Paris Poetry Workshop

with Cecilia Woloch & Friends

June 14-20, 2014

Part of a 3-week à la carte experience

with a range of offerings extending from

June 6 – June 27

Hope @ window copy

Write in the City of Light

 “It was a lighted place where the imagination was free.”

— Canadian writer Morley Callaghan

Cecilia Woloch invites twelve poets to join her this summer in Paris, “the city of light,” a city that loves writers, and that nourishes the imagination and the creative spirit. The Paris Poetry Workshop offers English-speaking poets the opportunity to come together for a week of intensive workshops, intimate talks and public readings. Participants will generate new work, hone their craft, offer feedback on each other’s writing, connect with new friends and expand their literary horizons.

This is an opportunity to live and write in Paris, to experience the Paris not readily available to the tourist or casual visitor — its gritty, bohemian side along with its splendor; its rough human charm along with its almost supernatural beauty — to draw inspiration from the city and to participate in a supportive community of writers who encourage and challenge one another. This year’s Paris Poetry Workshop is also scheduled to coincide with a number of exciting literary events and several other opportunities to work with Cecilia Woloch, allowing participants to spend one, two or three weeks immersed in poetry and in Paris.

Les Détails

  • The Paris Poetry Workshop will commence on Saturday, June 14 with a reception at rue Bachelet, a spacious apartment in a lovely private home (our “headquarters” for workshop sessions and meetings) where you’ll get acquainted with your fellow workshop poets, along with guest artists and friends of Cecilia who live and work in Paris. Beginning Sunday, the workshop will meet for three hours each day, from late morning to early afternoon.
  • The opening days of the workshop coincide with the annual Marché de la Poésie, a four-day gathering of poets and poetry publishers from around the world in an outdoor marketplace near St. Sulpice. Workshop participants will visit the event together on Sunday, June 15.
  • Workshop participants will also take part in a literary walking tour, readings, open mics and other cultural events. Weather permitting, we’ll write together en plein air in some of the city’s abundant public gardens. We’ll visit cafés, bookshops, and museums to gather further sources of inspiration.
  • Workshops will include both formal and informal discussions about submitting your work, publishing, and living the writers’ life. Guest poets will visit the workshop to give readings, talks and engage with participants in Q&A sessions. Past guest artists have included National Book Award winning poet and translator Marilyn Hacker; Yale Younger Series of Poets prize winner Ellen Hinsey; Paris Editor of Tin House Magazine Heather Hartley; poet and memoirist Jeffrey Greene; poet-photographer Margo Berdeshevsky, and others.
  •  The workshop will culminate in a public reading showcasing workshop participants presenting their original work.
  •  The grand finale of the workshop week will be the gala, city-wide annualFête de la Musique on midsummer’s night June 21. The fete de la musique floods the streets and courtyards and alleys and public squares of Paris with live music of every kind and a celebration for all ages that goes on all night.  It’s quite simply the best street party you’ll ever attend!

Les Extras!

Arrive early, stay late. Extend your time in Paris to two weeks, three weeks or more…

This summer, you have the opportunity to participate in a one, two, or three week writing adventure in Paris—at the end of which you may never want to leave la Ville-Lumière! 


This spring, Cecilia’s second book, Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem, will be issued in French by the Paris-based publisher Le Scribe-l’Harmattan  ( The June 6 book launch of Tzigane: le poème des gitanes will include a multi-media, bi-lingual presentation of the text, a book signing and gala party at the publisher’s gallery near the place Maubert.

All Paris Poetry Workshop students are invited to arrive in Paris in time to share this celebration with Cecilia. Those who do so will have a week before the workshop begins to acclimate to the time change and explore Paris on their own.

During that week, Cecilia will be available for private manuscript consultations; poets enrolled in the Paris Poetry Workshop may choose to work one-on-one with Cecilia at a reduced fee.


Her French publisher is also organizing a poetry workshop to be led by Cecilia from June 23-27 at Espace le Scribe-l’Harmattan, in the 5th arrondissement. Paris Poetry Workshop participants who would like an additional week of intensive study with Cecilia will receive priority for one of the 12 positions in this low-cost workshop. The workshop will be conducted in English, but is expected to draw French writers and students of English, as well. This second workshop, calledWriting Without Borders, will meet five afternoons during the week and will focus on the intersection of the personal and the political/historical, in what is called “The Poetry of Witness.”

While in France, Study French

 While in Paris, you’ll have the chance to embark on the study of the French language or to brush up your French speaking skills. Liz Williams, an American teacher of French who has spent many years living and working in Paris, will offer a small group course in “survival French,” on the first day of the workshop, for a modest fee. Workshop participants will have the option of continuing to study in small groups or privately with Liz throughout the week. You may even choose to pair daily sessions with Liz with the poetry workshops, creating your own personalized immersion experience in French language and creative writing.

Les Logistiques 

  • The Paris Poetry Workshop fee is $1,195, which includes workshops, refreshments, opening reception, meetings with guest artists and other literary activities; it excludes transportation, food and lodging)
  • The fee will be Payable via check or credit card on Pay Pal.
  • Registered participants will be provided with information on short-term apartment rentals in the immediate neighborhood — the best and most affordable option. Participants may choose to share apartments to save further on costs.
  • Participants will be provided with airport transfer details, and public transportation information to help them navigate Paris, as well as other orientation materials.
  • Those wishing to avail themselves of a personalized “Paris concierge” will be referred to a reputable service that can be reached via a U.S. phone number.

The Paris Poetry Workshop is strictly limited to 12 poets. Its goal is to be both intimate and intense; participants are likely to generate first drafts of 10 – 12 new poems during the 7-day workshop. All levels are welcome; but prospective participants should send a one-paragraph bio and 3-page writing sample to Cecilia at

If you’re interested in attending the workshop, or have questions, please send a return email to as soon as possible. Spaces in the workshop will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. A $500 deposit will be due by April 25 to reserve your space, with the balance due by May 23 If you know other poets or students of poetry who may be interested in enrolling, please feel free to pass this invitation along.

About Cecilia Woloch

Cecilia Woloch is the author of five acclaimed collections of poems, in addition to essays, reviews, flash fiction, autobiographical prose/memoir and a novella. Her work has been translated and published in Germany, France, Poland and Ukraine.  She has collaborated with visual artists, choreographers, composers and filmmakers. The text of her second book, Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem, has been adapted for the stage as a multi-media production, first presented in Los Angeles in 2013, as part of the University of Southern California’s Visions and Voices Initiative, and slated for performances in 2014-15 in Paris and Warsaw.

Cecilia conducts workshops for writers across the United States and around the world.  She has served on the faculties of a number of graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs, including her most recent tenure as Associate Professor, Teaching, in the creative writing program in the Department of English at the University of Southern California, where she founded the month-long “The Poet in Paris” program. She also co-founded and for ten years directed the annual weeklong conference Summer Poetry in Idyllwild. In addition to running her own workshops in Paris, Istanbul and Tuscany, she has served as guest faculty at the Geneva Writers Conference in Switzerland, the San Miguel Writers Conference in Mexico, and numerous U.S. writers’ conferences.

Participants in Cecilia Woloch’s workshops include published and professional writers, as well as those just beginning to write in a serious way. She is able to work with writers at all stages of development, to encourage them to move forward in their creative work, to experiment, to take risks and to go farther than they’ve gone before in terms of both subject matter and technical skill. As one recent workshop participant attested, “Cecilia invites us to concentrate on the essential.”

Cecilia@PolishCastle 3

To learn more about Cecilia and view a brief film about her workshops, see:



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