The Beyond Academia Free Skool Summer Poetry Camp Preview

Welcome to Boulder Poetry Tribe’s Preview of the Beyond Academia Free Skool’s second annual Summer Poetry Camp. You can check out all the info at, but the BPT is here for you to try and sort thru and make sense of their loaded schedule of events and workshops.

WHEN: Sunday, July 12th thru Monday, July 20th (Most events are in the afternoon and on Love Shovel Standard Time, which means they’ll start roughly when number of participants reach ‘critical mass.’)

WHERE: The Love Shovel Ranch in Nederland, Colorado (See their website for specific directions.)

WHO: Love Shovel is the mountain fringe of the Boulder Poetry Scene. It’s headed up by veteran local poet and wildman Marcus If, and inhabited by a revolving set of eccentric, rambling artists from all possible locations on earth.

WHAT: You can check out my interview with Marcus, in which we cover all the basics of it, here . But it’s pretty much a week of poetry workshops, readings, and activities in a ‘temporary autonomous zone.’  Which means you’re briefly free from the rules and politics of your regular life, so you can just focus on art, truth, and fun.

WHY YOU SHOULD GO:  If you’ve ever hung out at the Shovel, you know what you’re getting into.  But at this annual apex their madness will be fully on display and its the best time to really experience and support them. Also many of the most talented and dedicated writers from the local scene will be there and deserve your support too. And perhaps most importantly, in the wake of Naropa’s Summer Writing Program , many of us, especially alumni, might be feel left out or miss the kind of spirit and enthusiasm it creates for its participants.  Even if you have no frame of reference for the SWP, this is your chance to be around similarly passionate fellow poets, and renew your sense of importance in the community and the artform in a free (money and otherwise) and open environment.


“Breaking the Rules” with Clint Locks

Monday the 13th, Daytime

Clint is a regular poet on Mondays at The Laughing Goat and the only one of this year’s BAFS faculty who’s actually a high school English teacher. His class is based on the idea that you need to know the rules before you can break them.  Even those of us most attached to our poetic lawlessness could probably find value in a gentle nudge from Clint back toward structure.


“Writing Flash Fiction” with Nancy Stohlman

Monday the 13th, Daytime

Nancy is a lot of things, college professor, opera star, lead singer of loungestyle 80’s cover band Kinky Mink, and of course leader of the Denver cell of the Flash Fiction Revolution, which aims to topple our longform fiction overlords.  It should be a great way to get in the right spirit before the International Flash Fiction Conference at the Mercury Cafe July 21st.  For a taste of what it’s like being near Nancy’s inner circle go here.


Teacher Feature at the Laughing Goat

Monday the 13th, 8pm

All the camp’s instructors will read their work at Boulder’s longest running open mic hosted by Tom Peters.  Come see if they can put our money where their mouths are.  It’s a good chance for you to get a taste of the upcoming week and decide for yourself whose classes you might be drawn toward.


Deep Concentration Meditation: Divining Rod in the Field of Unwritten Poems” with Roseanna Frechette

Wednesday the 15th, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

In the midst of the drunken haiku, ‘Whisk-ay!’ howls, and general reckless merriment, you’ll need to take a breather.  Roseanna, a yoga instructor and fixture in the Denver performance poetry scene,  will calm us down and get in touch with the more mindful side of poetics.


“MeToo! Night” with Jonathan Montgomery

Thursday the 16th, 7pm

Professor Montgomery, editor of Boulder Poetry Tribe, author of Pizzas and Mermaid, and Front Range Community College English Adjunct, will be giving a short lesson on MeToo Poetics followed by an open reading in which everyone is encouraged to read their best autobiographical poems and stories to make us yell out “Me Too!”  This is designed to benefit anyone who feels loneliness on any level. 


“Chop Shop: Verb Vibrant” with Marcus If

Friday the 17th

Headmaster Marcus is the heart and soul of this whole endeavour and we owe him for his service and dedication to the scene.   He’s the rare breed who can both blow and expand your mind. Although he certainly represents our wilder more primal rebel selves, he is also one of the most experienced, studied, and serious poets amongst us.  People are still talking about his lucid and and enlightening lecture on the sonnet last year.  If you can only make one day up to the Shovel, make sure its a day Marcus is teaching.


Live Music with Black Market Translation

Friday the 17th, Night

This is your chance to cut loose and dance your ass off to Boulder’s best punk rock band.  They will be plugged in and the sounds of political and social dissent will echo through the mountain canyons.  Bassist Matt Clifford has promised maximum intensity whether everyone’s passed out on the floor or not.  For more on Cliff go here.


“Losing Your Voice” with Eric Fischman

Saturday the 18th

Every writing workshop ever tells you to “find your voice” and maybe its time for us to re-evaluate that.  BPT Calendar Man, Naropa MFA grad and everywhere-on-the-scene poet Fischman will have us consciously copy our heroes instead of unconsciously like we normally do.  Here’s an article we did on him.


Theater Games with Louise Moriarty and Marcus If

Saturday the 18th

 This class should a blast, getting your body moving, loosening up your mind, and reminding us how poetry and theater have blended together effortlessly since the Ancient Greeks.  It’s co-hosted by Louise Moriarty, who is a real live Australian like Crocodile Dundee.  We letter recommended very hard to get her government to award her a grant to come here, so don’t miss this.


“Invoking the Muse” with Caitlan Mitchell

Sunday the 19th

The Muse is a big deal up at LSR and the only authority they seem to obey.  I’ve felt her once or twice peaking out of the mountain backdrop and understand something this revered can only be taught by someone with the intensity and spirit of Naropa MFA grad and firebrand poet Caitlan Mitchell.  Read about her here.


Other events include…

Sunday the 12th opening day forum “New Assassins/Poet as Magical Beast”

Tuesday the 14th, painter Gabriel Sanchez

Sunday the 19th, a forum on “The Alchemy of Poetry”

Monday the 20th, performance tuning

Monday the 20th, Student Feature at The Laughing Goat, 8pm

Music by Sweeny

Drunken Poetics (probably nightly)

Possible class by Rachel Palmateer

Possible unauthorized class on found poetry by Max Toast

Guaranteed unpredictability adventure fun and inspiration!



















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