Barcelona Poetry Workshop

Barcelona Workshops

Writing About Art in Barcelona

10-Day Writing Workshop in Poetry and Creative Nonfiction

Led by Sharon Dolin at Jiwar: International Artists Residence

                           NEXT RESIDENCY: May 25th-June 3rd

 Apply Now: One Space Remaining

    Applicants Accepted on a Rolling Basis

Deadline April 1st

2017 Local Guest Poet: Ernest Farrés
Author of Edward Hopper (Graywolf Press, 2006)

Barcelona, Spain has a rich artistic and cultural tradition: from Antonio Gaudi’s unique architecture to the artwork of Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies to Pablo Picasso, as well as having a thriving contemporary art scene. Each day will include a morning workshop at Jiwar with the entire group, followed by a 2-hour lunch break, and a late afternoon outing to a site or museum of artistic or cultural interest, time to explore a very walkable city, as well as time to write. The goal is to write new poetry or creative nonfiction in response to and in dialogue with the Catalan culture you will be encountering.

Workshop is limited to 8 people.

Here’s what students have been saying:

“Sharon’s love of Barcelona and its art are infectious. I found it impossible not to be inspired!”—Naomi Minkoff, Washington, DC (June 2016 student)

LOVED Barcelona & I LOVED the workshop. What a beautiful place to study art! And I loved Jiwar & the other poets. One of Sharon Dolin’s great gifts is her ability to attract people to her pedagogy who are really serious about writing & who will work harmoniously & creatively towards making good poetry. —Ellen Wright, Brooklyn, NY, author of In Transit (Main Street Rag Press)

Sharon Dolin’s Writing About Art in Barcelona workshop at Jiwar was the writing workshop of a lifetime! I spent 12 days immersed in–drunk on–art and poetry and cava. Sharon is an excellent teacher with a formidable ear. I pushed my own work further, all in an environment of creativity and support.—Stephanie Gangi, NYC, author of The Next 

Sharon Dolin is an expert teacher and a sensitive workshop leader, and the heart of the residency was this workshop session where we gathered every morning at 10:30 with our laptops and our café con leche concentrating on poetry and surprising ourselves every day.—Gwen North Reese, New Canaan, CT

Sharon Dolin’s Barcelona workshop was an eye-opening experience. Sharon is a broadminded—and broad-hearted—workshop leader and guide. I feel I have a new sensitivity and concrete approaches for understanding and generating poetry overall, and specifically ekphrastic poetry.—Barcelona resident (American)

Sharon Dolin’s workshop combined with the lovely garden and spaces of Jiwar provided a truly excellent space to write. The collision of art and architecture and poetry gave me the artistic inspiration and emotional space to do some of my best work. I highly recommend this experience to poets and writers of all levels. I want to do it again!—Sarah Key, NYC

Sharon illustrated various approaches to ekphrasis, deftly matched them with cultural gems in Barcelona, and nudged us to try certain poetic forms. Off we went to see and experience. The pace left us sometimes breathless, yet we all put lines on the page and shared them in the Jiwar garden. Insightful critique came from everyone in the group, and Sharon had ways to locate the heart of my poems and help me get them up on their feet.—Mary Craig, Germany

The workshop was truly wonderful, even more than I could have anticipated. I still feel a kind of afterglow from all the visual, sensual and intellectual stimulation. The group was a good mix too. —Elizabeth Lara, NYC

The Writing about Art in Barcelona Workshop gives writers what they need: community, a chance to write in response to culture, architecture and the arts. Barcelona, and the workshop, just has so much to offer to writers who want to transform themselves and their writing.—Nicholas Wong, Hong Kong, author of Cities of Sameness

The incisive, respectfully delivered feedback on work I generated while in Barcelona was just what I’d hoped for.  The diversity of the group’s poetic sensibilities inspired me to experiment in new directions. Without force-feeding a particular aesthetic, Sharon met each of us on our own poetic path and helped us journey on.—Arlyn Miller, Chicago, IL, Editor of Poetic License 

See Discounts & Scholarship Opportunities Below!

The schedule of outings will be shaped by the interests of the group and, along with such must-sees as Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum, might include a tour of the recently excavated 14th century synagogue and of the Jewish quarter; a private tour of a bomb shelter from the Spanish Civil War; a visit to a contemporary artist’s studio; and a possible excursion to the nearby Salvador Dali museum. Optional evening activities may include: concerts, theatrical performances, and a visit to the local Castellers (Castle-Builders). Students have the option of going on a cultural visit or spending the day writing. Session concludes with a public reading.

Daily Schedule

Each day’s schedule begins with a morning workshop (2 hours), takes a break for lunch, and concludes with an afternoon outing to a local museum or other cultural site.

IMG_1494Students at Park Güell

Sample Schedule of Cultural Visits 

Day 1: Arrival:Visit local bomb shelter from the Spanish Civil War. Walk up to Antonio Gaudi’s Park Güell. 
Day 2: Visit Joan Miró Foundation and Park Montjuic. [optional: w/cable car down to beach] 
Day 3: Visit to CCCB, Barcelona's Contemporary Art Museum. [Optional: Visit the Ancient Synagogue in the Gothic Quarter] Evening visit to Gracia's local Castellers rehearsal. 
Day 4: Studio visits with local contemporary artists 
Day 5: Free Day: Suggested Visits: Gaudí houses or Dalí Museum, Figueres Day 6: Visit Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia. 
Day 7: Visit from local Catalan guest poet followed by lunch,
Day 8: Visit Picasso Museum. Watch Sardana dances at the Cathedral
Day 9: Tàpies Museum. Evening public reading by workshop participants.
Day 10: Morning workshop followed by a free afternoon. 
Day 11: Departure



$1,000: includes morning workshop & admission to museums & cultural events, plus one lunch and dinner For Barcelona residents: 40E a day or 350E for all sessions.

Discounts & Scholarships

  • Current students of Sharon Dolin (Fall 2016-Spring 2017) receive a 10% discount on workshop fee.
  • Romemu Members receive a 10% discount.
  • AWP Emerging Writers Grant of $500: Apply by March 30th.
  • One Director’s Scholarship of $500 based on need & excellence to be awarded at the director’s discretion each year. Applications due March 1st.


Most artists will stay at Jiwar, a heritage house in the Gracia district of Barcelona on a pedestrian street with restaurants, food markets, and a metro stop nearby. Additional artists will have accommodations nearby and will have full use of the public spaces in Jiwar: Two lounge areas, a library and a gallery space as well as a garden and patio area for outdoor writing and workshops. Accommodation does not include meals, aside from one welcome dinner hosted by Jiwar’s Director. The house has a fully equipped kitchen and there are local food markets and inexpensive restaurants nearby. All spaces are equipped with heaters and a/c. Option to arrive a day or two early and depart a day or two later.

Approximate Room Prices (payable to Jiwar)
 60 Euros per night for a single (shared bathroom)
 75 Euros for a shared room (private bathroom)
 125 Euros: One upstairs separate apartment for two-three people
 Additional accommodations in neighboring apartments & through Airbnb

About Sharon Dolin

Sharon Dolin is the author of six books of poems. MANUAL FOR LIVING is her new book from the University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016. Her other books include WHIRLWIND (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) and BURN AND DODGE (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Her ekphrastic collection, SERIOUS PINK (Marsh Hawk Press, 2002), was reissued in 2015.

Sharon received a 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for her translations from the Catalan of Gemma Gorga’s prose poems. She has been awarded the 2013 Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, selected by Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. She taught for 20 years at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y and she directs the Center for Book Arts Annual Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Competition. In the Fall, 2015, she taught a workshop at Poets House: Divine Ekphrasis: Reading Art, Reading Self, Reading Soul.

Recent sections from her work-in-progress, The Book of Lost Aphorisms, have been published in the Denver Quarterly, The Seneca ReviewThe Kenyon Review Online, and Short Flights aphorism anthology (Schaffner Press, 2015). She has completed work on a cinematic memoir entitled Hitchcock Blonde, which is currently with an agent. 


About Ernest Farrés (2017 Guest Poet):

Ernest Farrés is an editor at the Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanquardia, and is the author of six poetry collections. Edward Hopper, trans. by Lawrence Venuti (Graywolf Press, 2006) won the Robert Fagles Translation Prize, selected by Richard Howard. In its original Catalan, Edward Hopper won the Englantina d’Or of the Jocs Florals, a major Catalan poetry prize. His most recent collection is Los Angeles (2015).

How to Apply

Applications  will open on Jan. 1 for the June 2017 Barcelona Workshop and participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 1st. Write to Sharon Dolin directly: and attach 3 poems or short pieces of creative nonfiction that best represent your work. 

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