Join us at the Port Townsend residency for two wonderful readings by award-winning, critically-acclaimed authors Mark Doty and Cara Hoffman, presented by Goddard’s MFA in Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers’ Series. Free and open to the public.

Cara Hoffman, Saturday, February 13th, 7 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.  Fort Worden State Park Reading Room, Building 204
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm             Reading and Q & A
8:00 pm – 8:30 pm             Book Signing & Reception

Mark Doty, Thursday February 18th, 7 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.  Fort Worden State Park Reading Room, Building 204

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm             Reading and Q & A
8:00 pm – 8:30 pm             Reception and Booksigning

ATTENTION all Goddard alumni!  Missing Goddard? Want to come back? You’re in luck. Mark and Cara will also be giving workshops in connection with their readings, and YOU are invited. So if you are coming to the new Lighthouse Writers Conference, or if you just happen to be in the neighborhood and would like to join us, please stop by.


2:00 pm – 3:30 pm             On Violence, with Visiting Writer and Alumna Cara Hoffman: Reading Room, Building 204, 2nd floor

On Violence, with Visiting Writer and alumna Cara Hoffman. Conflict is central to narrative and to entertainment. How do we write ethically about violence? How do we describe brutal acts without aestheticizing them? These are important questions for writers of fiction and non-fiction alike. This workshop looks at the moral issues of violence in writing from Homer to Virginie Despentes, and focuses on how to describe violence clearly and effectively without engaging in exploitation.


11:00 am – 12:30 pm       The Pressure of Reality, with Visiting Writer and alumnus Mark Doty: Reading Room, Building 204, 2nd Floor

The Pressure of Reality, with Visiting Writer and alumnus Mark Doty. In his book The Necessary Angel, the Modernist poet Wallace Stevens drew a famous distinction between “fancy” and “imagination.” “Fancy,” he seems to suggest, is a self-involved way of escaping from the world, while imagination is a creative force shaped by “the pressure of reality.” While this distinction isn’t completely clear, it can be a helpful way of thinking about the ways that lyric poets — who we usually think as contemplative, interior, and centered in the life of feeling — incorporate the difficulties the world presents. In my own work, I’ve felt most pushed by an imperative to respond in some way to forms of violence: homophobic violence, both in the community and within the family, America’s brutal and neglectful response to the crisis years of the AIDS epidemic, and racially-motivated violence on the part of the police. I’ll discuss this work in terms of process and craft, and invite participants to think about the pressures that challenge them as artists, considering these hurdles as possible sites of growth.


Praised by the New York Times for his “dazzling, tactile grasp of the world,” Former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine said this about Mark Doty, “If it were mine to invent the poet to complete the century of William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, I would create Mark Doty just as he is, a maker of big, risky, fearless poems in which ordinary human experience becomes music.” And Mary Oliver said: “One of the things that has been constant about Mark Doty’s work, poetry and prose, is his intense search for the exact word or phrase, of whatever issue, which lead him (and us) into the very furnace of meaning within the human story.”  For more information about Mark and this event, click here.  To listen to an interview Mark recently gave on WGDR with Program Director Elena Georgiou, go to Goddard Aloud.

cara hoffman high resABOUT CARA

The New York Times Book Review calls Cara’s work “a finely tuned piece of fiction . . . Be Safe I Love You is a painful exploration of the devastation wrought by combat even when the person returns from war without a scratch. . . . this book is a reminder that art and love are all that can keep us from despair.” She is the recipient of a number of awards, including New York State Foundation for the Arts fellowship for her work on the aesthetics of violence.  For more information about Cara and her event, click here.  To listen to Cara talking with George Stephanopoulos go here and watch her first reading at Goddard College in Vermont in Goddard Aloud here.