2014 Winter Retreat

2014 Retreat

Friday, December 26 – Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Santee State Park, in Santee, South Carolina
Theme: Heritage
Focus: Craft and Community

Application Deadline: October 31, 2014
Early Bird Price: $198 by midnight November 15th
Regular Price: $270 from November 16th to midnight December 1st
Payment Deadline: December 1st

To apply, send a cover letter and 2 recently written poems to twhpoetry@gmail.com.

The price reserves your space in the classes, covers housing for 5 days and 4 nights and tuition. We will be housed in modern cabins that have 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a full living, and full kitchen. All participants are responsible for their own travel and food. The first ten people who pay in full receive one-on-one conferences with a facilitator. 

We’ll be releasing weekly announcements about the retreat (including facilitators, guest speakers, possible field trips, etc.) Stay tuned!

This retreat is open to everyone but preference is given to members of The Watering Hole Facebook group.

Also, check out the Hooper Scholarship for Single Mothers and
The Lindsey Scholarship for Male Poets, donated in memory of George Rufus Lindsey.
 Thanks so much to our generous donors for making this possible.


Frank X. Walker

tib-walkerf-21253-200Frank is an NAACP Image Award winner and Poet Laureate of Kentucky, a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, and the author of six poetry collections: Turn Me Loose: the Unghosting of Medgar Evers (2013), Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate this Ride (2010), When Winter Come: the Ascension of York (2008), Black Box (2005), Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York (2003), and Affrilachia (2000), as well as producer two documentaries Coal Black Voices: the History of the Affrilachian Poets and KY2NYC: Art/life & 9.11, and the proud editor and publisher of PLUCK! Affrilachian Journal of  Art & Culture.

Roger Bonair-Agard

roger-bonair-agardRoger is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, has appeared three times on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and on the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, and is the author of four poetry collections: Bury My Clothes (2013) which was nominated for the National Book Award, GULLY (2010), Tarnish and Masquerade (2007), and co-author of Burning Down the House: Selected Poems from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe National Poetry Slam Champions (2000). He has spent a decade working with the youth at Urban Word in New York City and the youth at Volume in Ann Arbor. He is the co-founder the LouderARTS Project in New York. Currently Roger is writer-in-residence with Vision Into Art, Poet In Residence with Young Chicago Authors, and teaches poetry at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, IL.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Sindayiganza Photography-6170-Mariahadessa Ekere TallieEkere is the Poetry Editor of African Voices and author of Karma’s Footsteps (2011). Her work has been the subject of a short film called “I Leave my Colors Everywhere.” She has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, The Pierian, Mosaic, Minerva Rising, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, Go, Tell Michelle, Listen Up!, and Revenge and Forgiveness.

Darion McCloud

Picture 9

Darion is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia, SC. He is also the founder and Creative Director of the NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. Darion is also a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow. Darion is a formally trained visual artist who found his way to the stage through telling stories. Darion enjoys crafting theatre experiences for the old, young, the initiated and the un-initiated. Darion has committed his life to the transforming power of art.

We listened to you and extended this retreat from 3 days to 5 days. Having gone through the retreat process has helped us refine our goals for the upcoming December retreat, particularly regarding the tradition of the South and southern poets of color. We want to do more than just bring poets to southern black spaces: we want to tie the history of the place into the poetry classes.

We are asking our facilitators to take an experimental, non-Western approach for classes. Rather than sitting in a sterile classroom, all facing the teacher at the board, (not the most effective way of teaching or learning), we are going to use the learning style that Nikky Finney says she experienced in Toni Cade Bambara’s living room. Nikky says that much of her growth as a poet came from sitting in a living room filled with writers and talking about craft. We purposefully picked a location (Santee State Park) that would allow us to experiment with this aspect of Toni Cade Bambara’s teaching style. The poets in your small group will be in one living room, sitting at the feet of each other and learning from each other as much as they learn from the facilitator. Your creative breakthroughs may very well come from interacting with the retreat participant next to you.


The Call for Participants


3 thoughts on “2014 Winter Retreat

  1. Pingback: 11 Days to Push! | The Watering Hole

  2. Pingback: Extended Retreat Deadline | The Watering Hole

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