I always love going to The Frost Place. The farmhouse looks out at Mount Lafayette and a ridge of the White Mountains. The view is breathtaking. There was usually an afternoon free for hiking, biking, or sight seeing. The view is breathtaking. To be among other poets and be able to hear, read, and write poetry in this environment has always been the source for me of fresh creative work.
When I first attended the Frost Place Festival all events were held in or around the Poetry Barn.
Participants found their own housing at local B&B’s, Motels, or rented a local apartment for the week. There was a lecture each morning in the Barn, followed by two workshop periods, each one with a different poet/teacher, a different group, and a different location. There were 8 to 10 participants in a workshop; everyone’s poem received two readings and a period followed of comments and suggestions. Each evening there was a poetry reading by one or more of the teacher/poets; on the final evening there was a participant reading. The faculty had their own residence together. The program was blessed by having Donald Sheehan as its director for over twenty years. (see my Jan 12 entry.)
Some very significant and positive changes have been made to the program in recent years. Participants now choose one workshop and remain with that poet and group for the week. This has made for a significantly stronger program, because the group has a chance to cohere and develop and to understand each poet’s style and voice and see how the poet’s work changes and develops as the workshop proceeds.
Mornings begin with two lectures or presentations by workshop leaders. Workshops are held after lunch. Equally important, the venue for The Conference on Poetry (as the Festival is now called) is now The White Mountain School (a fifteen minute drive from The Frost Place) where participants and leaders eat meals together and live in the dormitories together. Evening readings are still held in the Poetry Barn at The Frost Place. Martha Rhodes, established poet and Director and Founding Editor of Four Ways Books is the current director of the Frost Place, and she has helped to bring about these important changes.
I keep returning each summer to The Frost Place, confident that I will find new stimulation, new nourishment for my own work. For more information: http://frostplace.org/