Dharma Bums: Hiking & Haiku - Backpacker

Dharma Bums: Hiking & Haiku

Publish date:

Group: Poetry Barn

When: Saturday, September 2, 12 pm to Sunday, September 3, 6 pm

Where: Poetry Barn, West Hurley, NY

Cost: $30 (includes two meals)


Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The Dharma Bums is a chronicle of some of the greatest Beat and Americana authors of all time. Poets like Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, among others, are all fictitiously portrayed in The Dharma Bums. This two-day workshop will adopt one of the novel's central points of inspiration—mountains. Although it will be impossible to take a tour of the famous mountains Ray Smith does in The Dharma Bums, we will challenge ourselves, in the pursuit of inspiration, with a beautiful two-mile hike on Phoenicia's Tanbark Trail.

By focusing on nature, and the simple, short, yet profound image, we will take notes for crafting poems during the afternoon hike. Following our descent, we'll relax beside the Esopus Creek at the Emerson Resort & Spa, an extraordinary spot inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson. That evening, feel free to take in one of the area's many events, or relax and write in your choice of nearby accommodations.

The next day, we will have a poem to work on, or some notes with which to start shaping them. We'll come together to share the poems in workshop with The Heron's Nest editor John Stevenson, and end our day with a collaborative renga and short walk around the Ashokan Reservoir, just minutes from the barn.

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