Year-Long Poetry Apprenticeship with Heid E. Erdrich

2024 Year-Long Poetry Apprenticeship Specifics

Led by Heid E. Erdrich

Wednesdays 6-8 PM CST & Saturdays 11AM - 12PM CST |  Zoom

*The first and last Wednesday meetings are planned for 6-9 p.m. CST. 

Wednesdays on Zoom | Starting Jan 31, 2024

Heid E. Erdrich will meet with each person who signs up to determine if your project is a good fit for the year-long apprenticeship. Please sign up at the registration link below. Payment and final registration will take place after this initial call. Payment info and options are listed here.

Apprenticeship Overview

The 2023 Poetry Apprenticeship Program is a mixture of one-on-one time with Heid E. Erdrich, and time spent with your full poetry cohort in peer activities. 

During your meetings with your cohort Heid will give craft lessons and writing promptS. These meetings will shift as the year goes on to be centered on peer feedback (workshop) and discussion of reading which includes poetry collections, podcasts, books and articles on craft, the writing life, organizing manuscripts, and more.  

Throughout the apprenticeship, you will have one-on-one meetings with Heid (online via Zoom) on days to be determined according to both of your schedules. Your one-on-one sessions will be tailored specifically to you and your goals. The primary reading for these sessions will be your poetry. One-on-one time will revolve around your goals for your poetry as well as considering suggested edits to your work. During these sessions, Heid will provide intensive craft instruction and feedback, but you will also be able to ask questions and discuss concerns.

These one-on-one meetings include one introductory meeting before the program kicks off in February, and one manuscript consultation session with Heid after the program concludes (and you submit your final manuscript) in December, 2024. The final manuscript consultation and edits must happen by February 28, 2025.

Heid’s presentation topics will include craft concerns (such as titles, line breaks, crafting poem series, and use of poetic forms), the discussion of essays by poets from the book Personal Best: Makers on Their Poems that Matter Most edited by Erin Belieu and Carl Philips, as well as topics such the personal and the political in poetry, the use of language other than English in poems, and an examination of what makes a poem or collection of poems ready to submit for publication. Presentations will be tailored to the group needs, once Heid meets everyone in January, and as the year progresses. 

During the other two weeks of the month in winter and fall terms, you will meet with Heid one-on-one on a day to be determined according to your schedules. We will decide as a group how we would like to spend our time together during one-on-one weeks.  Cohorts can devote time to sharing work with one another in a workshop format and also in discussions of our brief reading assignments. In the past, cohorts have taken turns bringing prompts and writing together.

Please see below for a week by week schedule. Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. will be our core meeting time with an hour of follow up time Saturday mornings in Winter. Please note that the first and last meeting in Winter will be 6-9 p.m. CST. 

In Summer, we will meet Wed. 6-9 pm CST. 

All specific lectures and assigned readings will be tailored to individuals and to the cohort, once Heid has gotten a feel for what you want and need in 2024. Detailed syllabi will be provided for Summer and Fall terms—what you’ll find below is the Winter schedule and proposed Summer and Fall schedules to be discussed in our first weeks.

Note: All weeks run Saturday to Friday, though most activities and meetings will take place during the week. Occasionally, a visiting writer or publishing professional might need to meet on a weekend, so for consistency's sake, you’ll see the weeks organized with weekends involved. 

Important Dates
Informal and Formal Workshop Meeting Dates

Zoom link sent in confirmation email

All times listed in US Central Time

Year-Long Poetry Apprenticeship Orientation

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

6–7:30 p.m.

Online, via Zoom

Final Public Reading

Wednesday, January 22, 2025

7-9 p.m. CST

A link will be sent closer to the date of the event from Loft staff.


Visiting Authors & Publishing Professionals ​
  • Kim Blaeser
  • Marilyn Nelson
  • G.E. Patterson
  • Su Hwang
  • Michael Kleber Diggs
  • Roy Guzman
  • Elise Paschen
Sample books or readings include:
  • Personal Best: Makers on Their Poems that Matter Most edited by Erin Belieu and Carl Philips
  • Tallchief, Elise Paschen (source of the title for Killers of the Flower Moon)  
  • Copper Yearning, Kimberly Blaeser 
  • Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom, Felicia Rose Chavez
  • Ordering the Storm - How to Put Together a Book of Poems, Susan Grimm
The Syllabus

The syllabus will be provided each term. It will include the information you see here and a finalized schedule. You are responsible for referring to the syllabus regularly. I will often remind us of it as well.

Access to Heid During the Apprenticeship

I will be available to you outside of class via email throughout the year. I want to hear from you and am excited to develop our apprenticeship, however part of what I want to show you is that a writer, especially a working writer, needs strong boundaries. Monday and Fridays are my writing days. My mentorship and other work takes place Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 

If you email me Monday through Thursday, you should receive a message back quickly. If you email me after 5 p.m. on Thursday or during a weekend or holiday, I may not be able to get back to you before the next Tuesday. I am, however, open to a text at any time for urgent or joyful messages - like a publication or reading opportunity. If you will miss a meeting or be less prepared than expected, please give me 24 hours notice if at all possible. I will share my contact information on the first day. I do not use voicemail. A text is preferred.

For information about the Loft’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism, and the Loft’s expectations around behavior in classrooms, events, festivals, and conferences, please see


All of our manuscripts are disbursed electronically via a digital service after our first meeting. You must have basic Microsoft Word, Google Docs and email literacy.  

All documents shared with me must be Google docs (rather than PDFs) so we can comment within the document

Approach to Informal and Formal Workshop

Over the course of the year, you will read and discuss your own and your cohorts’ work. The format of peer discussion will vary and you and your cohort will determine how your time together will be shaped, but for now we will call that time workshop. Because our class model favors one-on-one time with me, we might not have time to complete eight full workshops before the end of the winter term. We do, however, have time to do some small group workshopping. We will read about different forms of workshopping and make a workshop agreement before we proceed. 


Teaching Artist

2024 Year-Long Poetry Apprenticeship cohort led by Heid E. Erdrich