“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 request of the local writing community as a forum for the discussion of poetics and related topics. 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 these effects. 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 from September to June, with our marathon two-week Poetry Camp held in July. Our core faculty are long-term dedicated leaders gathered from the Colorado Front Range poetic 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:
Middle Thursday Nights at Boulder Writers Warehouse
Every month from September through May BAFS holds a writing workshop at the writers collective in Boulder. Topics are tailored to fit the needs of participants, which may include writing prompts, or relevant lectures on poetics and communications theory. Workshops 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 aforementioned poet. 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 Boulder Writers Warehouse calendars for other events.
Monthly Editorial Sessions (1 currently running)
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 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 Writers Warehouse 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 Website Calendar 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 to ask us about the OPO (our esoteric group) or even consider teaching yourself.
Potential Last Sunday Writer’s Warm-Up
Occasionally before the occasional Blue Now open mic (7pm) on the last Sunday of every occasional month, BAFS hosts a poetry workshop (6pm) at Blue Owl Books in Nederland. Each session includes in-class writing prompts and discussion of the work generated, an introduction to a historic poet, and a brief review of the BAFS Chop Shop Toolbox. Warm-Ups will be lead by Marcus If and other guest instructors from the Free Skool. Blue Owl has delicious ice cream in case the Warm-Up gets you overheated.
“The Chains of the Law have been broken.” Hassan-i Sabbah
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