Omega Poetry Festival | Omega
July 2015
Alison LutermanNick FlynnAja MonetMarie HoweLi-Young Lee

Find A Workshop


Omega Poetry Festival

July 05, 2015 – July 10, 2015
Rhinebeck, NY
Alison Luterman, Nick Flynn, Aja Monet, Marie Howe... See More
Tiered Pricing - Friend:
 Tier 1:
 Tier 2:
 Tier 3:

We are no longer taking online registrations for this workshop.

This workshop is part of Arts Week. Learn more.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born.” In this weeklong celebration of poetry, we immerse ourselves in the mysteries of poetic form with five nationally acclaimed poets.

Throughout the week, Alison Luterman acts as our guide. With her, we explore writing through the stages of neuro-spiritual evolution—from the reptile brain (survival, sex, instinct) and the mammalian brain (feelings, relationships) to the forebrain (transpersonal, transcendent), allowing us—and our poetry—to open up and fly. Great poems are often born in the muck of personal experience and bloom into a universal consciousness—but there is no set course. Each day, a guest poet illuminates a point on the arc with generative writing experiences and provocative conversations on craft.

We begin in bewilderment. Nick Flynn guides us in writing poems that inhabit a continually shifting sense of selfhood within the mercurial nature of emotional energy—from grief or panic to gratitude and understanding. We wrestle, stumble, and stutter for some time in the shadow-world and learn it is vital to art-making.

Guided by Aja Monet’s indomitable spirit, we delve deeper into the images that spring from the shadow-world and “surrender to the metaphor.” Our true poetic voice emerges as we coax images into consciousness through the ineffable mixture of silence, music, syntax, and the breath of essential words.

The most fundamental utterance of a poem is that of prayer. With Marie Howe we pay attention to our own intimate discourse with the divine—and our writing becomes a gateway to faith. It is through our poem-making that we shape our cry of longing; as we sing our poem into space we begin to find our place in the cosmos.

Li-Young Lee takes us into the language of the forbidden as we explore the similarities and differences between the spiritual and the erotic—true eros being the life force that imbues everyone and everything on the planet—and write our own erotic poems, held within the energy of love from which eros erupts.

More Information

Teachers are subject to change.

Faculty recommends you read the following book in preparation for the course:

Leaping Poetry: An Idea with Poems and Translations by Robert Bly

Additionally, please note that there will be at least one evening where faculty will be performing poetry readings.  Day and time(s) will be determined closer to the start of the event.


Arts Week Schedule

4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Check In (Rooms available after 5:00 p.m.)
7:30 p.m.-7:50 p.m. Welcome & Orientation
8:00-9:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony
9:00 a.m.–Noon Workshop
2:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Workshop
8:00-10:00 p.m. David London’s “Magic Outside the Box”
9:00 a.m.–Noon Workshop
2:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Workshop
8:00-10:00 p.m. "Behind the Mask/Beneath the Ego” performance by Rob Faust
9:00 a.m.–Noon Workshop
8:00-9:00 p.m. Poetry Festival Faculty Showcase
9:00-10:00 p.m. Circus Night with Peter Gold’s Trapeze Experience
9:00 a.m.–Noon Workshop
2:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Workshop
7:30 p.m. Doors Open for Gallery Show and Participant Showcase
8:00-8:30 p.m. Sandra Jackson-Dumont from Metropolitan Museum of Art “Beauty and the Imagination”
9:00 a.m.–Noon Workshop
Noon–2:00 p.m. Lunch & Departure

Events and times are subject to change.

The Children's Program is generally available during standard workshop hours only. Contact Omega registration at 877.944.2002 for details.

Alison Luterman

Alison Luterman is a poet, essayist, workshop leader, and regular contributor to The Sun magazine. She is author of Desire Zoo and other books.

Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn is author of three memoirs, The Reenactments, The Ticking Is the Bomb, and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, also published as Being Flynn, the title of the feature film based on the book. Flynn is also author of three books of poetry, The Captain Asks For a Show of Hands, Some Ether, and Blind Huber.

Aja Monet

Aja Monet is an internationally renowned performance poet and the youngest poet to win the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title.

Marie Howe

Marie Howe is the author What the Living Do, The Good Thief, and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. She served as the New York State Poet Laureate from 2012–2014. She also has been awarded several prestigious grants and fellowships, including a fellowship at the Bunting Institute, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee is an award-winning poet and author of of four collections of poetry, including Rose, The City in Which I Love You, and Book of My Nights. His poems have been described as "filled with lush images redolent of a mystical life well lived," by Poets and Writers magazine.