Seattle-based Writer, Author, Poet, Writing Teacher

Readings/ Writers’ Conferences/ Courses Offered

Priscilla is author of six books:

  • The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life, Second Edition (University of New Mexico Press), updated and with hundreds of new craft models.
  •  Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators (Coffeetown Press)
  • Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (University of Georgia Press)
  • Crossing Over: Poems (University of New Mexico Press)
  • The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life (Wallingford Press)
  • Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry (Paragon House)

 Writing Courses Offered:

Note: For the writer, the journey from wishful to virtuoso is one whose alchemical transformations occur entirely within a process of work. In our classes we work very hard. Are you ready to work and have you cleared enough time to do every assignment to the best of your ability? That is the question to ask yourself as you consider taking one or another of these courses. Oh, yes, we do have fun. But we groan too, and we work.  

Winter Seminar 2020. Held at the Good Shepherd Center, Wallingford neighborhood, Seattle. 12:45 – 3 p.m. Cost: $300 Portfolio is due a few weeks after the last class. Limited to 10.

Monday, January 6, 2020
Monday, January 13, 2020
Skip MLKing Day Jan. 20
Monday, January 27, 2020
Monday, February 10, 2020

In this seminar we will compose two new pieces and revise a work-in-progress to completion. One piece will be an “enumeration”: 1. 2. 3. …

June Intensive 2020.  In our year of the plague we will meet on Zoom. Four evenings, 7–9 pm. Cost $300. Portfolio is due a few weeks after the last class. Limited to 10. This class is full.

Monday, June 1, 2020
Monday, June 8, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
Monday, June 22, 2020

Chuckanut Writer’s Conference. June 26-27, 2020. The classes will be held this year on Zoom. Sponsored by Village Books and Whatcom Community College.

I will offer two sessions:

A pre-conference master class, Time to be announced Metaphor for Writers: What Are Metaphors Good For? How Do We Get Good at Making Metaphor?

This class discusses the advances by linguists (George Lakoff and others) in thinking of metaphor as what every human being on earth uses every day to conceptualize the world. (Example: “Life is a journey.) Then we will look at kinds of metaphors and how we can get better at them, and actually develop a practice of making our own original metaphors. Metaphors are not decoration but rather an aid to visualizing, to seeing, to understanding. And they can be beautiful.

A regular conference session on Using Sound and Color to Brighten and Intensify Your Prose or Poetry

This session will focus on the use of sound in your prose or poetry or both, including using the vowel scale, where boo or blue is low and eek or shriek is high. How can sound work to intensify the emotional resonance of a passage or scene? Color is another means of enriching your prose or poetry. We’ll consider the range of color words from copper to rust to yellow ocher. We’ll look at passages of writers such as A. S. Byatt who blow the reader away with their use of color.