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BHS Berkshire Writers Workshop Series
04:03PM / Tuesday, November 08, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County Historical Society has received a grant from Housatonic Heritage to host Berkshire Writers Workshop Series – a new series of writing workshops beginning Nov. 19 and continuing monthly through May. 
Each three-hour session will take place at Herman Melville's historic Arrowhead and be led by a different writer/facilitator of note for a series of informative, inspiring, and productive writing workshops. The program will facilitate different aspects of writing in varying genres using prompts and exercises that enhance the writing process. 
The workshop series is open to anyone who has an interest in writing at any level. No writing experience is necessary, but participants must sign up for the entire series. Workshops will take place on the third Saturday of each month from 2- 5 pm. Fee for the series is $175. Participation is limited, and pre-registration is required by Nov. 11. To register, visit
"For years the Berkshire County Historical Society has nourished writers in different ways. Our Writer-in-Residence program supports authors in creating new works; Melville Fellowships help train the next generation of writers; and our collaboration with the Mastheads allows writers to be inspired by Arrowhead's architecture and landscape," said Lesley Herzberg, BCHS Executive Director. "We are pleased to be opening this new series to writers of all abilities and experience levels." 
"Arrowhead, the site where one of the greatest novels in American literature was penned, is the perfect setting for this workshop," said Jana Laiz, BCHS Education Coordinator and Writer-in-Residence Emeritus. "I am looking forward to bringing some of the Berkshires' most talented writers here to work with participants in this inspiring program."
The series will begin with an in-depth tour of Arrowhead, the life and works of Melville, and an opportunity to write in Melville's study. Each subsequent workshop will build on the previous, adding new levels of interest and experience. Participants will come away with a new or renewed interest and appreciation of Melville and his works, as well as a toolbox of techniques, prompts and exercises they can use as they progress in whatever writing project they undertake.

November 19Melville Unplugged:  Writing about Place with Jana Laiz, Writer-In-Residence Emeritus, Education Coordinator at Arrowhead. Foreword Review and International Reading Association Award-winning author of "Weeping Under This Same Moon," "A Free Woman On God's Earth," "Billy Budd in the Breadbox," "Thirty-Five Days to Baltimore." Visit her at

December 17, "primordial bellowings": Beginning the Poem with Dante Micheaux, author of "Circus," winner of Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the T. S. Eliot Foundation, and Amorous Shepherd. His poems and translations have appeared in African American Review; The American Poetry Review; Callaloo; Literary Imagination; Poem-A-Day; Poetry; Poetry London; PN Review; and Tongue—among other journals and anthologies. Micheaux's other honors include the 2020 Ambit Magazine Poetry Prize, and a fellowship from The New York Times Foundation. He is Poet-in-Residence at Amy Clampitt House and the Director of Programs for Cave Canem Foundation, Inc. Visit him at

January 21, The Lost Art of Letter Writing with Maria Black. Maria earned her MFA in Fiction in 2015 and her stories have been published in numerous literary journals, including Indiana Review, Harvard Review, Gulf Coast, and others. She was awarded a 2022 Pushcart Prize and a Bentley Prize by The Seattle Review. Her fiction has been included in several books on writing.  Visit her at

February 18, The Art of Description with Barbara Newman, Nautilus Award winning fantasy author of "The Dream Catcher Codes."  Visit her at

March 18, Poetry Everywhere:  Collage, Erasure, & Found Poetry  with Laura Didyk, published poet, nonfiction writer, illustrator, and mixed-media artist; MacDowell fellow and Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship recipient. Visit her at

April 16,  Travel Writing From Home with Lara Tupper, Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize winner; author of "Amphibians, Off Island," and "A Thousand and One Nights;" founder of Swift Ink Stories, a platform for creative expression.  Visit her at

May 20,  The Art of Playwriting with Tammy Denease, Historian/Playwright and Executive Artistic Director for the Hidden Women Stage Company which produces the Hidden Women Series. Visit her at


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