Go to New York State Writers Institute
Spring 2006
Introduction to Poetry Writing Workshop
Offered by Writer-in-Residence Cara Benson

New York State Writers Institute Writer-in-Residence Cara Benson will conduct an introduction to poetry writing workshop during the spring 2006 semester. The workshop is designed as a first course for beginning writers of poetry, people who have written some work, perhaps even published in a small magazine or journal, but who have had little formal training and have not had the opportunity to develop a measurable body of work. We recognize that people begin writing at all stages of life, sometimes with the insouciance of youth, sometimes returning to an effort after a long diversion, or sometimes realizing along the way later in life that they finally have something to say. Course work will include readings of selected texts and discussion of students' writing.

The workshop is scheduled for ten Wednesday nights (March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, 19, 26, May 3, 10) from 6 to 9 p.m. In addition, individual student conferences will be scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. The class will take place on the University at Albany's uptown campus. The workshop is offered free of charge for non-credit, and will be limited to 13-15 writers. To be considered, submit manuscripts to the Writers Institute according to the guidelines listed below. Due to the volume of manuscripts received from previous workshops, we must insist that you follow the guidelines exactly.

Follow These Guidelines

  1. All manuscripts must be typewritten, or printed from a computer, double-spaced.
  2. All submissions must include a separate cover sheet with name, address, work and home telephone numbers, and the title of your submission and a publication list. (e-mail address is optional)
  3. Submit three to five pages of poems, one poem per page, or individual poems up to five pages in length. Include a brief statement (50-100 words) describing your interest in poetry and what you hope to learn by participating in this workshop. To insure a blind selection process, do not put your name on any of these pages.

  4. Be sure to keep a copy of your work as your manuscript will not be returned to you.
  5. Writers enrolled in a University at Albany writing workshop for the spring 2005 semester, whether graduate or undergraduate, are not eligible. Writers who have participated in past writing workshops sponsored by the Writers Institute are not eligible. Auditing is not allowed.
  6. Manuscripts delivered in person will be accepted up until 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6, 2006. Mailed manuscripts must be postmarked not later than Wednesday, February 1, 2006. Faxes or e-mails will not be accepted.
  7. Notification of acceptance will be by Wednesday, February 22, 2006. Please do not call regarding the status of your manuscript. We regret that neither Ms. Benson nor the Institute can comment on manuscripts by writers not selected.
  8. Mail manuscripts to:
Benson Poetry Workshop
NYS Writers Institute
New Library 320
University at Albany, SUNY
Albany, NY 12222

Cara Benson

Cara Benson's writing appears in print and online. 88, pom2, HOW2, EOAGH, Sentence, BoogCity, Tarpaulin Sky, and elsewhere. Other work includes "Quantum Chaos and Poems: A Manifest(o)ation" (BookThug), "Bound" (Dusie), and video poems online at The Continental Review. In addition to teaching for Skidmore College, Benson makes poems every Tuesday with male inmates at Mt. McGregor Correctional Facilty in upstate NY.