Caesura Poetry Festival

Thursday, October 13 thru Sunday, October 16, 2022

Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Poetry Festival is going hybrid this year.

Caesura features workshops and readings with incredibly talented poets from the tri-state area and beyond, and offers an opportunity to spend time with members of the poetry community. This is a flexible festival, you can join us in our home at Eclipse Center for Creative Community in Lansdale or access all workshops via video with no travel required with some portions live via zoom.  You can choose to come all three days or book just one.

Thursday, October 13

Caesura at the Movies

“Dead Poets Society”

Join the Watch Party

7 pm via Zoom

Open to the Public

Friday, October 14

Professional Poetry Critiques

Available by appointment 
**Book Here**

Fee: $25 for a 30 minute deep dive critique into one poem


Gilad Jaffe Workshop

Via Zoom from 4:30 to 6:00 pm

Friday, October 14

No River Twice

7 to 9 pm

On-site at Eclipse

Join via Zoom

Saturday, October 15

Workshops, Panel &
Evening Open Mic

8:00 am – Check-in & Breakfast
9:00 am – 6:15 pm Workshops

Continental Breakfast & Lunch included

Dinner on your own  6:15 pm

Open Mic 8 pm

Join Via Zoom


Sunday, October 16

Workshops &
Youth Poet Laureate Award

8:00 am – Check-in & Breakfast
9:00 am – 4:30 pm  Workshops

Continental Breakfast & Lunch included

5:00  pm – YPL Award Ceremony

Caesura 2022 was an outstanding Poetry Festival! The event was well planned and I felt welcomed from the moment I walked in until the last workshop concluded and I bid the staff farewell!

I felt invited into a welcoming safe place and there was room at the table for me! The weekend was poetry packed with presenters that challenged me to zero in on my own craft in order to write beyond what I thought possible. The facilities were aesthetically pleasing with beautiful art which easily lent itself to ekphrastic poems by our group; my every need was attended to, even down to the food choices, snacks, and yummy treats I felt like a sponge and I tried to sop up every bit of poetic advice given. I met many new poets whom I plan to stay in touch with!

Wileena Booker


$175 (all 3 days) or $99 a day

Virtual Option  $129

Southeastern Pennsylvania's Poetry Festival & Retreat will go hybrid this year to make it easy for everyone to attend in whatever way suits them.

*Virtual offers access to all live workshops and recordings. 

Tickets are non-refundable.

The timing and price were perfect. What a wonderful series of instructors and events during that week. I attended every workshop and event and learned SO much...I made many new friends and look forward to meeting them in person one day...CAESURA provides an excellent example of just how an online conference with numerous workshops can succeed.

Jeanne Ridley

Participant & Instructor Caesura 2020

ON-SITE Ticket Info

Ticket price includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch and all events on the day (or days) you book unless indicated otherwise.

All Access pass – $175, includes 3 days of events and workshops and access to all the recorded workshops after the event

Day pass – $99 Saturday or Sunday, includes that day’s workshops and access to the recorded workshops after the event.

VIRTUAL Access Tickets

Tickets include live access to all workshops and events and recorded workshops.

$129 pp for everything from Thursday through Sunday



Professional Poetry Critiques

Book now for Friday, October 14

Have a poem read and critiqued by award winning, published poet laureates who have taught at colleges, conferences and special events.

Fee: $25 for a 30 minute deep dive critique into one poem

**Book Your Critique Here**


Master of Ceremonies – Chad Frame

Chad Frame is the author of Little Black Book (2022, Finishing Line Press) and a chapbook, Cryptid. He is the Director of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program and a Poet Laureate Emeritus of Montgomery County, PA, the Poetry Editor of Ovunque Siamo, a founding member of the No River Twice poetry/improv performance troupe, and Founder of the Caesura Poetry Festival and Retreat. His work has appeared in Rattle, Pedestal, Barrelhouse, Rust+Moth, and elsewhere, on iTunes from the Library of Congress, and was sent to the moon as part of the Lunar Codex Project.

Gilad Jaffe

Friday 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Workshop: The Thing Is

What if we gave a frog the same attention that we give to our dreams? A broken sandal? The Statue of Liberty? Or to what writer Timothy Morton calls ‘hyperobjects’ – music, diseases, or histories? What about the internet? Or the light? How do we manage to hold water in our hands, or carry our favorite paintings around with us in our bones? Can a human really empathize with a TV or a gingko tree? A doorframe? Language itself?
In this poetry writing workshop we’ll figure out how writing into things – rather than about them – can help open up our practices as poets. Together through writing experiments, we’ll focus on accessing the How of What: the poetics of stuff, the unapparent nature of everyday items, and the vastly intricate inner networks of the world all around us.

Amy Small McKinney

Saturday 9:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Workshop 1: Poetry & Unrecognized Losses

Poetry & Unrecognized Losses: In this workshop, we will explore the meaning of loss that may not be obvious, or that we cannot articulate, or we feel too ashamed to name. Often, the world cannot see or cannot bear to see these losses. Together we will explore poems that address this issue and then write our own. In this safe space, by the end of this workshop, we will come away with poems that surprise and free us.

Sean Hanrahan

Saturday 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Workshop 2: Poetry Embodied

This workshop is centered around generating one or more poems. or beginnings of poems on the following topics:

1. What is your body doing How? How is your body feeling Now? Do you ever think about, listen to, pay attention to your body?
2. What do you like/dislike about your body or someone else’s body?
3. Your body, another’s body, and the external world: How did your body encounter another body? Did you encounter a body in popular culture or the media, and did that person’s body affect you? Did someone else make you think about your body in a different way? Did yours or another’s body made you think differently about the body?
These prompts are to generate poems or the beginnings of poems and ask poets/writers to center the body for this session.
Given the subject matter of the prompts, poets/writers will be given time to and welcome to share some of their ideas/poems, but will not be required to.

Geri Ann McLaughlin

Saturday 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Workshop 3: Emerging Images
It is through poetry that images come to life. Just as a blank canvas slowly reveals itself to the artist, a poem builds language and invites us into new worlds. In this workshop, we will explore describing landscape images in new ways. We will study the detail, color, metaphor, music, and air that creates a scene. Inspired by our world, we will bring more brilliance and sensation into our writing.

Panel: Editors on Publishing

Saturday 3 PM – 4:30 PM | What it Takes to Land a Lit Mag
(Robbin Farr, Judith Lagana, Courtney Bambrick, Jane Edna Mohler)

Jennifer Schneider

Saturday 4:45 PM – 6:15 PM
Workshop 4: Banned Books Week: Books Unite US, Censorship Divides Us

Banned Books Week is an annual event that raises awareness of ongoing efforts to censor and that celebrates “the freedom to read” (and write) ( The 2022 theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” This year, Banned Books Week takes place from September 18th to September 23rd. However, book banning is a daily occurrence and the threats of censorship are ongoing.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the history of book bans as well as the many present-day challenges. We’ll reacquaint ourselves with some of the most frequently banned books and look at works that have been subject to censorship. We’ll also study some famous banned poems.

Mostly, we’ll follow the spirit of Banned Books Week and come together to celebrate the freedom to read and write. We’ll put our thoughts to paper and write poems that celebrate favorite banned books and explore censorship from its many perspectives. While doing so, we’ll employ a variety of poetic forms, including found poems, free verse, narrative, acrostics, lyric, and prose poetry.


Ona Gritz and Dan Simpson

Sunday 9 AM – 10:30 AM
Workshop 1: Revision
“First Thought, Best Thought,” Allen Ginsberg famously said, and it’s true. Sometimes. Rarely. More often the first drafts of our poems are approximations, rough and imperfect versions of some elusive beautiful notion flitting through our minds. They’re too wordy. Or they don’t go deep enough. They lack music. Or they sound beautiful but we don’t yet know what they’re attempting to say.
There’s no denying the rush we can feel watching a new poem come to life as we move down the page, but it is not until we can step back, maybe even put the work aside for a while, that we can re-vision what we’ve made, see it in a new way. For some of us, especially those of us in the early stages of our development, revising may feel like a let-down after the emotional high of the original making. It turns out, however, that revising brings its own highs and surprises. In this workshop, we will examine strategies for approaching our fledgling and floundering poems and for learning how to let them teach us who they really are. We will do this by looking at other poets’ revisions and applying what we can take from them to our own work.
Please bring at least one poem that has you feeling a little stuck.

Dilruba Ahmed

Sunday 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Workshop 2: Transformative Armor: Hermit Crab Forms

This mixed-genre class will explore “hermit crab” forms for our poems, prose, and prose poems! Just as a hermit crab adapts to various “homes,” we’ll write about our experiences using the language and architecture of borrowed forms: instruction manuals, encyclopedia entries, multiple-choice questionnaires, historical timelines, or horoscopes. Class examples will help us unpack how borrowed structures may help us to reveal our emotional truths.

Elise Brand

Sunday 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Workshop 3: Chiseling Out Poetry from The Page: Found Poetry, Illustrated

Michelle Taransky

Sunday 3 PM – 4:30 PM
Workshop 4: Coming Attractions

Where do you meet poems? On the sidewalk? At the bank? In this craft session, we’ll discuss poems you’ve written and poems you haven’t; poems you want to write and poems that are impossible to write; poems you cannot wait to read and poems that are illegible. There’s likely the poem that follows you everywhere and the poem you follow everywhere; the poem always wearing that same hat; the shy poem; the poem you left on the bus; the poem that makes everyone but you uncomfortable; the poem paying attention; the poem that you owe an apology to; the poem asking so many questions; the poem you hope to see and that you know frequents a particular ice cream shop and so you spend an absurd amount of time in said ice cream shop and your friends are sick of listening to you talk about that poem; the poem that introduced you to Kafka; the poem that makes you blush; the poem you’ve always known; the poem cleverly distributing information. Think about the poems you haven’t met yet. I’d like to meet the poem that takes me to your poem and says, “This is the best poem.”

Youth Poet Laureate Program Launch & Award Ceremony

5 PM – 6 PM
Event: In person and Zoom

Open to the Public



Reach a new audience & support the literary arts in Montgomery County.