The Word Barn serves as a home and cultivation point for a variety of arts and community gatherings.

Below are a few of the current offerings you can find in this space.


The Prose Poem, Between the Gap//”Insterstellar” w/ Shira Dentz
August 18 & 19, 1 – 4:30pm

In this two-day workshop, we’ll explore the elusive form of the prose poem through reading, discussion, writing experiments, and workshop. We’ll read and discuss prose poems by poets including Francis Ponge, Rosmarie Waldrop, Claudia Rankine, and Charles Simic, and unconventional writing prompts will follow each of our discussions. Each hour we’ll enter a different portal to this liminal space, shifting our starting point from objects to metaphysics to social autobiography to the surreal. The question, “What is a prose poem?,” has been notoriously difficult to answer, and we will embark on an open-ended journey. Since form can be viewed in relation to its content, the prose poem is perhaps a most uncontained form (despite its formal regularity on the page). Together, we will plumb this textual and textural space, the nascent matter in your own generative imagination. As prelude to each day’s class, we will do warm-up sensory/language experiments to flex your bodily sense-perceptions, language, and imagination, and we will conclude on the second day with an extended workshop that will give everyone the chance to refine at least one prose poem they drafted through this workshop.

Shira Dentz is the author of five full-length books, black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman), door of thin skins (CavanKerry), how do i net thee (Salmon Poetry), the sun a blazing zero (forthcoming, Lavender Ink/Diálogos), and Sisyphusina (forthcoming, PANK), and two chapbooks, Leaf Weather (Shearsman), and FLOUNDERS (Essay Press). Her writing appears widely in journals including POETRY, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, New American Writing, Brooklyn Rail, and Western Humanities Review, and featured in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, NPR, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem and Cecil Hemley Memorial Awards, Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award, and Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize. A graduate of the Iowa Writers‘ Workshop, she has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Utah, and is currently Special Features Editor at Tarpaulin Sky and teaches creative writing at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Upstate New York. More about her writing can be found at

Reserve A Spot

From Photography to Ink to Photography to Ink to ~
July 9, 16,  23 & 30, 2018

This summer writing workshop, led by Sarah Anderson & Mercy Carbonell, is a chance to explore the translational power of writing from photographs into memory & imagination through Poetry, Lyric Reflection & Flash Fiction. We will generate writing through prompts of photographs from Antiquity to Instagram to a postcard found in an old drawer. We may offer readings such as Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others. Each Monday, we will have writing workshops in various forms. This workshop is designed for those who love to capture a moment still in a photograph & then find its motion again in poetry & prose. This Workshop Series will culminate in an optional Word Barn reading.

Register (Limit 10)

Advanced Poetry Workshop with Matt Miller
July 10, 17,  24 & 31, 2018

This workshop is for poets who already have work in progress and are looking to work with fellow poets in a collaborative way to prepare their work for publication. Formal elements will be discussed like line, syntax, diction, image, and even rhyme and meter as a means to work to improve poems. Reading other poems as models, major revision techniques will be considered, diving into some in-class generative writing, and wondering if a poem can ever really be “done”. This workshop will include publication and submission process discussion, and participants should come with generous spirits and a willingness to work.

Register (Limit 8)

Fermentation Workshop
April 7, 2018
10am – Noon  – SOLD OUT

Come ferment with us!

Join us for a little history, a little science, and a lot of bacteria talk! We will taste-test a variety of ferments and all make kraut together.
Fermented vegetables are not only delicious, but they are great for you – boosting your all-important gut microbes, they add pizzaz and tang to any meal, and kept in the fridge, last indefinitely. Fermented vegetables are also easy and safe to make at home.
Everyone will go home with a jar of kraut to ferment.
Curious and aspiring fermenters are encouraged to come, no fermenting experience required!
This workshop will be led by Katie Semro, owner of Shipwreck Ferments, Rollinsford, NH.
SPACE IS LIMITED, and this sold out quickly last time. Locking in your space in advance is required and subject to availability.

$30 per person
Reserve a Spot

Time to Write
1st & 3rd Thursdays, 7-9pm

An ongoing writing workshop led by co-owner of The Word Barn and host of The Silo Series, Sarah Anderson (and occasional guest writers).

Come exchange work with writers; give and receive feedback; use a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing and more.

1st & 3rd Thursday of every month, The Word Barn
7-9 pm

Register here.

Ongoing Bi-Weekly Studio Painting Classes
Christopher Volpe

Evening oil painting group classes, suitable for beginners and adventurous painters alike.

Demos, instruction, refreshments, and fertile ground for skill-building and self expression.

All you need to bring is a basic painting kit (paints, brushes, mineral spirits, canvas and easel), your favorite bottle of wine (if so inclined), and your sense of adventure, as each week a new game plan is tried out for the painting du jour.

Christopher Volpe is an oil painter creating moody, poetic landscapes in an expressive, tonalist style. Though rooted in landscape, his atmospheric paintings combine the traditional and the contemporary to express intangible feelings and ideas. Largely self-taught, Volpe has quickly established himself as an artist with uncommon vision and truly evocative style.

Learn more about Christopher Volpe’s workshops, about Christopher Volpe, or visit his website.