The Beyond Academia Free Skool Summer Poetry Camp Preview by Scarlett Levi

       What exactly is BAFS Summer Camp?

                                                               What might one experience while at Love Shovel Ranch?

                                                       How are the classes organized?


         What kind of people can attend a BAFS class?

                                                               Will I fit in?

                                                                             How free is it?


These are some of the endless questions that arose when I first heard of BAFS.

Having made an appearance at last years summer camp, I can tell you:


BAFS is a place

Where people do go

For reasons as diverse as the group it attracts

Many go for poetry, some for frivolity

Some out of sheer unquenchable curiosity

Some imbibe libations after class

Some don’t

Some dance wildly and sing freely

Some don’t

Some share their thoughts and feelings

Some offer only a glimpse

Some are serious, some more playful

Some half nude, some full cover

Free from peer pressure no matter your path

Personal responsibility reigns supreme

All are accepted, and open-arm-welcomed


If the juxtaposition of contradictory ideas has the possibility to breed new thought, then BAFS is a greenhouse of potential growth.

If like-minded poet souls thrive by joining together for a bit of Socratic mode of discussion, then BAFS also has that covered.

Classes begin with a lesson from one of many various and talented teachers of writing. They speak. The students of the day discuss. Then everyone writes. Most often ample time is offered for the exercise given, where all sit in quiet contemplation with a pen. (Many of the groups are held outdoors weather permitting.)

You are free to choose which classes you wish to be enriched by as none of the classes are “required” for the next to make sense. Though you may find yourself wanting to show up to all of them. (Some classes have multiple parts you won’t want to miss!)

The lessons are conducted with respect. They are real, tangible classes.

After class, almost anything from that point can happen. You are free to come and go after the teaching as you please.


The schedule line up this year you ask?

(*All classes begin at 1pm)

Sun 10: Caitlan Mitchell brings us “Poesis: Invocation of the Muse”

A class steeped in Magick that challenges one to focus fully


Mon 11: Marcus If presents the first of a 3 part class “Ontological Engineering/Design of Meaning”

This class will touch on the Consequences of Ontological Anarchy, a guest instructor might be added to the mix

Then @ 8pm: Teacher Feature at The Laughing Goat (1709 Pearl St, Boulder)


Tue 12: Eric Fischman responsibly unleashes “With Great Power”

Be prepared to add more Hero to your writing; spandex and external underwear optional


Wed 13: Ira Liss doles out his “Performance & Poetry” workshop

Get ready to bring out the dramatic, with a heaping side of fun and whimsey


Then @ 8pm BIG Pasta Dinner


Thurs 14: Clint Locks addresses us directly with “You Talkin’ to Me?!”

If you have ever wondered how to aim your work to a specific audience, come learn some persuasive tactics in this class (Please bring an original declarative poem or two)


Fri 15: Roseanna Frechette lays out “Writing Tadasanafor us

This lesson brings forth the mountain in all of us, turning possibility into poetry


Sat 16: Marcus If honors the sonnet with “Sonetto: Queen of Forms

The philosophy, form, structures, and history of the sonnet will be discussed, elevating her Majesty back to her former glory, Ah, the Sonnet, Ah, Marcus


Then @ 8pm Drunken Haiku Competition


Sun 17: Nancy Stohlman elaborates on “Writing Flash Fiction”

Generate your own original work of this exciting new compressed form of prose



Mon 18: Thomas R. Peters Jr. at Beat Book Shop in Boulder with “Beat Prompts

Owner of Beat Book Shop and host of nearly 30 year old So You’re a Poet reading series leads a workshop in his store


Then @ 8pm Student Feature at The Laughing Goat (1709 Pearl St, Boulder)


Tue 19: Caitlan Mitchell explains “Apotheosis: Whereby Heroes Become Gods

Digging through the depth of what it takes to go from hero to God, this class is an exploration of what it means to be a writer or an artist


Wed 20: Marcus If gets into the “Architecture of the Human Bio-Computer

Radical psychological concepts, the workings of the mind, Marcus


Then @ 7pm BIG Pasta Dinner


Thurs 21: Marcus If details “NLP & Poetry

An exploration in Neurolinguistic Programming the brain after we have learned its  Architecture, more Marcus


Fri 22: Jonathan Montgomery leads “MeTOO! Nature Walk”

Get up on your feet and into the wild on a leisurely MeToo trail walk thru magical alpine forests


Sat 23: Matt Clifford throws down “Political Party!! When Doves Fuck

Poetry and politics, radical questionings, the ins and outs of what political poetry means to us, or maybe doesn’t


Then @ 8pm Black Market Translation—punk rock show!!*%$##


Sun 24: (at noon) Hungover Collage Party for Love Shovel Review summer camp edition


Weekdays 9am to noon: Cicada Musselman starts each morning off with “Coffee & Prompts

 A.M. Poetry time, where many experiences can unfold


Now that you know when the classes are, what about your other questions…?


What should I bring with me?

                                                            Who are these instructors anyway?

                                    Is there any more info on each individual class being offered?


Head on over to to answer these important questions and more


How do you get to Love Shovel Ranch?:

Go up Boulder Canyon (CO-119)

Straight through the Ned roundabout

Take a left on Caribou Rd. (Dirt road)

Then it’s just past Crestwood Ct. on the right—- look for the cars parked along the roadside


So, how free is it?

                        Really free



Scarlett Levi is a mysterious contributor The Boulder Poetry Tribe knows nothing about.  They could be your best friend, your lover, or the stranger standing in front of you right now.

One comment

  1. Teacher feature is Monday night and we are currently figuring how the wildfire is messing with scheduling. We can’t come by Trident tonight unfortunatrly

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