From the moment I stepped out of the airport I knew I was in a good place because the weather was cool despite it being the end of July. On the shuttle trip I sat next to a writer from the Bay Area and was jump started into conversation about writing, politics and culture. Upon arriving at Port Townsend, Fort Worden Park, I immediately ran into fellow friends who had been at VONA 3 weeks earlier. Fort Worden is beautiful as it is on a bluff above the coast with a view of Victoria BC, Canada. From day one it was apparent this conference had prime writing conditions: a beautiful scenic environment and hardly any internet access. Focus, focus, focus.
The conference schedule was also designed to promote a productive environment with morning free-writes at 7am. My core class was with Martín Espada which was designed to be a generative workshop. This was just what I needed after VONA which focused more on revision and critique. After morning workshops there were optional afternoon workshops, a craft lecture at 4 and a reading in the evening. This was the basic set-up for each day. The days became filled with learning about writing, writing itself and talking about writing. Although the entire conference was spectacular, my favorite parts were the craft lectures each afternoon. I personally found them very inspirational, especially since they were given by a different writer each afternoon. This allowed me to understand craft from a variety of different angles and from all genres in a way I had not been able to understand before.
Overall, the conference was amazing and complimented my experience at VONA so well that I feel ready to tackle my second-year of the MFA with vast energy and clear head.
P.S. a bonus of the conference is that I received a full scholarship to LitFuse 2010 this October which is a poets only workshop. 🙂