I spent the last week of June on scholarship at the Solstice Summer Writers' Conference in Boston. While there I had the chance to workshop with Cleopatra Mathis and Stephen Dunn. Below I've collected some of the things I jotted down throughout the week.
"The progress from stanza to stanza must be essential, if the poem could progress in any other order then perhaps the content of the stanza itself should be rethought. The poem must constantly move forward"--C. Mathis
"A line requires a tension within itself, at least two pieces of language interacting in a novel way." --C.M.
"Anything included arbitrarily immediately becomes suspicious."--C.M.
"Writers see the same things as everyone else, they simply see them differently."-Barbara Hurd
"The task of the writer is to familiarize what's strange, to de-familiarize the familiar."-B. Hurd
"Write what you're most afraid of."--Hayden Carruth
"Find in your poem your highest standard, and live up to it with every line before and after."--Stephen Dunn
"A good symbol is something that both conceals and reveals at the same time."--Stephen Dunn
"The facts of what actually happened don't matter, but what import they have to the psyche does."--C. Mathis
"For the poet who writes autobiographically, the burden is to get beyond the experience."--Stephen Dunn
"When beginning a poem, the poet must be at war with what passes for true, the language and rhetoric that is easily accessible."--Stephen Dunn