Sunflower Festival
Mountainair 87036

* Sunflower Poetry Writing Workshop

Friday & Saturday, August 25th and 26th, 2005

  Meet us at the historic Shaffer Hotel

Shaffer Hotel
photo by Birdman of Hell Paso
What is a poetry workshop?

The Sunflower Writing Workshop returns to the Poets & Writers Picnic and the Sunflower Festival.

Workshop schedule: from 2 pm Friday, Aug. 25; Friday afternoon and evening sessions; Saturday, Aug. 26, morning session, with participants to read at Picnic; wrap-up session afternoon Saturday after Picnic. Option of publishing on the Sunflower Poetry site.

Workshop Leaders:
Gregory Candela and Dale Harris (bios below)

Location: Mountainair's historic Shaffer Hotel,
one block south of the intersection of Highways 55 & 60.

Tuition: $50,
limited enrollment, includes workshop only. Make checks out to Dale Harris and mail to 2115 Aspen Avenue, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. Lodging and meals not included in tuition. However, the Shaffer Hotel will be offering a special rate to workshop participants. Local lodging information.

Contact: call (505- 242-4930) or e-mail (please write "Sunflower Poetry Writing Workshop" on the subject line) Dale Harris for more information.

More about the Sunflower Poetry Workshop Leaders


Gregory Candela, UNM-Valencia professor of English, Ph. D. in American literature, is a Master Teacher, creative writing instructor, poet, performance artist, folk musician, poetry book reviewer for the Valencia News-Bulletin, editor of Valley Visions, and author of Surfing New Mexico, a  book filled with poems about the spirit of New Mexico and its people. Greg's short story "Will" appeared at Lunarosity, he has had several poems in Central Avenue, and his dramatic poem, "El Mozo Regresa," was produced for KUNM's Radio Theatre, May 2003. He also organizes UNM Valencia's annual Valley Cultural Festival and is currently working on a book of short stories. 

Read a review of and selected poems from Surfing New Mexico and selected poems published at Lunarosity.


Dale Harris
is a potter, a poet, a spoken word performer, prolific and tireless organizer of New Mexico poetry events, featured reader and facilitator at poetry festivals and workshops.  Her poetry CDs include Once We Were Winged, Cibola Seasons, and Like A HummingbirdShe also e-mails weekly "Thank God It's Thursday" (TGIT) poems.

See how a poetry workshop unfolds on-line

Poet John Lydgate at His Desk, engraving circa 1515.

And now a poem on the writing of poetry
more on our
ars poetica page + Horace's ars poetica & translation)

Ars poetica
Czeslaw Milosz

I have always aspired to a more spacious form
that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose
and would let us understand each other without exposing
the author or reader to sublime agonies.

In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent:
a thing is brought forth which we didn't know we had in us,
so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out
and stood in the light, lashing his tail.

That's why poetry is rightly said to be dictated by a daimonion,
though it's an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel.
It's hard to guess where that pride of poets comes from,
when so often they're put to shame by the disclosure of their frailty.

What reasonable man would like to be a city of demons,
who behave as if they were at home, speak in many tongues,
and who, not satisfied with stealing his lips or hand,
work at changing his destiny for their convenience?

It's true that what is morbid is highly valued today,
and so you may think that I am only joking
or that I've devised just one more means
of praising Art with the help of irony.

There was a time when only wise books were read,
helping us to bear our pain and misery.
This, after all, is not quite the same
as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics.

And yet the world is different from what it seems to be
and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.
People therefore preserve silent integrity,
thus earning the respect of their relatives and neighbors.

The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

What I'm saying here is not, I agree, poetry,
as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly,
under unbearable duress and only with the hope
that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.

Berkeley, 1968
translated by Czeslaw Milosz
and Lillian Valle

for more information about the Poets & Writers Picnic, contact Dale Harris, 505-242-4930

Manzano Mountain Art Council / The Art Center of Mountainair / Studio & Gallery Tour / Chautauqua

Sunflower Festival
Mountainair 87036

*not an MMAC page,
part of the
Mountainair87036 site,
© pages by Vanessa

page updated July, 20006.