In ancient Greek mythology, omphalos meant the navel, or center of the earth. It is something in our own lives— place, person, or thing—that is at the source of our poems. Often, it remains undiscovered or hidden. It is from this concept that poet Amy Small-McKinney will guide participants in the three-day poetry workshop, “Where is the Center of the Earth and How Does It Become Your Poetry?” Participants will study poems through this lens, and will start work on poetry of their own.

Amy Small-McKinney won The Kithara Book Prize 2016 (Glass Lyre Press) for her second full-length collection of poems, Walking Toward Cranes. She is also the author of Life is Perfect (BookArts Press, 2014) and two chapbooks of poetry, Body of Surrender and Clear Moon, Frost, both with Finishing Line Press. Small-McKinney was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was the 2011 Montgomery County Poet Laureate. Small-McKinney’s poems also appear in two recent anthologies: Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women, and BARED: Contemporary Poetry and Art on Bras and Breasts.

Small-McKinney says, “No matter your stage as a writer, at the end of this workshop, it is my hope that each student will walk away with the solid core of one substantial poem, and perhaps more. You will be jump-started with poems we will read together, and we will use the notion of omphalos as a guide post.”

The 70th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference will be held June 8-10, 2018, at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. Visit this page for more information, including speaker information and a general schedule of events.