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2023 High School Writing Retreat

November 2 @ 9:00 am November 3 @ 3:00 pm

Paul Smith’s College – 7777 NY-30, Paul Smiths, NY 12970
Two-Day Event: Thursday (11/2), 9 – 3 PM + Friday (11/3), 9 – 3 PM

Register your school group for our free, two-day writing workshop for students in grades 9 – 12. Students from all over the North Country will study creative writing, performance, and collaboration with three renowned performance poets visiting from New York City. This year’s instructors are poets Roya Marsh, JosĂ© Olivarez, and Jon Sands. The High School Writing Retreat is open to any student in grade 9 or above, including public, private, and homeschool students. There is no cost to attend. 

Students will enjoy poetry performances and learn to supercharge their writing with workshops, activities, and readings. They’ll also meet over one hundred other North Country students interested in writing, allowing them to grow their literary community and find inspiration in peers. 

Teachers can register a group of students through the form on ACW’s website, and parents of homeschool students can register as well. Schools and/or parents are responsible for driving students to Paul Smiths each day, as ACW does not provide transportation. Students are expected to bring their own lunch or else bring funds to purchase lunch from the Paul Smith’s cafeteria.

Thank you to the sponsors who make this program happen every fall: Cloudsplitter Foundation, Charles R Wood Foundation, Stewarts Inc, and the Saranac Lake Public School Education Fund

Roya Marsh is a Bronx, New York, native and a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator, and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and she works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Marsh’s work has been featured on NBC, BET, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, and in Poetry magazine, Flypaper MagazineFrontier PoetryThe Village VoiceNylonHuff PostLexus Verses and Flow, and The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket 2018).

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by The Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he co-edited the poetry anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association and named a Debut Poet of 2018 by Poets & Writers. In 2019, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.

Jon Sands is a winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series, selected for his second book, It’s Not Magic (Beacon Press, 2019). He is the facilitator of the Emotional Historians workshop, a series of generative writing workshops that you can find out more about on Instagram at @iAmJonSands. His work has been featured in the New York Times, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry. He teaches at Brooklyn College, Urban Word NYC, and for over a decade has facilitated a weekly writing workshop for adults at Baily House, an HIV/AIDS service center in East Harlem. He tours extensively as a poet, but lives in Brooklyn.