Making Something of It: A Poetry Workshop


"I see a kind of meaning in being present, in using reality, in experiencing it, in making something of it.”

Tomas Tranströmer

A poetry workshop with Brad Davis

June 5-7, 2023

Nashotah House Theological Seminary

Registration is now closed for this worskshop. 

Participants in Making Something of It will not need prior experience in poem-making. In fact, if your history with poetry has intimidated you or otherwise discouraged you from making poems, this workshop may be just the right fit. Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer, when asked why religious imagery had begun appearing in his poems, once said, “I see a kind of meaning in being present, in using reality, in experiencing it, in making something of it.”

This workshop will proceed upon the assumption that the actual drafting of a poem is the last thing one gets around to when making poems. Of critical importance is not, therefore, what form the poem will finally take—will it rhyme, will it have stanzas, will it employ traditional syntax and punctuation—but how one lives, moment to moment, in relation to reality. Tranströmer, at the least, was aware that earthly “reality” includes such things as religion and the word “God.” Poetry that refuses to be present with reality’s fullness and the particulars thereof, even (perhaps especially) the uncomfortable bits, fails as art. This workshop will begin with being present in the midst of innumerable particulars: windows, trees, linoleum, one another, those little green plastic bags with dog poop in them that people, for any number of unacceptable reasons, leave along the forest path.

We will be silent, we will talk, we will think, we will laugh, and we will write. Come join us.

Learn more about Brad Davis.

Time: June 5-7, 1:40-4:00 PM

Workshop participants are welcome to eat lunch with the wider Nashotah House community in the Refectory (campus map) at 12:30 PM and to attend Evening Prayer/Evensong in St. Mary’s Chapel at 4:30 PM following the workshop, Monday through Wednesday. 

Cost: $250. This includes workshop registration and lunch in the Refectory.



The Theology and Practice of Poetry

Take Lifting the Veil with Malcolm Guite and Making Something of It with Brad Davis

The Making Something of It workshop is being held in conjunction with the course Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God, taught by the Rev. Dr. Malcolm Guite (June 5-7 at Nashotah House). During this three-day course, Guite will explore the role of the imagination as a “truth-bearing faculty” to help us, in Shakespeare’s words, “to apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends.”

The schedule of Making Something of It is designed to complement Lifting the Veil so that auditors of the course may participate in the workshop. Making Something of It participants are welcome but not required to audit Lifting the Veil. 

Cost: $525. This includes the audit fee for Lifting the Veil, the Making Something of It workshop fee, breakfast and lunch in the Refectory, and admission to a poetry reading on the evening of June 6 with the Rev. Dr. Malcolm Guite.

Please note, the package price of $525 is the sum of two separate fees: Workshop registration ($250), and tuition for the course audit ($275).

Schedule: The schedule for those auditing Lifting the Veil and participating in Making Something of It is as follows:

7:45 – 8:30 AM Morning Prayer and Eucharist
8:30 – 9:30 AM Breakfast
9:40 AM – 12:30 PM Lifting the Veil Class Session I
12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch
1:40 – 4:00 PM Making Something of It
4:30 – 5:15 PM Evening Prayer / Evensong


Brad Davis (MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts; MDiv, Trinity School for Ministry) is a California-born Canadian living in northeastern Connecticut. He is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Trespassing on the Mount of Olives (Poiema Poetry Series), His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Image, Connecticut Review, Spiritus, JAMA, Brilliant Corners, Connecticut River Review, and many other journals. Awards include the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, an AWP Intro Journal Award, and the International Arts Movement (IAM) Poetry Award. In 2021, his poem “Little River Elegy” was included in Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, edited by CT Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson. In 2022, he was an Artist-in-Residence at Trail Wood, the Connecticut homestead of naturalist and Pulitzer winner Edwin Way Teale. Davis has taught creative writing at two boarding schools (Pomfret School, The Stony Brook School) and two colleges (College of the Holy Cross, Eastern Connecticut State University). For more, visit