Writings of Steel

Tomales Bay Workshops

These were three pieces I worked on in the workshops at Tomales Bay.  Ireland is a short piece that was assigned as a way for students to introduce themselves to the class by writing something about their names.  I wrote One Small Victory feverishly, in between panels and readings, and Palm Trees was written about a week before I came to Tomales and it was written in order to be workshopped.  This is the final, revised poem.


One Small Victory

Palm Trees

The Tomales Bay Workshops are part of the University of California Davis Creative Writing program.  They are held at the Marconi Conference in Marshall, California on the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, about an hour north of San Francisco.  There are six genres represented and each accepts only twelve students.  Workshops are held in the mornings and panels and readings are held in the afternoon and evening.  I studied with Dorianne Laux, a Pushcart Prize winning poet with four published books of poetry.  The program director is Pam Houston, author of Cowboys are My Weakness, a best-selling volume of short stories, and the keynote speaker was T.C. Boyle, the author of Tortilla Heaven, The Road to Wellville and Tooth and Claw.  Also, one of my favorite actresses, Lily Taylor (Say Anything, High Fidelity, Factotum) was there.  Her boyfriend, Nick Flynn (author of Another Shit Night in Suck City), was teaching the cross-genre workshop.