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2017-09/17 When Colors Unfold: The Poetry of Antonio Machado Poem-Making with Jim Moreno

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In the book of Antonio Machado poetry, Times Alone, translator Robert Bly wrote of Machado’s celebrated walks in the countryside of Seville and other rural landscapes. It seems that the talented Spanish poet had a list of awareness liturgy he would blend with his walks. Machado’s walking traditions included choices in paying attention to what was before him: time, landscape, the past of the landscape, the way colors unfold, synchronicity, and a “secret you”.

Jim Moreno’s September workshop takes an in depth look at how writing can parallel Machado’s walking traditions, especially how “colors unfold” in the process of composing a poem of the heart.
Moreno’s three decades of intermittent classes with mentor/friend Steve Kowit has instilled a sense of story in his pen. Narrative poetry written with a strong beginning, middle, and end imbue his writing philosphy and style.

In addition, typical of a Moreno workshop, Jim has found poetry from writers of other cultures and genres that resonate with Machado’s verse. Other poets who write clearly, without presidential narcissism, about mountains, the skies, stony earth, events, dreams, and existential eyes finding meaning in meaninglessness, will grace the prompts for beginning or seasoned poets. They are the colors that unfold from the easel of epiphanies and solemn dances that are the inspired words of one of Spain’s greatest writers.

If you are looking for a workshop to help you find your audience this workshop is not for you. If you are looking for a critique workshop, this class is not for you. If you are looking for a safe writing environment, a place to explore your own heart, to find your original voice, this is the workshop for you.

Machado wrote: “I I were a poet of love, I would make a poem for your eyes as clear as the transparent water in the marble pool”. Writing with sensory detail, lucidity, and concreteness, as Steve Kowit wrote, “allow readers to form vivid pictures in their minds as to what is being described. Our mantra in this workshop is “show not tell” in a container of respect.


Jim Moreno is the author of “Dancing in Dissent: Poetry For Activism,” (Dolphin Calling Press, 2007) and two cd’s of music and poetry.  He is a Teaching Artist & on the Program Committee with San Diego Writers, Ink. Jim has studied with Steve Kowit, Sam Hamod, RegE Gaines, D.J. Watson, Willie Perdomo, Judy Reeves, John Fox, and G. Lynne Nelson. Moreno is  on the Advisory Board of the Poetic Medicine Institute in Palo Alto, California.  He is a Regional Editor with the San Diego Poetry Annual and a Teaching Artist with Arts 4 Learning where he was just voted the Residency Teaching Artist of the Year, 2016-2017. Jim hosts 2nd Tuesday-Jihmye Poetry at the Cafe Cabaret, an open mic for spoken word. Contact him at

PLEASE NOTE: It is best to register at least a week before the start of a class to help our instructors prepare and ensure that a class does not get cancelled or rescheduled.