For National Poetry Month, today I read Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Ode to the Maggot:”
This morning, I was thinking about the list concept and the Ian & the Blockheads song, “Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3” came to my mind. I loved Punk and New Wave in the late 70s, and so this song was frequently played in alternative clubs, as well as their other massive hit, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.” Anyway, I digress.
Here is a Top Ten Reasons to Attend a 2021 Bending Genres Retreat:
- You have never been to the Southwest, or if you have, never been to the high desert.
- You’d like a break from emails, cell phones, business memos, ZOOM readings or conferences, monotony.
- It’s been tough to write lately. Nothing like actual 2020, but still.
- You miss your tribe. Or you want a new one. And gourmet food prepared by a highly skilled chef.
- The last trip you took, you had to bump elbows “hello.”
- You’ve never seen a roadrunner, or stayed in a room of same name.
- You like to bend genres, but you’re not quite sure how.
- The only retreat you ever took, there were a bunch of people in yoga pants who shouldn’t have been wearing them.
- You consider yourself the sort of person who is an outsider.
- You want exposure to writers you don’t even know exist.
If you have ticked off any of these boxes, then visit our website, and look over the information. We’re roughly 1/2 full at both locations. Don’t wait! Every day another person contacts us asking questions and considering the possibilities.
Hi friends! We wrapped our third 2021 Bending Genres weekend workshop with Freesia McKee on March 19- 21. Her course, “Crustacean Adaptation: Writing Hermit Crab Forms” was so much fun! Many of the writers wrote abstract and unusual pieces. What I love so much about these weekends is the freedom to take off, try new ideas and forms, and this weekend did not disappoint. Thanks, Freesia and participants. Also Meg for producing, and Corey for the IT support. Next, in April, we welcome Wendy Oleson back. She will be teaching “Big Characters.” More information here:
Meg Tuite and I have made our deposits for our two week long Bending Genres 2021 Retreats. Our dates are August 24- 30 at Synergia Ranch, in Santa Fe: and September 11- 17 at Cedar Valley in Wisconsin. We have already approached the writers who were all set for our 2020 retreats before the pandemic hit. We had to cancel both last year. Our hopes are that with vaccinations picking up speed, and Meg already received hers; I have my first shot on Monday, March 29. These spots are going to go quickly. There is more information on our website:
Our next issue of Bending Genres Journal, March/ April will be forthcoming on April 6. It’s going to be fantastic!
Been reading a lot of good books lately: David Tromblay’s As You Were; Nicholas Jennings Lightfoot; Jess Bruder’s Nomadland, and William Walsh’s forty-five american boys. What are you reading? Would you recommend it?
Hi friends! We held our February Bending Genres weekend workshop over last weekend. Sara Lippmann returned for her second time, and taught “Rattling the Bars: limits, pushback, and possibilities of language.” Her course was superb, with multiple teaching examples from diverse, complex writers. And her prompts were magnificent! Here is a cross-section of what some of our feedback was:
“I was dazzled all weekend by the writing produced in this workshop.”
“I love the freedom of language and the possibilities it opens in me.”
“This workshop has been nothing less than stellar, what a transformative experience.”
As merely an observer, I have to agree. Watching the course manifest into so many deep, resourceful, risky materials. Then the soft touch of tremendously helpful feedback, not only from Sara, but from all 22 writers who showed up. In a time of much doubt, and dubious realities, to have a weekend like this feels like such hope, and such tenderness.
In March (19-21) we are excited to host Freesia McKee. Her course is Crustacean Adaptation: Writing Hermit Crab Forms. (A more in-depth description is on our BG website): https://bendinggenres.com/writing-groups/
Also, on a personal note, I had a rather bizarro piece published at Daily Drunk Mag on Valentine’s Day. It’s “This Long Day” and you can find it here: https://dailydrunkmag.com/2021/02/13/this-long-day/
I’ve been writing and submitting again, and it feels so, so good! I have two other pieces coming soon from Unpublishable Zine, and more out on the horizon. It’s been a few years since I have felt like I am back “at it,” and for whatever reason(s), I am so grateful that the floodgates are open!
We are also currently open for poetry, fiction and CNF submissions at Bending Genres. Information about our Submittable page is on our website: www.bendinggenres.com. Click on the About tab.
I’m reading As You Were by David Tromblay (Dzanc Books) and So Fast, So Close by William R. Soldan. They are both fantastic! More to come on these. What are you reading lately?
See you on the WWW!!!
It’s hard to believe we launched our 15th issue of Bending Genres yesterday! With over 35 pieces, hybrid in style: poetry, flash fiction and creative non-fiction. This is a superb issue and I have to thank our excellent, devoted editors: Jonathan Cardew, Emily Bertholf, Corey Holzman, Connie Malloy, Sara Comito, Davon Loeb, Samuel Fox, Len Kuntz, David O’ Connor, and Meg Tuite. Also huge thanks to KJ for the upload, and to Adam Robinson for that and so much more. We are a fortunate team, indeed.
Also, when our Wisconsin BG Retreat location, Cedar Valley, had to close until September 4th, this left us without a location. Within ten days, we secured French Country Inn in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Same dates as originally planned: August 16- 22. A perfect time to create, to generate new work and ideas, to be with like-minded writers and artists.
Our second BG retreat at Synergia, on the high desert outside of Santa Fe, will be September 1- 7. Meg Tuite and I plan to practice all of the safety aspects: distancing, working 6 feet apart, even our meals will be practiced with safety in mind. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to have these plans. Especially now. There are only a couple of spots open. Join us, and if you have any questions, just email Meg or me. Or both:
I will be leading the June 19- 21 Bending Genres online weekend workshop, “Stop Making Sense.” More information is here: https://bendinggenres.com/product/robert-vaughan-stop-making-sense-writing-the-absurd-meaningless-whimsical-and-silly-june-19-21/
This is a great time to say thanks, to everyone who has made me a better person. To all of my friends and family. To anyone who thinks change is still possible. You are important. Your life has meaning.