Poetry Book Project

The Poetry Book Project, an intensive, two-year program for writers of book-length manuscripts of poetry.

Applications for the Poetry Book Project will open April 1, 2017


What makes The Poetry Book Project the creative writing program for you?

  • The Poetry Book Project is affordable: just a fraction of the cost of an MFA degree program, yet every bit as rigorous as the best creative writing programs.
  • The Poetry Book Project is a personalized course of study. You will work closely with a mentor, who will help you create a curriculum that addresses your particular needs as a writer.
  • Our mentors are working writers and highly skilled teachers, with years of experience nurturing poets.
  • You will have access to all of Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s high-quality resources, including literature courses, writing workshops, the annual Lit Fest, visiting writers programs (recent visitors include Thomas Lux, Mark Doty, Mary Karr, Mark Irwin, Mark Strand), and our award-winning faculty.
  • Our resident publishing experts and relationships with local (and non-local) publishers will help guide you through the necessities and intricacies of the publishing world, and may even become your publisher as well.
  • You’ll be energized by three weekend intensives per year, plus Lit Fest workshops and courses.
  • Remote study available—even if you’re not in the Denver area, you can participate in the Project over the internet and come to Denver for the three weekend intensives.
  • Your Project will end with a public reading, where you’ll receive a certificate of completion.



Over the years, we’ve seen great poetry come out of the Lighthouse workshops, but we had a nagging feeling we could be doing more to support book-length projects—and the intensive learning—that people are undertaking. Our members are often working under the constraints of full-time jobs and full lives, so we wanted to re-envision the best way we could support their efforts.

The limitations of a typical workshop—ideally suited to short stories, essays, and individual poems—on book-length projects are well known, and MFA programs to literary centers have been trying to address them. Workshopping single poems is an option that many people benefit from, but this is not always ideal—readers and instructors are often unfamiliar with the larger project and the voice of the poet—and writers themselves can become prematurely focused on revising just a few poems over and over, and momentum toward a collection can be slowed or shut down.

We feel the best thing we can give our book writers is a customized program that helps writers focus on a schedule, a timeframe, and a set of aesthetic goals. Our program pairs each writer with a mentor who will help him or her chart a path through the project, and also provides another necessary element—a community of writers to inspire and hold accountable each artist to his or her goals. At the end of the program, each writer will emerge with a book of poems, a book the writer can be proud of, plus a support team ready to help him or her take the next steps.



Poetry Mentor – Elizabeth Robinson, MA, Mdiv
Elizabeth Robinson is the author of over a dozen volumes of poetry. Her most recent books are Three Novels (Omnidawn), Counterpart (Ahsahta), and Blue Heron (Center for Literary Publishing). Robinson’s mixed genre meditation, On Ghosts (Solid Objects), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book award. In addition, she has been a winner of the National Poetry Series, the Fence Modern Poets Prize, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. She is a 2016 recipient of a Dora Maar/Brown Foundation Fellowship to France. Robinson has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Montana, and the University of Colorado Boulder.  

Poetry Faculty

Michael Henry, MFA
Michael Henry is co-founder and Executive Director of Lighthouse Writers Workshop. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in places such as 5280 Magazine, Georgetown Review, Threepenny Review, Pleiades, and Copper Nickel, and he’s published three books of poetry, Active God, No Stranger Than My Own (Conundrum Press), and Intersection, a chapbook. He holds a BA in English from the University of Rochester, and an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. A former Colorado Council on the Arts and PlatteForum fellow, he’s also collaborated with Garrett Ammon, award-winning artistic director of Wonderbound ballet company, on three narrative ballets, When the Power Goes Out, Intersection, and Gone West.

Khadijah Queen
Khadijah Queen is the author of four books and four chapbooks of innovative poetry. Her full length collections are Conduit (Black Goat/Akashic Books 2008), featured in Poets & Writers magazine's Debut Poets issue; Black Peculiar, winner of the 2010 Noemi Press book award and published in 2011; Fearful Beloved (Argos Books 2015); and Non-Sequitur, a verse play published by Litmus Press in 2015. Non-Sequitur won the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Performance Writing and was staged by theater company The Relationship at Theaterlab NYC in December 2015. Individual poems and prose appear or are forthcoming in Fence, jubilat, Brooklyn Magazine, Rattle, Memoir, The Force of What's Possible, Fire and Ink: A Social Action Anthology, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and in other journals and anthologies widely elsewhere. A fifth book, I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and will be published by YesYes Books in 2017. Khadijah currently works as an editor for a finance company and serves as board chair for the feminist publisher Kore Press. In 2016, she joined the new low-residency Mile-High MFA program at Regis University as a core faculty member in poetry and playwriting. Visit her website: khadijahqueen.com

Andrea Rexilius, MFA, PhD
Andrea Rexilius is the author of New Organism: Essais (Letter Machine, 2014), Half of What They Carried Flew Away (Letter Machine, 2012), and To Be Human Is To Be A Conversation (Rescue Press, 2011). Her creative and critical writing is featured in the following anthologies: Anne Carson: Ecstatic Lyre (U of Michigan P), Despite the Possible: Fifteen Women Poets (U of Akron P),  The Volta Book of Poets (Sidebrow Books), Sixty Morning Talks: Serial Interviews with Contemporary Authors (Ugly Duckling Press), and Letter Machine Book of Interviews (Letter Machine Editions). She currently works as a Program Coordinator and Faculty Mentor for the Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing at Regis University.

Seth Brady Tucker, PhD
Seth Brady Tucker is a poet and fiction writer originally from Lander, Wyoming. His first book won the 2011 Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize (Mormon Boy), and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. His second book won the Gival Press Poetry Award (We Deserve the Gods We Ask For) and went on to win the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He has led poetry and fiction workshops for graduate and undergraduate students alike, and is currently an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Mines. Seth is also the founder and co-director of the Seaside Writers’ Conference (which takes place annually in May), and volunteers his time teaching veterans and veteran caretakers through the Writers’ Guild (East)/Wounded Warrior Project. Seth has been an editor for a number of different literary journals, and is currently a senior editor at the Tupelo Quarterly Review.

Recently, his fiction won the Bevel Summers Fiction Prize from Shenandoah and a Flash Fiction Award from Literal Latte, and he was also a finalist for the Jeff Sharlet Award from the Iowa Review, the Lamar York Nonfiction Prize from the Chattahoochee Review, and the James Hearst Poetry Prize from the North American Review. Seth has served as a Carol Houck Smith Scholar in Poetry at Bread Loaf, and as the Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction at Sewanee. His poetry and fiction are forthcoming or have appeared in Pleiades, Shenandoah, Verse Daily, Iowa Review, Southern Humanities Review, Indiana Review, and Poetry Northwest, among many others. Seth has worked as a wine sommelier and has degrees from San Francisco State University, Northern Arizona University, and from the top-ranked creative writing program at Florida State University (PhD English 2012). He was a paratrooper with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and served in the Persian Gulf War, in another lifetime. 


Year One – The Generator


Monthly Mentor Conferences (12 meetings total)

  • Individual sessions to discuss craft, manuscript development, writing initiatives; not primarily for reviewing/critique of poems.
  • Participant reading list & technical focus papers

Weekend Intensives

  • 3 Weekends: September/October; January; April
  • Led by your mentor and one or two guest instructors
  • Intensive workshops and talks on elements of craft, social events, readings.


  • ​Two 8-Week Poetry Workshops
  • Two Reading as a Writer Courses
  • Lit Fest Week-Long Workshop (with guest instructor)
  • Lit Fest Business Weekend Pass (priority meeting with publishers)

Year Two – Make It Great

Work closely with your mentor as you polish your draft, make your book stand out from the crowd, and prepare for publication.


Full Manuscript Prep and Critique

  • Multiple sessions (October to April); participants submit initial draft and later, a revision, for thorough review and critique by faculty and peers

Closing Conference

  • Individual meeting with mentor for closing review, discussion


  • Two 8-Week offerings (1 Poetry Workshop, 1 Reading as a Writer)
  • Two one-day intensive workshops (during the year, or at year one Lit Fest)
  • Lit Fest Business Weekend Pass (priority meeting with publishers)
  • Public Reading and celebration party          



  • Tuition: $9,500 total for the two-year program.
  • Guaranteed access to the workshops of your choice.
  • Special invites to events and workshops throughout the year.
  • Mentor manuscript readings cover up to 80 pages of poetry.

A monthly or quarterly payment plan—at no interest—is available.



We will not be accepting applications for the 2016 year. Please email info@lighthousewriters.org or call 303.297.1185 for information on how you can best prepare for the next application cycle, beginning in 2017. 



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