Upcoming Events

September 9-10, 2017

Fall Writers' Retreat featuring Lynn Powell
HI Malabar Farm
3954 Bromfield Rd.
Lucas, OH 44843

About the Facilitator

Lynn Powell photo
Lynn Powell’s new book of poems, Season of the Second Thought, just won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and will be published this fall by the University of Wisconsin Press. She has published two previous collections of poetry: Old & New Testaments (winner of The Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award) and The Zones of Paradise. Her nonfiction book Framing Innocence won the Studs & Ida Terkel Award from The New Press. Her poems have been published in many journals, including Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, and Shenandoah, and anthologized in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (edited by Billy Collins) and The Norton Introduction to Literature. Powell has been awarded a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and four Individual Artist Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. A native of East Tennessee, Powell has lived in Oberlin, Ohio, since 1990. After many years working as a visiting writer in grades K-12 in the public schools, she now teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Oberlin College, where she is the founder and director of Oberlin WITS (a Writers-in-the-Schools training program for undergraduates).

About the Workshop

Lynn Powell writes: "The 19th-century painter Edgar Degas had a hankering to write poetry. But after numerous fruitless attempts, he complained to his friend, the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, that his poems kept failing even though his head was 'full of ideas.' Mallarmé’s famous response was: 'My dear Degas, poems are not made out of ideas; they’ re made out of words.'

"Too often, we make the same mistake Degas made—we think if we record our idea in judicious lines, we’ve finished our poem. But just as a painting succeeds not on the basis of its idea but on its thrilling use of paint, so our poems succeed only when the words themselves thrill the reader. In our weekend workshops, we will explore ways to enliven the language in our poems. Most importantly, we’ ll explore how words themselves—their sounds, textures, nuances, registers of voice, and varied vocabularies—can function as the Muse, and how our richest ideas often come through a collaboration with language itself."

About the Facilities

The Malabar Farm Hostel offers do-it-yourself, dormitory-style accommodations in an historic farmhouse within park grounds. Bed linens and towels are provided. Guests can bring potluck, snacks, or food to prepare for Saturday evening. There is a refrigerator for storing food, and a fully equipped kitchen for preparing it. OPA will be providing breakfast Sunday morning. The Malabar Farm Restaurant is also in the park, offering lunch and dinner service. Click here to learn more about the farm and park.


Saturday, September 9
5:30 p.m. Arrival, registration, room arrangements, socialize
6:00 p.m. Potluck (bring a dish or beverage)
7:00 p.m. Poetry Workshop I with Lynn Powell

Sunday, September 10
8:30 a.m. Breakfast prepared by OPA’s Rinda Sansom
10:00 a.m. Poetry Workshop II with Lynn Powell
12:00 p.m. Wrap-up and departure

Cost: $40 includes two workshops, overnight stay, and Sunday breakfast. (Program attendees wishing to make a weekend of it may stay Friday night as well for only $15 more.)

Call hostel manager Mark Jordan at (419) 892-2055 to reserve a spot and make payment.


October 14, 2017

OPA Quarterly Business Meeting & "Mothball Poetry" Workshop
Otterbein College
Towers Hall, Room 110
1 S. Grove St.
Westerville, OH 43081

Have a poem from a few years back that you think has potential but could use another set of eyes or a fresh set of ideas? Perhaps you've got a sonnet or other formal poem that needs a little tweaking to get the meter correct or to make the rhyme scheme more fresh and interesting. If so, join us this October for a truly interactive workshop where we invite attendees to search through their files and bring a poem "out of mothball" so that it can live again.

Led by poets who coordinate or are members of smaller, local poets' groups, breakout groups will focus on specific elements of poetry, from poetic forms and structure to figurative language, to working humor into a poem. We suggest attendees bring about 10 copies of their mothball poems for the workshop.


10:00 - 11:30 AM   Business Meeting
1:00 – 4:00 PM      Mothball Poetry Workshop

For a map and directions, click here.

Parking is available in the lot off W. Park Street. There's also plenty of on-street parking on Park Street, Grove Street, and College Avenue.

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