Marilyn L. Taylor

Wisconsin Poet Laureate, 2009-2010

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One-Day Workshop: Writing the Dramatic Monologue

May 23 – 25, 2018
Poetry by the Sea, Madison, Connecticut –

(This class will take place at the Mercy Center, a beautiful seaside retreat in Madison, Connecticut, only steps from Long Island Sound.)

 Hasn’t there always been something irresistible about putting your own words into another person’s mouth, causing them to say things they might never have expressed themselves? Poets can accomplish this remarkable feat with a dramatic monologue (sometimes called a “persona poem”)—i.e. a poem spoken in the first person by a character who’s not the poet. Which character? Almost anyone you like–historical, fictitious, imaginary, or all-too-real. It’s a splendid vehicle for expressing respect for your poem’s speaker, your admiration, anger, forgiveness— or even your scorn, if you’re so inclined. With the help of some great examples, an experiment or two, and by taking a close look at some of the ethical ramifications of speaking in a voice that’s not your own, this workshop can give you a great start on practicing ventriloquism of the highest order.

Write-by-the-Lake Writers Workshop and Retreat

June 11 – 15, 2018
University of Wisconsin Madison Campus

A five-day workshop for intermediate and advanced poets, sponsored by the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. Classes are held in the morning, 9:30 to 12:30, on the UW campus.
The joy of working in form is, for me, the paradoxical freedom form bestows to say the hard truths,” says poet Maxine Kumin. Could it do the same for your own poetry? It’s finally time to find out. In this workshop we’ll be experimenting with a variety of traditional poetic forms, from the sonnet to the sestina and beyond—equipping you with some new stylistic strategies for your poetic bag-of-tricks. (Working with forms can do wonders for your free verse, too!) In the end—with a little help from fellow workshoppers, your own good ear, and your inventory of perceptive personal insights—you’ll have a great start on combining the best of both worlds: using the timeless old forms (and varieties thereof) as time-tested vehicles for composing some remarkable new poems.

Poetry Workshop at Bjorklunden

September 10 – 15, 2018
Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin

An intensive five-day poetry workshop conducted at Lawrence University’s beautiful Bjorklunden (“Birch Forest”)— a spacious lodge situated on the shore of Lake Michigan in the heart of Wisconsin’s culturally vibrant Door County. Tentative topic: “The Art of Writing Ekphrastic Poems.”—which will involve gallery visits, certain to inspire extraordinary poems! Further details to come.

Step on a Crack

Step on a Crack, White Violet Press/Kelsay Books, 2016 (Now available at or by emailing Marilyn at

Going Wrong

Going Wrong, Parallel Press, 2009

The Seven Very Liberal Arts

The Seven Very Liberal Arts, Aralia Press, 2006 (Limited Edition – Sold Out)

Subject to Change

Subject to Change, David Robert Books, 2004

Exit Only

Exit Only, Anamnesis Press, 2001

Greatest Hits

Marilyn L. Taylor: Greatest Hits, 1986-2000, Pudding House Publications, 2001

Shadows Like These

Shadows Like These, Wm Caxton Ltd, 1994

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