“You go to Academia to find out what is on the formal table. You go to Free Skool to yank off the tablecloth.” – Mr. If
Beyond Academia was founded in May of 2012 in Boulder, Colorado, at the behest of the local writing community as a forum for the discussion of poetics and related topics. The board incorporated as a non-profit with the fiscal sponsorship of the Boulder County Arts Alliance in 2017, and became a sponsored program at the Boulder Public Library in 2018. Our programs are always 100% Free to the public. We contend that “art” is an esoteric process that has the potential to alter cultural reality, and the practitioners thereof have the responsibility to consciously guide the results. To that end the Beyond Academia Free Skool holds educational sessions designed around a program of exploration into the nature of communication. With the continuing evolution of the Skool and to better meet the needs of our community, BAFS now focuses on five different study tracks which accentuate the strengths of our faculty. Workshops are held one or more times monthly at the Boulder Public Library, with our marathon two-week Poetry Camp held in July at both the Library and Love Shovel Ranch. Our core faculty are long-term dedicated leaders gathered from the Colorado Front Range literary community, and our guest instructors come from such foreign lands as Texas and Australia. One of the key components of the Skool is to give novice teachers a chance to get some experience and feedback from their peers, to better enable them to wax heroic in the ‘world’. We invite you to explore the links below to learn how you might interact with Beyond Academia:
Second Sundays at Boulder Public Library
Every Second Sunday of the month (except March – Frozen Dead Poet Slam) at 2pm BAFS holds a free-to-the-public writing workshop at the Boulder Public Library in the Arapahoe Room at the top of the stairs (elevator access also). Topics are tailored to fit the needs of participants, which may include writing prompts, or relevant lectures on poetics and communications theory. Workshops may begin with the presentation of a notable poet’s work and its value to contemporary poetry. Open discussion will be followed with writing prompts based on the possible aforementioned poet and/or technique. Finally we discuss how the process of using the prompts went, and then share our work generated thereby. Most often hosted by our core Instructors, workshops with Guest Instructors are to be expected as well. Keep your eye on the Boulder Poetry Tribe and Beyond Academia facecrack calendars for other events.
Monthly Editorial Sessions
Writing / Editorial workshops are conducted for groups of 6-8 participants. This monthly program is suitable for Apprentice and Journeyman level writers, and works well for poets, songwriters, storytellers, playwrights, speechwriters, and journalists. Even novelists may find some useful chops. Each week there are topical discussions & writing prompts, and participants will bring copies of their work-in-progress for peers to engage with editorially. These sessions are kept deliberately small to foster the intimacy & trust of the group.
! Summer Poetry Camp !
A writing marathon usually held for one-two weeks in July, the BAFS Poetry Camp invites the most innovative writers from the Front Range & beyond to invoke a Temporary Autonomous Zone emphasizing the ideals of a Socratic circle. Wordsmiths travel from around the world to camp under bright mountain stars and compose unfettered by the conventions of Academia. Workshops and lectures are held at the Boulder Public Library and Love Shovel Ranch. Street theater antics, poetic terrorism, featured readings, inadvertent magick, mind-wracking discussions, and of course the Drunken Haiku Competition are all unavoidable…
Themed weekend workshop intensives are sometimes hosted at Love Shovel Ranch, check the Boulder Poetry Tribe or Beyond Academia facecrack groups for dates. Typically these focus on one aspect of the curriculum such as Poetic Constructs or Ontological Engineering, and often feature guest instructors. These are deep immersion workshops intended for small, dedicated research groups. Participants are encouraged to spend the night in order to facilitate greater cohesion of the group. If you are a Masters level writer, you may wish to ask us about the OPO (our esoteric group), or even consider teaching yourself.
“The Chains of the Law have been broken.” Hassan-i Sabbah
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