Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 3.16.31 PM.png


Produced by: Hessler Creative & Urban Exodus





We’ve all probably written and read a number of poems that we consider fairly accomplished or good poems. But what’s the difference, the X-Factor, the gap between a good poem and a great, memorable one? In this dynamic and fast-paced weekend course we will explore this question though close readings/discussions of some exemplary masterpieces to discover the qualities and elements that make a poem great. With these discoveries this in mind, we will workshop previously-written poems as well as new poems you will generate in class through the practice of imitation and “fever/automatic writing” to tap into your creativity and imagination.


Note:  This course is intended for intermediate to seasoned poets who have had some degree of experience in poetry workshops in the past, and have a general understanding of some of the basic techniques of writing poetry. If you have never studied poetry before and/or never taken a course with Richard before, please email us to be notified when registration opens for one of his introductory workshops. 

 writing - poetry 

AUGUST 28 - 30

Richard blanco

The X Factor: 

Good poems versus Great poems. 

Tuition: $370 


(Eastern Time Zone) 

Friday AUGUST 28th

Happy Hour Meet & Greet, 6pm

Student introductions and course overview


Saturday AUGUST 29tH
Morning Session, 11am (2-3 hours)

-Lunch Break - 

Afternoon Session, 3:30pm (3-4 hours)

Morning Session, 11am (2-3 hours)

-Lunch Break - 

Afternoon Session, 3:30pm (3-4 hours)





Skill level

This course is intended for intermediate to seasoned poets who have had some degree of experience in poetry workshops in the past, and have a general understanding of some of the basic techniques of writing poetry. Sessions will be hosted on Zoom. Once you have completed registration we will send you your Zoom login information for the course. You do not need to download Zoom to participate on a desktop or laptop computer. You do need to download the Zoom app if accessing from a phone or tablet.


The Friday night happy hour introduction at 6pm (Eastern Time) will be under an hour. Students will introduce themselves and Richard will discuss the game plan for the weekend.


On Saturday and Sunday the class will run roughly 5-7 hours, with a morning session beginning at 11am (running for 2-3 hours) and afternoon session starting at 3:30pm (running for 3-4 hours) and a 1-hour lunch break. Timing will be dependent on enrollment numbers. 


A maximum of 12 students, and a minimum of 6* 


*The workshop will be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met within 7 days of the workshop start. If cancelled, a full refund will be issued to all registered students. 


$370 (per person + $15 processing fee)



This course is currently sold out. To get on the waitlist, please click the button below. To receive priority notification of new courses please sign up for our newsletter. 




  • Instagram

Richard Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of the poetry collections Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Firesthe poetry chapbooks Matters of the Sea, One Today, and Boston Strong; a children’s book of his inaugural poem, “One Today,” illustrated by Dav Pilkey; and Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler. His latest book of poems, How to Love a Country (Beacon Press, 2019), both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. He has also authored the memoirs The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey


Blanco’s many honors include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, and two Maine Literary Awards. He has been a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and received honorary doctorates from Macalester College, Colby College, and the University of Rhode Island. He has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Fresh Air. The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador in 2015. Blanco has continued to write occasional poems for organizations and events such as the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana. Blanco teaches creative writing at Florida International University and at other learning institutions all over the world. He makes his home in Bethel, Maine with his partner. 

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 3.16.31 PM.png