Now accepting applications for 2021!

The Poetry Gauntlet is an intense one-year workshop for poets. Led by poet Christopher McCurry, up to 12 participants will work collaboratively during the 2020 calendar year to draft 100 new poems. Each month, the group will read and discuss a poetry book. Everyone who completes The Gauntlet will receive a Gauntlet challenge coin and be invited to share their work at a reading.

The Gauntlet is open to writers (16 years old and up) of all experience levels. The Gauntlet year runs from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Gauntlet participants receive:

  • 12 generative workshops; you will meet with Christopher McCurry and a community of working writers for 3.5 hours one Saturday a month for one year
  • 11 books of poetry and essays on the craft of poetry; you will help select these books
  • Personal support and accountability as you write 100 poems over the course of the year
  • Detailed feedback from Christopher McCurry on a selection (approx. 10 poems) of your works in progress
  • Access to two free Carnegie Center classes per season (8 total free courses; some restrictions apply)
  • Two Saturday/Sunday day writing retreats in collaboration with students in the Carnegie Center Author Academy
  • The opportunity to meet and learn from local established poets who visit during some Saturday workshops
  • The opportunity to pitch your manuscript in progress to Accents Publishing and Workhorse
  • An invitation to read your work publicly at the end of your Gauntlet year and at annual Gauntlet Reunions
  • A challenge coin that you’ll receive upon successful completion of your Gauntlet year


Tuition:
$1,500

Instructor: The Gauntlet is led by poet Christopher McCurry.
Important dates: Applications are due on December 16. All applicants will be notified by January 3. A nonrefundable deposit of $350 will be due on January 15. $575 will be due on January 30. The remaining $575 will be due on June 30. Saturday workshop dates will be announced this fall.

Scholarships: In honor of Katerina Stoykova, we offer one poet a free spot in The Gauntlet each year. The scholarship goes to a writer who would have otherwise been excluded for financial reasons. It’s in the spirit of Katerina’s supportive and giving nature. Scholarship applicants are asked to submit a statement of need with their program application.

Questions? Contact Sarah Chapman, Carnegie Center Program Director, at sarah@carnegiecenterlex.org


FAQ

Do you like to write poetry? Do you like to read poetry? Are you looking to do more of both? Do you like working with other people to remove barriers to your writing? Would you like to take a poetry workshop but can’t take off time from work? If you answered yes to some of these questions, then The Gauntlet may be right for you.
Founded by Christopher McCurry of Workhorse in 2016, The Gauntlet was designed to help poets build a habit of reading and writing that is sustainable. It was also designed to build a community of poets who are supportive of each other during The Gauntlet year and beyond. The program was administered and taught by Christopher McCurry for three years; starting in 2020, it will be administered by the Carnegie Center, with Christopher McCurry staying on as the lead instructor.
  • 12 generative workshops; you will meet with Christopher McCurry and a community of working writers for 3.5 hours one Saturday a month for one year

  • 11 books of poetry and essays on the craft of poetry; you will help select these books

  • Personal support and accountability as you write 100 poems over the course of the year

  • Detailed feedback from Christopher McCurry on a selection (approx. 10 poems) of your works in progress

  • Access to two free Carnegie Center classes per season (8 total free courses; some restrictions apply)

  • Two Saturday/Sunday day writing retreats in collaboration with students in the Carnegie Center Author Academy

  • The opportunity to meet and learn from local established poets who visit during some Saturday workshops

  • The opportunity to pitch your manuscript in progress to Accents Publishing and Workhorse

  • An invitation to read your work publicly at the end of your Gauntlet year and at annual Gauntlet Reunions

  • A challenge coin that you’ll receive upon successful completion of your Gauntlet year
We like to organize The Gauntlet to maximize diversity of writing experience and background; a well-rounded and productive year together starts there.
The books read throughout the year are those selected by The Gauntlet participants. So, you’ll have a chance to share with everyone else a book you loved and found valuable to your writing.
High expectations are the foundation for success. If you don’t risk failure, success won’t taste as sweet.
Carry it in your wallet, wear it as a necklace, display it on your shelf. In the same way that people are celebrated for publishing, we want to celebrate people who are actively writing and reading.
In honor of Katerina Stoykova, we offer one poet a free spot in The Gauntlet. The scholarship goes to a writer who would have otherwise been excluded for financial reasons. It's in the spirit of Katerina's supportive and giving nature.
Don't be. We like writing, that's all.

Apply now!

Download Application


Christopher McCurry

Christopher McCurry’s poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and featured on NPR’s On Point as a Best Book of 2016 for his chapbook of marriage sonnets Nearly Perfect Photograph. His poems have appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, The Los Angeles Review, The Louisville Review, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Rattle and others. His first full-length collection of poetry, Open Burning, is forthcoming from Accents Publishing. He’s a graduate of the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College and a high school English teacher. In 2015 Christopher co-founded Workhorse, a publishing company and community for working writers. He believes everyone should write poems and that everyone can. You can find him online at christophermccurry.com or workhorsewriters.com.

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and writers and readers of all levels.

Join Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

 

(859) 254-4175
info@carnegiecenterlex.org

The building is currently closed to the public until further notice.

Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 7:30pm
Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

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