The 2020 April Poetry Symposium

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April 5-11, 2020
Location: Po’ipū, Kaua’i
Faculty: Kim Addonizio
Contact: or 360.531.1472
Availability: Full
Accommodations: Both shared and private villas at the Villas at Poipu Kai
Class Description | Daily Schedule | Our Home on Kaua’i | Registration | F.A.Q.

Live and write for a week among the hibiscus, plumeria, and sunsets of the Garden Isle of Kaua’i.

Limited to twelve poets only, the 2020 April Poetry Symposium is all about deep craft instruction, a community of fellow poets, and the inspiration of time and space to work on your writing: all set amidst the beauty and tranquility of Kaua’i’s south shore.

Class Description

“The Art of the Short Poem”

Short poems can deliver an ounce of surprise, a rush of feeling, a tender meditation or harrowing emotional journey that takes place in what feels like an instant. William Blake saw “a World in a Grain of Sand.” To write short poems is exciting and challenging, and demands of us that we weigh every word and consider how we can say and imply just enough to create a powerful experience for the reader. They ask us to be concise, to get the heart of what we need to say, to dive deep. In this workshop, we’re going to explore the structure and language of short pieces, from haiku-inspired American Sentences to forms like the triolet and free-verse structures up to roughly 14 lines. In the workshop and on our own, we’ll read, write, and share our new poems and discoveries. You can also bring a previously written poem or piece of double-spaced prose (1 to 2 pages) that you’ll have a chance to “shrink wrap” into a shorter piece.

Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry, “The Poet’s Companion” (with Dorianne Laux) and “Ordinary Genius.” She has received fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Award Finalist for her collection “Tell Me” Her latest books are “Mortal Trash: Poems” (W.W. Norton) and a memoir, “Bukowski in a Sundress” (Penguin).

She recently collaborated on a chapbook, “The Night Could Go in Either Direction” (Slapering Hol) with poet Brittany Perham. Addonizio also has two word/music CDs: “Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing” (with Susan Browne) and “My Black Angel,” a companion to “My Black Angel: Blues Poems & Portraits,” featuring woodcuts by Charles D. Jones.

Daily Schedule

The south shore of Kaua’i: one of the most beautiful and inspirational places for writers in the world

4 pm-onward: Arrivals, getting settled.
10 am to 1 pm: morning workshop
7 pm-9 pm: evening gathering and poetry Q&A with Kim.
10 am to 1 pm: morning workshop
Writing day/island day
10 am to 1 pm: morning workshop
10 am to 1 pm: morning workshop
7-9 pm: celebratory final gathering at Brennecke’s 
Departure by 11 am

Our Home On Kaua’i

Po’ipū is a small residential community located on the sunny southern shore of Kaua’i, about a half-hour southwest from the airport at Lihue. Good coffee, grocery stores, and restaurants are available in multiple locations.

Each morning, writing sessions help us loosen our writing muscles and get words on the page.

In one of the most beautiful and inspiring locations on earth, spend your afternoons
writing or enjoying the best of what Kaua’i has to offer, including playing on the beach or water; discovering the history, culture, and natural beauty of Kaua’i; or reading and writing at good restaurants and cafes.

During the week we have evening gatherings for you to attend as you see fit, spending some quality literary time with the other residents.


Airport pickup/drop-off included in all options, if you wish.

Our villas are located a beautiful five-minute walk from two different beaches
  1. Register for workshop only: $725
  2. Register for workshop and private room/private bathroom in a shared villa: $1,400
  3. Register for workshop and a private villa, all to yourself: $2,100 (perfect for those bringing a spouse or partner along.)

This event is full. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to rent a car?
You don’t need to rent a car, as we do airport pick-up and drop-offs, and there is enough on the south shore to keep you busy for a week. However, many attendees find that having a car allows them to explore the rest of the island (which we also recommend) so it depends on how, personally, you want to spend your week on Kaua’i.

Are meals included?
Because each resident has their own unique dietary needs, we do not provide food. All residences come with a fully equipped kitchen, and there are a number of grocery stores and restaurants nearby. For those using our airport pick-up and drop-off, we are happy to take you a grocery store once during the week, on the first Monday afternoon of the residency week.


Jordan Hartt jordan copyis the author of “Leap” and “Drifting.” His lifework is creating experiences where people find the craft immersion to reach for their best writing, find the community to connect meaningfully across backgrounds, and find the lifelong inspiration of the writing life. To do this, he facilitates the Kaua’i Writing Studio; hosts annual writing retreats in Po’ipū, Kaua’i; Kolkata, India; and Kampala, Uganda; and gives as a philanthropist to artists and visionaries around the world.

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