Kurt Lamkin, "Libation"

February 13, 2009
Lola Haskins

Lola Haskins’s poetry advice book, Not Feathers Yet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Poetic Life, appeared in 2007, as did a collection of her fables about women, with images by Maggie Taylor, entitled Solutions Beginning with A. Her most recent of eight books of poems is Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems. Haskins’s awards include three Pulitzer nominations, two NEA fellowships, four Florida state fellowships, the Iowa Poetry Prize, and The Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. She retired in 2005 from teaching Computer Science at the University of Florida and is now on the faculty of the Rainier Writers Workshop.

Lola Haskins, "Why Performers Wear Black"

March 13, 2009
Alan Michael Parker

Alan Michael Parker is the author of five books of poems, including Elephants & Butterflies (BOA, 2008). He also authored a novel entitled Cry Uncle (Mississippi, 2005) and edited The Imaginary Poets (Tupelo, 2005), among other scholarly volumes. His essays and reviews appear widely in journals including the Believer, the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He directs the creative writing program at Davidson College and is a core faculty member in the Queens University low-residency M.F.A. program.

Alan Michael Parker, "The Offering"

March 14, 2009
Poetry Seminar
Alan Michael Parker, "Poetry and Sex"

In this seminar, we will consider the relationship between the text of the poem and the reader’s body, how expectation and desire are produced by the work of art. The seminar will be "hands on," that is, we’ll do a writing exercise or two, so please bring supplies. Healthy erotic imaginations are of course welcome.

April 10, 2009
Carol Frost

Carol Frost’s books from Northwestern University Press include The Queen’s Desertion (2006), I Will Say Beauty (2003), Love and Scorn: New and Selected Poems (2000), and Pure (1996). She has received four Pushcart Prizes for her poems, which appear regularly in such places as Kenyon Review, New England Review, and Poetry. Presently, she is the Theodore Bruce and Barbara Lawrence Alfond Chair in Creative Writing at Rollins College, where she directs Winter with the Writers.

Carol Frost, "BlueCrab"

April 11, 2009
Poetry Seminar on Syntax
Carol Frost, "Rivers the like soul my grown has deep"

How far can we pull language? What ambiguities and potentials exist for the poet in dislocation, elision, repetition, qualification, and delay? Looking at various examples of syntactic symmetry and surprise in poems by John Milton, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Berryman, Donald Justice, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and Jay Hopler we’ll think about the poet’s premeditated and rote placements of words (and ideas) in sentences and across lines; about the extra force of a surprising order; about degrees of obscurity and syntactic freedom.

May 2, 2009
Poetry Workshop at Debordieu with Lavonne Adams
Lavonne Adams
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Debordieu Beach Club, Georgetown

May 8, 2009
Annual Forum with Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman’s books are The Bicycle Slow Race (Wesleyan, 1991), Friction (Eighth Mountain, 1998), At the Funeral of the Ether (Ninety-Six Press, 1998), Clumsy (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2003), and Leap (New Issues, 2005). She has been awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission, as well as a Surdna Fellowship. She lives in Greenville.


September 14, 2007
Linda Annas Ferguson and Rick Mulkey

Linda Annas Ferguson is the author of Bird Missing from One Shoulder, Stepping on Cracks in the Sidewalk, Last Chance to Be Lost, and It's Hard to Hate a Broken Thing. She was the 2005 Poetry Fellow for the South Carolina Arts Commission and served as the 2003-04 Poet-in-Residence at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC. She is also a recipient of the Poetry Fellowship of the South Carolina Academy of Authors. A native of North Carolina, she now lives in Charleston, SC.

Rick Mulkey is the author of four volumes of poetry including Toward Any Darkness, Bluefield Breakdown, and Before the Age of Reason. Recognition for his work includes the Charles Angoff award from The Literary Review and a Hawthornden Fellowship for a residency in Edinburgh, Scotland. His poems and essays have appeared widely in journals and anthologies including Shenandoah, Poetry East, Denver Quarterly, Connecticut Review, American Poetry: The Next Generation, and A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry. Mulkey formerly directed the MFA program at Wichita State University. He currently teaches at Converse College and directs the creative writing program.

October 12, 2007
Cherryl Floyd-Miller and Kendra Hamilton

North Carolina native Cherryl Floyd-Miller is a poet, playwright, and fiber artist. Her poetry volumes are Utterance: A Museology of Kin; Chops, which won the 2005 AIGA Gold SEED Award and is housed in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art; and Exquisite Heats, which will appear in 2008. Winner of the 2006 Poetry Daily Virginia Arts of the Book Companion Poems Contest, she recently completed a new manuscript, Hoofer, about the life of tap legend Gregory Hines, and is working on commissioned quilt projects.

Poet Kendra Hamilton is also a scholar of Southern culture and literature, an award-winning journalist, and serves as Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, VA. Her debut poetry collection is The Goddess of Gumbo. She has been published in Callaloo, Shenandoah, Southern Review, River Styx, Obsidian II, The Best of Callaloo: Poetry, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She has won fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio program. She collaborates with artists from other disciplines, most recently on Water Table, a site-specific art installation at the 2004 Spoleto Festival USA.

November 9, 2007
Carol Ann Davis and Sheila Tombe

Carol Ann Davis’s first book, Psalm, was runner up for the 2005 Dorset Prize and will be published in October 2007 by Tupelo Press. Her poems have recently appeared in Agni, The Threepenny Review and The Southern Review. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the SC Arts Commission, she lives in Charleston, SC, where she directs the undergraduate creative writing program at The College of Charleston and edits Crazyhorse.

Sheila Joan Tombe is the winner of the 2006-2007 Individual Artist Fellowship Award for Poetry from the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is a professor of English at University of South Carolina at Beaufort and the current editor of Apostrophe: USCB Journal of the Arts. Her work has appeared in journals and magazines such as Fortnight, Visual Arts, and Charleston Magazine. She has also won grants and awards from The Atlanta Review, the Scriptwriters of South Carolina, the South Carolina Humanities Council, and the University of South Carolina Research Foundation.

January 11, 2008
Open Mic, Jim Lundy, Emcee

Jim Lundy is active in the local open mic poetry scene as emcee and contributor for Monday Night Blues, Charleston’s longest-running weekly literary and music event. He was a featured poet in the Charleston County Library’s A Rather Poetic Evening series, and for Piccolo-Spoleto’s Stories for Life festival. His self-published chapbook, All I Can Be Is Myself came out in 2006. He has lived in Charleston since 1988 working as an mechanical engineer, landlord, and home inspector.

February 8, 2008
Alice Friman

Alice Friman’s new book is The Book of the Rotten Daughter. Previous recent books are Zoo, winner of the Ezra Pound Poetry Award from Truman State and the Sheila Margaret Motton Prize from the New England Poetry Club, and Inverted Fire. Her poems appear in Poetry, Georgia Review, Boulevard, Gettysburg Review, and Shenandoah, which awarded Friman the 2002 Boatwright Prize. She has won three prizes from Poetry Society of America and in 2001 was named to the Georgia Poetry Circuit. Professor Emerita at the University of Indianapolis, Friman now lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is Poet-in-Residence at Georgia College & State University.

March 14, 2008
Sebastian Matthews

Sebastian Matthews is the author of a collection of poems, We Generous (Red Hen Press) and a memoir, In My Father's Footsteps (Norton). He co-edited, with Stanley Plumly, Search Party: Collected Poems of William Matthews. Matthews teaches at Warren Wilson College and is on faculty at the Queens University of Charlotte Low-residency MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry and prose has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Ecotone, Georgia Review, New England Review, Poetry Daily, Poets & Writers, Seneca Review, Tin House, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. Matthews was a recent recipient of a 2006 North Carolina Artist Grant. He co-edits Rivendell, a place-based literary journal.

April 11, 2008
Sandra Meek

Sandra Meek won the 2006 Dorset Prize for her poetry collection, Biogeography. For Nomadic Foundations she won the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry and the Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry, which she won again for Burn. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Colorado Review, and many others. Meek was awarded Editors' Choice for the 2002 James Wright Award, given by Mid-America Review. She is a professor of English at Berry College, where she teaches creative writing and contemporary literature. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana from 1989 to 1991.

May 9, 2008
Annual Forum with Lavonne J. Adams

Lavonne J. Adams is the author of two award-winning chapbooks, In the Shadow of the Mountain (Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Chapbook Award) and Everyday Still Life (Persephone Poetry Prize). She has published in numerous literary journals, most recently The Briar Cliff Review, Missouri Review, and The Cimarron Review. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she holds the position of BFA Coordinator. Her current project is a collection of poems based on the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe, aided by a Summer 2007 artist-in-residency at the Harwood Museum, University of New Mexico-Taos.


September 8, 2006
Michael H. Lythgoe, author of Brass, PSSC’s Kinloch Rivers Chapbook Competition winner

September 16, 2006
Publishing Seminar, "Putting a Poetry Book Together," with Ryan Van Cleave, at The Showroom, Spartanburg, SC, co-sponsored by PSSC and Hub City Writers Project

October 13, 2006
Vera Gomez

November 10, 2006
Richard Garcia

January 12, 2007
Open Mic: Ellie Davis, Emcee, City Gallery at Waterfront Park

February 9, 2007
Kwame Dawes

March 9, 2007
Ray McManus and Susan Meyers

March 10, 2007
Publishing Seminar, "Submitting to Poetry Journals," with Ray McManus, at the College of Charleston

April 13, 2007
Katherine Smith

May 11, 2007
Annual Forum, Gil Allen, Commentator

June 2, 2007
Poetry Workshop at DeBordieu, "Making Tension Work for You," with Cathy Smith Bowers, in Georgetown, SC

June 9, 2007
Charleston Poetry Walk, a Piccolo Spoleto event

September 9, 2005
Kurtis Lamkin (Charleston)

October 8, 2005
Jerri Chaplin Workshop: "Poetry as Healer" at Trott’s Cottage on Cumberland Street, Charleston

October 14
>Richard Garcia, Dennis Ward Stiles, Marjory Wentworth, and Katherine Williams (Charleston), Four Poets & a Season

November 11, 2005
Fran Quinn (Indiana)

January 13, 2006
Open Mic, City Gallery at Waterfront Park

February 10, 2006
Dan Albergotti (Coastal Carolina University, Conway)

March 10, 2006
Carrie Allen McCray (Columbia) Reading, and "Literary Figures I Have Known"

April 14, 2006
Ryan Van Cleave (Clemson), "Reading & Putting a Book Together'"

April 15, 2006
Seminar, "Putting a Poetry Book Together," with Ryan Van Cleave, at Education Center, College of Charleston

April 22, 2006
National Poetry Month Poetry Extravaganza, at Barnes & Noble, Mt. Pleasant

May 12, 2006
Annual Forum, Richard Garcia, commentator, and Oliver Bowman, reader

June 10, 2006
Charleston Poetry Walk, a Piccolo Spoleto event

June 28, 2006
Carolina Day Parade

Spring 2006
PSSC provided judges for the Gibbes Museum of Art’s Poets & Painters Program.

September 10, 2004
Seabrook Wilkinson (Charleston), "A Discussion of Eighteenth-Century"

October 8, 2004
Richard Garcia with Katherine Williams (Charleston), "Contemporary Poetry Informed by Religion: Poems of Prayer, Praise, Adoration, Faith and Doubt"

November 12, 2004
Matthew Brennan, winner of the 1999 Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred.

Members’ Christmas Party & Reading

January 14, 2005
Open mic

February 11, 2005
Tom House (NC), poetry and music

March 11, 2005
Chris Forhan (Auburn Univ.)

April 8, 2005
Claire Bateman (Greenville)

April 30, 2005
National Poetry Month Poetry Extravaganza, Barnes & Noble, Mt. Pleasant

May 13, 2005
Annual Forum, Paul Allen, commentator

June 11, 2005
Charleston Poetry Walk, a Piccolo Spoleto event

September 12, 2003
William Snyder, Jr.

October 10, 2003
Dr. James Kibler (University of Georgia)

November 14, 2003
Dr. Cathy Chance Harvey (New Orleans)

January 9, 2004
Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina Poet Laureate

February 13, 2004
Dr. James Hutchisson & Harlan Greene, 'Renaissance in Charleston, Art and Life in the Lowcountry, 1900-40'

March 12, 2004
Dr. Paul Allen (College of Charleston)

April 9, 2004
Dr. Jim Clark (Barton College, Wilson, NC)

May 8, 2004
"The Hatman Speaks" reading, co-sponsored by the Lowcountry Heritage Society and the Charleston Museum

May 14, 2004
Annual Forum/Business Meeting

May 2004
Charleston Poetry Walk, a Piccolo Spoleto event

September 13, 2002
Barbara Randall Clark

October 11, 2002
Phebe Davidson (Aiken)

November 8, 2002
Linda Annas Ferguson

January 10, 2003
Open mic

February 14, 2003
William Aarnes (Furman)

March 14, 2003
Cathy Smith Bowers (Charlotte, NC)

Special Event
April 2003
Henry Taylor (VA), Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Gibbes Museum Rotunda

March 29, 2003
Workshop at DeBordieu/Georgetown, led by Paul Allen, co-sponsored by NCPS

April 11, 2003
Student Reading

May 9, 2003
Annual Business Meeting & Forum
Winner: "Gym" by Dennis Ward Stiles)

May 31, 2003
Charleston Poetry Walk, a Piccolo Spoleto event

September 14, 2001
Rosemary Daniell

October 12, 2001
Shelby Stephenson (NC)

November 9, 2001
Robert Jordan (Jim Rigney), novelist

January 11, 2002
Open mic

February 8, 2002
Jessica Bundschuh, College of Charleston

March 8, 2002
Dennis Ward Stiles (Charleston)

March 21, 2002
PSSC provided judges for Gibbes Poets & Painters Program competition

April 13, 2002
Charleston Poetry Walk, a Piccolo Spoleto event

May 4, 2002,
Workshop at DeBordieu/Georgetown, led by Jessica Bunschuh on "New and Unusual Ways to Generate Poetry," co-sponsored by NCPS April 12
Fred Chappell (Greensboro)

May 10, 2002
Annual Business Meeting & Forum


September 8, 2000
Carol Furtwangler (James Island)

October 6, 2000
Richard Berlin

November 10, 2000
Margaret Rabb

January 12, 2001
Elon G. Eidenier (Durham, NC)

February 9, 2001
Carol Ann Davis, CofC

March 9, 2001
Paul Allen, College of Charleston

April 6, 2001
John Bennett Memorial Program

May 11, 2001
Annual Business Meeting & Annual Forum

May 12, 2001
Anthony Abbott (Davidson College) Workshop at Brookgreen Gardens, co-sponsored by NCPS

September 10, 1999
Donelle Ruwe

October 21, 1999
Judy Goldman (Charlotte, NC)

November 10, 1999
Susan Ludvigson, Gibbes Museum

December 2000
Awards Night, Student Competition, co-sponsored by the Gibbes Museum of Art

January 14, 2000
Dan Ladinsky (Myrtle Beach)

January 2000
Centenary of William Gilmore Simms, co-sponsored by the William Gilmore Simms Society

February 11, 2000
Kathleen Thompson (Savannah, GA)

March 10, 2000
Michael Chitwood (Chapel Hill, NC)

April 14, 2000
Margaret Lally

May 6, 2000
Workshop at DeBordieu/Georgetown, led by Dannye Romine Powell, co-sponsored by NCPS

May 12, 2000
Annual Business Meeting & Annual Forum

May 19, 2000
Diane Wakoski, co-sponsored by College of Charleston

September 11, 1998
Jean Nordhaus, winner of Kinloch Rivers Chapbook Competition

October 8, 1998
Rebecca McClanahan (Charlotte, NC), held at the Gibbes Museum rotunda

November 13, 1998
Susan Meyers (Georgetown) & Diana Pinckney (Charlotte, NC)

January 8, 1999
Open mic

February 12, 1999
John Lane (Spartanburg)

March 12, 1999
Phebe Davidson (Aiken)

April 9, 1998
Carolyn Beard Whitlow (Greensboro, NC)

May 14, 1998
Annual Forum

September 12, 1997
Debra Kaufman, winner of Kinloch Rivers Chapbook Competition

October 10, 1997
Nick Lindsay

November 14, 1997
Linda Karges-Bone, poet and professor at Charleston Southern University

January 9, 1998
Jim Clark, poet and professor, University of Georgia

February 13, 1998
Jeff Schwaner and Mary Winifred Hood

February 1998
Maxine Kumin reading, co-sponsored by College of Charleston

March 13, 1998
Melissa Morphew (Bishopville)

March 15, 1998
Collation in honor of SC Academy of Authors, co-sponsored by Low Country Heritage Society

April 10, 1998
James Kibler, poet and professor, University of Georgia

May 8, 1998
Annual Forum

May 1998
Workshop at Debordieu/Georgetown, conducted by Thomas L. Johnson, co-sponsored by NC Poetry Society

May 1998
Poetry-as-Therapy workshop, led by Oliver Bowman, co-sponsored by Piccolo Spoleto

September 13, 1996
Marjorie Elizabeth Peale, "Interviews with Poets of the ‘30s and ‘40s"

October 11, 1996
Mary Winifred Hood

November 2, 1996
Workshop in Anderson, conducted by Starkey Flythe

November 8, 1996
William Baldwin, novelist and poet

January 10, 1997
Open Reading, members only

February 14, 1997
David Aiken, "On Charleston Writers"

March 14, 1997
James M. Hutchisson on DuBose Heyward

March 16, 1997
Collation, by John Bennett, for SC Academy of Authors, at the Margaret Petterson Gallery

April 11, 1997
Alice Cabaniss, Charleston teacher and poet

May 3, 1997
PSSC/NCPS workshop at DeBordieu/Georgetown led by Bennie Lee Sinclair, South Carolina Poet Laureate

May 9, 1997
Annual Forum

June 7, 1997
Workshop featuring "found" poetry, led by Thomas L. Johnson

September 8, 1995
Constance Pultz, winner of the Kinloch Rivers Chapbook competition

October 13, 1995
Gilbert Allen (Furman)

November 10, 1995
Gordon Bell (Spartanburg) and Matthew Montana (Nashville, TN), co-authors of Whispers of Madmen

January 12, 1996
75th Anniversary of PSSC gala, The Confederate Home, 62 Broad St.

February 9, 1996
Open mic

March 8, 1996
Jim Clark (Georgia)

Collation at the Marty Whaley Adams Gallery

April 12, 1996
Jacqueline Markham, author of Chinababy (chapbook)

April 1996
Poetry workshop at DeBordieu/Georgetown, in collaboration with NC Poetry Society

May 10, 1996
Annual Forum, showcasing recent work by members of The Writers’ Group

September 9, 1994
Mary Elizabeth Parker, winner of the 1993 Kinloch Rivers Memorial Chapbook Competition

October 14, 1994
Michael McFee (Chapel Hill, NC)

November 11, 1994
R. T. Smith (VA), judge of Kinloch Rivers chapbook prize

January 13, 1995
Margaret Lally, Citadel professor

February 10, 1995
John Andrew Hamilton Prize awarded ($100) by audience vote

March 10, 1995
Paul Rice (Conway)

March 19, 1995
Collation at the home of John Bennett, Jr., part of Writers’ Conference

April 14, 1995
Linda Lee Harper (Aiken)

May 12, 1995
Annual Forum, by Writers’ Group


September 10, 1993
The John Andrew Hamilton Prize Competition, audience-judged

October 8, 1993
Linda Lee Harper (Aiken)

November 12, 1993
Carrie McCray (Columbia)

January 14, 1994
Ted Graf (Columbia)

February 11, 1994
Open Reading

March 11, 1994
Debra Daniel (Blythewood), 1993 SCAC Poetry Fellow

March 19, 1994
Literary Tour in cooperation with The Preservation Society

March 20, 1994
A collation at the home of John Bennett, Jr., to honor the Writers’ Conference, sponsored by The College of Charleston

April 8, 1994
Michael Chitwood (Chapel Hill, NC)

May 13, 1994
The Writers’ Group: Annual Spring Forum

May 28, 1994
Elaine Bresler’s 7th Annual Poetry-as-Therapy Workshop, in cooperation with Piccolo Spoleto


September 11, 1992
Judge L. Mendel Rivers, Jr., reading from his favorite poetry

October 9, 1992
John Andrew Hamilton Competition, winner selected by audience

November 13, 1992
Quitman Marshall (Columbia)

November 27, 1992
Special Event
Rabbi Rosenthal, dramatic reading of Jewish poetry

January 8, 1993
Cecile Goding (Florence)

February 12, 1993
Jean McKinney & Liz Newall (Anderson)

March 12, 1993
Open mic

April 9, 1993
Stephen Gardner (Columbia)

April 22, 1993
Second Literary Tour, collaboration with The Preservation Society (First Tour was in fall of 1992)

May 14, 1993
The Writers’ Group: Annual Spring Forum

June 5, 1993
Poetry-as-Therapy workshop, conducted by Elaine Bresler

(in cooperation with Piccolo Spoleto)

thanks to our sponsors

This series is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Funding comes to PSSC through generous grants from the John and Susan Bennett Foundation of the Coastal Community Foundation, and the Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund.