Into the Heart of Poetry with Kim Rosen and Ellen Bass

November 8, 2015 – November 13, 2015 all-day
Mayacamas Ranch
3975 Mountain Home Ranch Road
CA 94515
Jen Petras


Into the Heart of Poetry

Writing, Hearing, and Speaking Poems
with Ellen Bass & Kim Rosen

Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA
November 8 – 13, 2015

and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing
~ Pablo Neruda, tr. Alistair Reid

UPDATE: This workshop is currently full. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please contact Jen at and let her know if you would like to wait for a particular type of room or if you would like the first available space.

Join Ellen Bass and Kim Rosen for five-days of living poetry. In this unique retreat, we will explore a combination of three elements: the inspiration of hearing poetry, the power of speaking poetry, and the craft of writing poetry.

sage-cottage-with-flowersHearing Poetry
Since the dawn of time, mystics, poets, and shamans have known that the rhythm, sound and meaning of spoken poetry can open the mind to creative inspiration. During this retreat, we will steep in periods of deep listening to poems from around the world interwoven with music in order to tap into the alchemical gifts of poetic language.

Speaking Poetry
When you take a poem you love deeply into your life and speak it aloud, amazing things happen. Your thoughts, feelings, and even your biochemistry are changed–as is the mind, heart, and body of the listener. In our time together you will learn how to take a poem into your life as a teacher and healer and free your voice to give it embodiment in a way no one else can.

MayacamasRanchPoolWriting Poetry
This retreat is oriented toward generating new poems. To help enrich and extend your skills, there will be talks on specific aspects of the craft using model poems by contemporary poets. There will also be time to share our new poems and hear what they touch in others, as well as opportunities to receive feedback and guidance.

In addition there will be periods of movement, music, silence and immersion in the extreme beauty of Mayacamas Ranch with its hidden lake, salt water swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and miles of hiking trails through chaparral, fragrant bay and madrone forests.

MayacamasGarden300x200Who should attend:
This workshop is for poets and poetry-lovers alike: from those who are accomplished writers to those who are new to writing but have a passion for poetry and the gifts to be found in reading, hearing and sharing it. The invitation is to those who would like to generate new writing and deepen their craft as well as those who are hungry to explore delivering a poem with increased presence and authenticity as a powerful offering to oneself and others. We also recommend this workshop for teachers who can use a shot of inspiration and want to be introduced to new methods, as well as those who work in the helping and healing professions who want to explore another way to reach the heart. Though we’ll focus on poetry, prose writers will find it a fertile environment for inspiration and enrichment.

Mayacamas-Double-Room300x200About Maycamas Ranch:
Set on a hilltop ridgeline above the town of Calistoga in Napa, CA and surrounded by spectacular 360-degree views, Mayacamas Ranch provides an awe-inspiring, natural setting.

With its secluded and expansive grounds, comfortable guestrooms, organic based cuisine from their garden, Mayacamas is a stunning, secluded retreat center.

Mayacamas Ranch has guest units and cottages situated in various buildings on the property. All beds at Mayacamas are 100% organic and feature organic sheets in all rooms.

There is also a heated salt-water pool and hot tub, hiking trails and a spring-fed lake. If a trip to Italy isn’t on your calendar this year (or even if it is), come to Mayacamas Ranch!

To see more of Mayacamas Ranch, visit

Mayacamspondwithchairs300x187Costs and registration:

UPDATE: This workshop is currently full. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please contact Jen at and let her know if you would like to wait for a particular type of room or if you would like the first available space.

The size of the workshop is limited and registration is on a first-come-first-service basis determined by the order in which payment is received. The fees are all-inclusive, including the workshop, lodging, and all meals. Double occupancy is $1900. Single occupancy with a shared bath is $2200 and single occupancy with a private bath is $2450. A $500 deposit is required by April 30th to hold your spot. The remaining balance is due August 30th.

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Save $150 if you pay in full by April 30th.

To register, please email Jen (Ellen and Kim’s assistant) at Then make your check payable to Kim Rosen and mail to Jen Petras at 249 West Park Boulevard, Medina, OH 44256. NOTE: Checks from those outside the US must be in US dollars and drawn upon a US bank.

If you need to arrange a payment plan, just let us know. We’re flexible and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.

If you would prefer to pay through PayPal or TransferWise (for those of you outside the US), please email Jen and she will send you the details.

If you find that you cannot attend the workshop, let us know as soon as possible and we’ll try to fill your space with someone from the waiting list. If we or you can fill your space, we’ll refund your payment, minus $150 administrative fee.

Getting there:
Mayacamas Ranch is about an hour and a half north of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re driving or need a ride, carpooling can be arranged from the San Francisco bay area or for folks arriving at SF airport.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Kim Rosen at or Ellen Bass at

We hope you can join us!

Ellen150x200Ellen Bass’s poetry includes Like A Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), which was named a Notable Book by the San Francisco Chronicle, and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002), which won the Lambda Literary Award.  She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Progressive, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Sun and many other journals. Among her awards for poetry are a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pushcart Prize, the Elliston Book Award, The Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, the Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, and the New Letters Prize. She is part of the core faculty of the MFA writing program at Pacific University.

KimRosen150x200Kim Rosen, MFA, has touched listeners around the world with poetry’s power to awaken, inspire and heal. She is the author of Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words (Hay House, 2009) and the co-creator of four CDs of spoken poetry and music, including Only Breath, an interweaving of spoken poems of ancient and modern poets with the music of cellist/composer Jami Sieber. A recipient of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry, her work has been published in O Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Central Park, The Dickens, Eclipse and The Texas Review among others. Combining her devotion to poetry with her background as a spiritual teacher and therapist, she gives “Poetry Concerts”, inspirational lectures, and workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad.

There I learned that poetry is an act, an incantation, a kiss of peace, a medicine. I learned that poetry is one of the rare, very rare things in the world which can prevail over cold and hatred. . . . A medicine, neither more nor less. An element which, communicated to the human organism, modified the vital circulation, making it slower, or more rapid. It was, in short, something whose effects were as concrete as those of a chemical substance, I was convinced of this.  – from “Poetry in Buchenwald” by Jaques Lusseyranb

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One Response to Into the Heart of Poetry with Kim Rosen and Ellen Bass

  1. Hello Kim:
    I am interested in this Poetry Writing retreat. I wondered how many are in this program?
    I will strongly consider to see if it is possible.
    I am looking forward to the Beyond Words retreat in Ireland in July and travel to the home of my ancestors!!
    Be well,