17th Annual Santa Barbara Summer Poetry Workshop

led by
Perie Longo
David Starkey & Chryss Yost

photo: Stacey J. Byers

Saturday & Sunday, August 12th & 13th, 2017

Time will be spent on all aspects of the practice of poetry: crafting, writing exercises, discussion, publication advice and the art of reading your poems.This workshop is an opportunity for you to grow your poems with thoughtful attention from experienced poets who combine their approaches for you to hone your skills and go deeper into your own creative process.

Join us in our beautiful new venue:
Mount Calvary Monastery and Retreat House
505 E. Los Olivos
 Santa Barbara, CA 93105

mt calvary

The Retreat House is set in the beautiful hills of Santa Barbara, CA., near the center of the city and adjacent to the Mission Santa Barbara. Accommodation include commuters, single rooms and double rooms with shared baths. The sizable meeting room features comfortable chairs and outstanding views from a large terrace overlooking Mission Canyon with landscaped grounds including a labyrinth.

meeting room
Meeting Room




Price for workshop $240 includes lunch.

Overnight accommodations for the weekend (Friday and Saturday night) are $250
for either a single or double room which includes meals and linens.
Local participants are welcome to stay overnight for the convenience
and to use the time as a retreat.
To reserve rooms, contact Mount Calvary Monastery directly at 805-682-4117
or email:
Make sure to say you are with the SBSummer Poetry Workshop.

Enrollment limited to 18 participants.
To reserve your place for the workshop itself , send $100 paid directly to Perie Longo by June 1
with balance of $150 due by July 15. Or you may also pay the full tuition in one payment by that date.

Send check made out to
Perie J. Longo
1114 State St, #315
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

For questions or information call Perie at 805-687-1619 or email:


PERIE LONGO, Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara (2007-2009), has published four poetry collections, most recently Baggage Claim (2014) and has frequently appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. For many years she has led poetry workshops for the annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference, California-Poets-in-the-Schools, and privately. She has been a textbook contributor of chapters titled "The Magic of Metaphor," "Turning the Darkness Down: Poetry as Therapy," and "Poetry and Emotional Intelligence." In 2005 she was invited to the University of Kuwait to speak on Writing Poetry as a Way to Peace. In 2012 she was awarded the Woman of Achievement Award from the Association of Women in Communication, Santa Barbara Chapter. She is a psychotherapist in private practice and on the staff of the UCLA Arts and Healing program and Poetry Chair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Cleaning the Fish

The last sound it ever heard was my holler,
trying to haul its fight into the tipsy row boat.
“Hold on,” my father said, net in the air. On shore,
my catch laid out slick on the table in the lean-to,
he handed me a knife, cold, all business.
“Slice tail to head.” I followed
the Walleye’s stare to the hole above
where sky leaked in.

Wasn’t it enough I caught it?
Barehanded, fingers raw from scaling,
it didn’t feel like sport anymore, the joy
of being “good as a boy,”
so I left my body and slit the gut—
baited minnow intact, heart a pebble
pulsing in the slosh. I scooped it all into the bucket
at my feet and vowed, never again.

Decades past, I thank my zoologist father
for teaching me what’s required to take matters
into your own hands. Still, in my gut the ache
snatching the Walleye from its rush
between lily pads and whish of cattails,
lake water splashing over us in the draw.



DAVID STARKEY served as Santa Barbara’s 2009-2010 Poet Laureate, and he is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College and the Editor and Publisher of Gunpowder Press. He has published seven full-length collections of poetry, including It Must Be Like the World (Pecan Grove, 2011), Circus Maximus (Biblioasis, 2013) and Like a Soprano (Serving House, 2014), an episode-by-episode re-visioning of The Sopranos TV series. His most recent collection is a chapbook of prose poems, Occupations (Flutter Press, 2016). In addition, over the past thirty years he has published more than 500 poems in literary journals such as Alaska Quarterly Review, American Scholar, Antioch Review, Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cincinnati Review, Georgia Review, Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry East, Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Southern Poetry Review. His textbook, Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017), is in its third edition.


Unattended Ground Sensor Specialist

Your superior plays Monument Valley on his phone as you emplace the surveillance devices. While you compute density, direction and rate of movement, he plays Ridiculous Fishing and Device 6. The nature of the conflict is evolving by the moment, the urgency of the situation cannot be exaggerated. You want to say to him, Sir, I recommend supporting fire on the targets. Sir, the coordinates have changed. But he is your superior and he is otherwise engaged.

David Starkey



CHRYSS YOST served as Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara from 2013-15. Her book of poems, Mouth & Fruit, was published in 2014 by Gunpowder Press, where she is now co-editor. She was selected by Patricia Smith for the Patricia Dobler Prize in poetry and has published two fine press chapbooks. Chryss has co-edited several poetry anthologies, including California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present with California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, and most recently Rare Feathers: Poems on Birds and Art. She teaches poetry to gifted teens through the Santa Barbara Music and Arts Conservatory and is a frequent collaborator on poetry projects with local museums and galleries.


The sycamore calendar starts in November,
not with the buds but the building of buds
deep in the sap, with branches shorn and bare
bark ready to warm quick in short days, the mud-
mulch rich with leaves that gulped up the sun.

Leaves, done with their work, have released their hold
and pattern the canopy’s shadow with gold.
The trees, like I want to be, steadied by the year
they leave behind, letting the dead wood drop.
Hear how summer crunches when we walk on it.

Chryss Yost



"THANK YOU! I was able to get out of my daily life and do something that I love with people who are so passionate about poetry and its craft. It was fabulous to be in the company of SUCH talent!"

"The workshop has inspired me to restart my poetry writing. I didn't know I had such worlds at my fingertips." "...more than worth our time and money."

"Lovely as always. I wish it was four times a year."

"Great workshop. I'm so glad I came. Got lots of excellent, helpful feedback, encouragement, motivation. See you next year."

"Loved the generosity of being, of Perie & the organization of time and place."

"Great workshop!...lots of support and terrific criticism from all involved."

"Please don't stop this workshop. It gets better and better."