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Restful Productivity with Anna Elkins

Friday, 11 October, 3-5 pm at Red Lily Vineyards (Applegate Valley, OR) This third annual writing workshop is back! I'll be teaching the same course, so if you missed it in the past, join me this year during the peak of autumn leaves in the iconic Red Lily barn.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

This holiday reminds me of my goal of restful productivity. I still fail at it—often and miserably—but I keep practicing.

In early spring, I was trying really, really hard to take one day off each week. One chilly, Sabbath afternoon, I cozied up with tea and a stack of art books, and I had an idea. That idea became The Word-Painting Project: a subscription series of ten little poem-paintings of encouragement. I created one each day during a June writing retreat, made prints of the ten designs, and then mailed each batch to subscribers every week for ten weeks over the summer. Despite some postal glitches, it was fun to do, and I was heartened to receive photos of people’s prints lining their window sills and hanging on their walls. It was like one, big encouragement loop!

That project culminated in a salon & exhibit

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Living Large on Little: Part 1

WordSpaceStudios, San Francisco It was such a gift. Time and space in San Francisco to write. While there, I was able to work on a nonfiction project that’s been growing in a Word document for a long time: Living Large on Little: How a Poet Sees L…

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Beyond the Visible

At the start of a my walk…I was grateful to spend the last week housesitting near Face Rock Beach in Bandon, Oregon. I walked the long beaches usually twice a day, in between overlong work sessions.One afternoon, as I headed north, I noticed that Fac…

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What will we send out?

When I created the Word-Painting Project, the idea was to do something that could encourage others…and cover my grocery bill while chalet-sitting for friends in Switzerland (I’m a practical poet!). Though I thought I was making time for the p…

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My First Book of Poetry

In this life I’ve not travelled much outside North America. Go deep, an inner voice instructed, and so I let that happen first on the boundary waters of Minnesota and Ontario, and then in a convent beside the Red River of the North. In the middle of li…

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The Poet & the Bloodstone

Detail of Bloodstone Pillars, Catedral de Ávila, SpainI am happy that this poem will be  published in the forthcoming Deep Travel anthology.  A bit of backstory:Saint Teresa of Ávila and Charles-Axel Guillaumot never met. …

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Poetry in Five Minutes or Less

For this year’s National Poetry Month, I shared lickety-split bits of micropoetry each day on Instagram. My rules: use photos I took each day and write the poetry in five minutes or less. (This was a fun break from my norm of a bazillion revi…

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The Word-Painting Project

Many moons ago, in a land far, far away, my life completely changed. I had been working for two years in Germany, living an art-filled but spirit-empty life. On a whim, I took the train to Switzerland to a theological commune my parents had told me abo…

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Entering the “roaming stillness”

The book stacks were winning. Not the ones in the library—the ones by my bed: neat-but-towering stacks waiting to find room on shelves filled with the kindred books I love returning to. By the end of 2018, I had three stacks. Something had to be done: …

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#FutureSelfLove

This January, three things inspired/conspired to create this post…1) Earlier this month, I was traveling for work. My flights had the tightest layovers of any airline itinerary I’ve ever booked, and I barely made either connection. And though my checke…

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