Ellen Bass|Roxan McDonald: Fire and Ice at 1440 Multiversity

Ready for Designing Your Life with Dave Evans? Oct 25–27 at 1440.


Fire and Ice

A Writing Workshop

November 22 - 24, 2019

Friday - Sunday, 2 nights

All-inclusive program package to include:

<ul> <li>Tuition</li> <li>Three Meals in Kitchen Table (daily)</li> <li>Shared or Private Accommodations</li> <li>Signature classes and wellness offerings</li> </ul> <p>Please Note: All packages are priced per person. Should you elect a shared accommodation and community hall bath, 1440 will randomly pair you with a gender-specific roommate. Only private rooms have the option of a private bath.  1440 Multiversity is a smoke-free campus.</p>

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Program Description

Leave the rush of your busy life and become still enough to hear the stories and poems that unfurl within you. Led by Ellen Bass and Roxan McDonald, two extraordinary and gifted writers, this workshop is an opportunity to write, share, and hear how your work touches others.

Through mini-lectures, writing exercises, and supportive feedback and guidance, you will:

  • Become clearer, go deeper, and take new risks
  • Learn more about the craft of writing, including practical skills to add to your technique
  • Hone in on your own voice while engaging with the ideas of others
  • Create writing that is more vivid, more authentic, and more complex and powerful than ever before.

Whether you are interested in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, or journal writing, this workshop will provide a rich opportunity to explore the fire and ice, the passion and precision of writing. Come leap forward in your art.

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  • Faculty Bio
    Ellen Bass

    Award-winning poet, writer, and teacher

    Ellen Bass is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have frequently appeared in the New Yorker and the American Poetry Review, as well as in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and hundreds of other journals and anthologies.

    Her most recent book, Like a Beggar, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Milt Kessler Poetry Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Northern California Book Awards. Previous books include The Human Line and the award-winning Mules of Love. Her nonfiction work includes The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into 12 languages. She also co-edited the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks!

    Ellen has been inspiring writers for over 50 years. She founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and the Santa Cruz, California, jails, and currently teaches in the master’s writing program at Pacific University.

    Among her long list of awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, three Pushcart Prizes, the Pablo Neruda Prize, the Larry Levis Prize, and the New Letters Prize.

    View Bio Page
    Roxan McDonald

    Esteemed writer and creative educator

    Roxan McDonald has dedicated herself to helping people find their voice on the page and in their lives. For 14 years she helped manage two alternative high schools focused on serving at-risk youth. She taught creative writing, poetry, and memoir writing and produced 11 anthologies of student work.

    An alumna of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and the Bread Loaf in Sicily conference, Roxan was a member of Cheryl Strayed’s Writers’ Camp. She has studied with an array of renowned writers including Ellen Bass, Marcy Alancraig, Joseph Stroud, Barbara Bloom, Jessica Brown, and Andy Couturier.

    Among her accolades are the Mary Lonnberg Smith Award in poetry, and she has published in the Porter Gulch Review. With a degree in interdisciplinary education, Roxan is currently working on her master’s degree in creative writing. She leads writing groups in Santa Cruz, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Monterey and is a co-teacher with Ellen Bass at Esalen Institute.

    View Bio Page
  • Why Attend
    • Study with two inspiring writers: Ellen and Roxan’s approach provides a safe and supportive environment in which to take risks, write with abandon, and expand your expertise of the craft.<br />

    • Bring old work, make new work, finish a work in progress: this workshop is a chance to focus 100 percent on doing what you love and walk away with results.

    • Fire and ice is the merging of passion and precision. These are the keys to learning to write in your true voice and have it heard.

  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    Opening Day

    2:15 pm
    Check-in begins; rooms are ready by 4:00 pm
    Luggage storage is available

    5:00 — 6:15 pm Embodied Movement or Meditation Class

    5:30pm — 7:30 pm Dinner at Kitchen Table

    7:30 — 9:00 pm Program Session


    Daily Schedule

    7:00 am — 8:00 am Embodied Movement or Meditation Class

    7:00 am — 9:00 am Breakfast at Kitchen Table

    9:00 am — 12:00 pm Morning Program Session

    12:00 pm — 2:00 pm Lunch at Kitchen Table

    1:00 pm — 1:45 pm Outdoor Experience

    2:00 pm — 4:30 pm Afternoon Program Session

    5:00 pm — 6:15 pm Embodied Movement or Meditation Class

    5:30 pm — 7:30 pm Dinner at Kitchen Table

    7:30 pm — 9:00 pm Evening Program Session or Events


    Closing Day

    7:00 am — 8:00 am Embodied Movement or Meditation Class

    7:00 am — 9:00 am Breakfast at Kitchen Table

    9:00 am — 11:00 am Morning Program Session

    11:00 am Checkout Time

    12:00 pm — 2:00 pm Lunch at Kitchen Table—Departure day lunch is included in your stay.


    None required.

    Experience Level

    None required. Beginner, advanced, and published writers will all benefit.

    Things to Bring

    A notebook, a pen, and a laptop if you want one

    Recommended Reading

    Like a Beggar by Ellen Bass

    The Human Line by Ellen Bass

    Mules of Love by Ellen Bass

    When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life edited by Kwame Dawes

    Special Interest to

    Teachers and anyone who wants to write more vividly and powerfully

  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.


    View Accommodations
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