Before we’d even moved to Colorado, I started following the goings-on at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Based in Denver, Lighthouse brings in phenomenal writers of diverse backgrounds for workshops and seminars all year long.
I daydreamed that I would spend scads of time at Lighthouse once we lived in Colorado, but the realities of living 90 minutes north and already being in Denver frequently for theater have meant that I have never made it to an event.
Each year, Lighthouse hosts a 2-week festival they call Lit Fest. It’s a dream of a conference with sessions during the day, readings at night, and a constant swirl of literary conversation. There was no way for me to take part in even a full day of workshops, but I carefully selected two sessions I could commit to: Ross Gay‘s The Art of Brevity and David Rothman‘s From Sestina to Pantoum: Fixed Lyrical Forms.
In Ross Gay’s panel (above), Gay read from his collection of brief essays and discussed the ways that shortening a piece of writing can add drama, humor or poignancy. David Rothman’s panel was more academic but just as engaging, tracing the roots of a few forms of poetry and examining how they are crafted.
My two sessions were worth the schlep, not only for the content but for the feeling of being surrounded by a community of creative writers.
P.S. On the second day I journeyed via Bustang, my absolute favorite way to get to Denver if my schedule allows.