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Intensive workshops

Beyond Baroque’s intensive writing workshops allow writers from all schools and walks of life to learn from world-class authors in single and multi-session workshops.

The Pantoum: Repetition As Magic / Repetition Is Magic with James Cushing

Saturday, June 15, 2024
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PT
In Person at Beyond Baroque

“The pantoum is an ancient Malaysian song form, used by children and sailors for their amusement, brought into Europe by Charles Baudelaire in the 1870s and made available to Americans by the “New York School” poets in the 1950s and ‘60s. The pantoum is certainly the most creative pre-existing poetic form I have ever used; every time I write one, I find myself surprised by what I have written. I was first exposed to it in a class John Ashbery taught back when he was a guest professor at UC Irvine in the spring of ‘77. He told the class about it, gave us examples, and encouraged us to try it out. In this one-day Beyond Baroque workshop, I’m trying to continue that work. In our workshop, we’ll begin with looking at some of my favorite examples of the form (I’ll have handouts for everyone). I’ll make sure we all know just how the form works before we try some guided pantoum writing, both collectively and individually. By the end, each person in the workshop will have at least one completed pantoum, possibly more, and a poetic tool to use the rest of your writing life.” – James Cushing

James Cushing , a former director of the Beyond Baroque Wednesday Night Poetry Workshop, retired in 2020 after 35 years teaching literature and creative writing in San Luis Obispo, CA, where he served as the community’s poet laureate in 2008-2010. Cushing’s poems have appeared widely and his collections include The Length of an Afternoon, Undercurrent Blues, Pinocchio’s Revolution, The Magicians’ Union, Solace, and Tangled Hologram, all from Cahuenga Press in Los Angeles. He lives in Hollywood with poet-painter Celeste Goyer, with whom he frequently collaborates. His daughter is the New York-based poet Iris Cushing. His website,, includes poems and visual art.