The writing workshop is the best way for writers to get feedback and to hone their critical skills. The goal is to build up the faculties of our internal editors so that we don't need to rely on workshops forever. If things go perfectly, the students learn to see what others see. They understand that some poems fail because of just one word — as troubling as a hornet on the railing of a crib. They learn to find it, and to say it better.
I'm not someone who believes the writer should wait for inspiration. It's the job of the writer to find the inspiration. This is hard work. It involves constant revision. It necessitates the ability to surprise oneself. It requires some kind of schedule, a selfishness, a promise that you will give the best hour of the day to your art. Don't turn on the TV until you've written at least one beautiful sentence. To have successful poems over the long haul, you must be the kind of person who dusts the furniture when there is no hope of visitors.
The 50 Books That Had the Biggest Impact on My Writing (in no particular order)
- Illuminations, Arthur Rimbaud
- Local Time, Stephen Dunn
- Poems, 1957-1967, James Dickey
- Where I'm Calling From, Raymond Carver
- The Collected Stories, Amy Hempel
- The Complete Poems, Emily Dickinson
- Harmonium, Wallace Stevens
- Howl, Allen Ginsberg
- A Coney Island of the Mind, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
- Ariel, Sylvia Plath
- Crow, Ted Hughes
- Selected Poems, Mark Strand
- Friends and Assassins, Heather Ross Miller
- The Branch Will Not Break, James Wright
- Poems, 1965-1975, Seamus Heaney
- American Primitive, Mary Oliver
- The Childhood of an Equestrian, Russell Edson
- Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
- Dubliners, James Joyce
- Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger
- Local Men, James Whitehead
- A Robber in the House, Jessica Treat
- American Journal, Robert Hayden
- Black Dog, Red Dog, Stephen Dobyns
- Night Light, Donald Justice
- Poetry & Prose, Robert Frost
- The World Doesn't End, Charles Simic
- The Blessing of the Boats, Lucille Clifton
- Riffs and Reciprocities, Stephen Dunn
- Tar, C.K. Williams
- Rain, William Carpenter
- The Collected Stories, Lydia Davis
- Extravagaria, Pablo Neruda
- The Complete Poems: 1927-1979, Elizabeth Bishop
- Life Studies, Robert Lowell
- The Complete Stories, Ernest Hemingway
- Late, Cecilia Woloch
- Living on the Surface, Miller Williams
- The Complete Stories, Flannery O'Conner
- Selected Poems, William Carlos Williams
- The Country Between Us, Carolyn Forche
- Collected Poems, Theodore Roethke
- Cruelty, Ai
- Collected Poems, Philip Larkin
- Vectors, James Richardson
- Selected Poems, W.S. Merwin
- The ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound
- Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
- View With a Grain of Sand, Wislawa Szymborska
- Gasoline, Gregory Corso
Selected Publications and Prizes
2016: Nano Fiction Prize
2015: Vella Chapbook Contest, Paper Nautilus Press
2013: Annual Poetry Book Contest, Steel Toe Books
2009: National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship
2009: Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism Poetry Fellowship
2003: River Styx International Poetry Contest
2001: Connecticut Poetry Society Brodine/Brodinsky Prize
2001: Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowship
1999: Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize in Poetry
1995: The Lyric Memorial Prize
1994: Arkansas Poetry Award
1994: Painted Bride Quarterly Poetry Contest
1993: Still Waters Press Chapbook Award
Saturday Night at Magellan's. Burlington, VT: Fomite Press, 2013.
The Smoke of Horses. Rochester, NY. BOA Editions, 2017.
The Unleashable Dog. Bowling Green, KY: Steel Toe Books, 2014.
A Less Fabulous Infinity. Hammond, LA: Louisiana Literature Press, 2006.
During the Beauty Shortage. Denver, NC: M2 Press, 2005.
Where the Glories of April Lead. Denver, NC: Mitki/Mitki Press, 2001.
The Man on the Tower. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1995.
Something an Atheist Might Bring Up at a Cocktail Party. Mayapple Press. Pending.
Diminution. Enfield, CT: Paper Nautilus Press, 2016.
Appetites. Clemson, SC: Clemson University Press, 2011.
A Trayful of Brimming Martinis. Fayetteville, AR: Picadilly Press, 2003.
A Darkness With Brighter Stars. Fayetteville, AR: Picadilly Press, 2000.
The Bog Shack. Fayetteville, AR: Picadilly Press, 1996.
The Wave That Will Beach Us Both. Galloway Township, NJ: Still Waters Press, 1994.
Courses I Teach in the MFA Program
EN 500: Writing Portfolio
EN 543: Seminar in Poetry I
EN 643: Seminar in Poetry II
EN 522: Readings in Poetry
EN 692: Master Project
Links to Published Work
Poem and Story: https://citronreview.com/tag/charles-rafferty/
Poem and Interview: http://howapoemhappens.blogspot.com/2009/08/charles-rafferty.html