Faculty, MFA in Creative Writing Program
Residency Site: Plainfield VT / Residency Site: Port Townsend WA
Beatrix Gates’ poetry collections include Dos (Finishing Line Press, 2014); Ten Minutes and In the Open. Gates, with Electa Arenal, translated Jesús Aguado’s The Poems of Vikram Babu (HOST), and received a Witter Bynner Award. A fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Ucross and VCCA, Gates’ poetry has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Bloom, Tupelo Quarterly 3, Ploughshares and THE WORLD IN US: Lesbian & Gay Poetry of the Next Wave. Librettist and conceiver of the opera, The Singing Bridge, Gates shared support with composer Anna Dembska from the NEA; Davis & LEF Foundations for the premiere at the Stonington Opera House. Gates edited The Wild Good: Lesbian Writings and Photographs on Love and founded Granite Press, publisher of the bilingual IXOK AMAR.GO, Central American Women Poets for Peace.
MFA in Poetry, Sarah Lawrence College
BA in Literature, Antioch College
Areas of Expertise
Creative Writing (Poetry; Non-fiction; Memoir; Mixed Genre; Libretto; Short Fiction and Novel); Literature (19th, 20th & 21st c., American; African American writers; Women writers; L/G/B/T/Q writers; Romantic Poetry)
As a teacher, I try and discern where a writer is going, and then guide them towards the best form to carry the story–whether poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Once I have a good sense of the core ambitions and sensibility of the student, I rely on a range of literature that will point the way stylistically, shake them into a different perspective or let them know that they’re on the right track. The point is to inspire confidence in the search for the right form, and this may include trying on different genres or revising through exercises that range outside the expected narrative. I often ask writers of non-fiction to read poetry and dramatic monologues to deepen an appreciation of emotional tone, quick characterization or the impact of repeating imagery. Having poets try on dialogue or explore juxtaposing sections within a long poem also expands the conversation between narrative and lyric. Rewriting is essential to making a manuscript work and developing a relationship to the rewriting process may be the most valuable thing that can be learned.
Please visit my blog, for more information on my work.