Ten Reasons to Retreat

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:

  1. You have never been to the Southwest, or if you have, never been to the high desert.
  2. You’d like a break from emails, cell phones, business memos, ZOOM readings or conferences, monotony.
  3. It’s been tough to write lately. Nothing like actual 2020, but still.
  4. You miss your tribe. Or you want a new one. And gourmet food prepared by a highly skilled chef.
  5. The last trip you took, you had to bump elbows “hello.”
  6. You’ve never seen a roadrunner, or stayed in a room of same name.
  7. You like to bend genres, but you’re not quite sure how.
  8. The only retreat you ever took, there were a bunch of people in yoga pants who shouldn’t have been wearing them.
  9. You consider yourself the sort of person who is an outsider.
  10. 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.

Workshops & Retreats

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:

https://bendinggenres.com/writing-groups/

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:

https://bendinggenres.com/retreats/

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?

Mid May Update

Hi friends!

It’s middle of May, the trees are leafing, the grass is greener than a dollar bill, the birds are nesting, and gobbling up seeds, insects, suet and whatever else moves. We had a turkey strutting through our yard yesterday, and the occasional deer saunters through the edges of our back yard. Life goes on, and on.

At Bending Genres we have our next online weekend workshop with Tyler Barton, May 22- 24. He’ll be teaching “Artifact Lit,” and the workshop is full, so it ought to be terrific.

I will return to the helm on June 19- 21, with “Stop Making Sense,” and here is the course description and registration page: https://bendinggenres.com/our-online-workshops/

On our Bending Genres blog, Haley Papa reviewed My Autobiography of Carson McCullers 

Also, Jonathan Cardew returns with his My Fave Five column for May, asking poet Alina Stefanescu for her favorite reads from April: https://bendinggenres.com/2020/05/15/my-fave-five-with-alina-stefanescu/

Meg Tuite is in charge of our Bending Genres Online Roundtable for May- August, 2020. She has nine writers signed up, and they did their first group ZOOM today: https://bendinggenres.com/bg-store/

And look at all of that new Bending Genres merchandise, mugs, journals/ notebooks, pens, bookmarks. And our first Bending Genres Anthology- Best of our first two years!

Have a terrific time today. Be safe, take care, love yourself.

National Poetry Month Recap

The end of April is always a sad occurrence for me, because National Poetry Month closes. This doesn’t mean poetry can’t be read throughout the year, of course. But the focus on poetry, and poems, especially given the current state of our world, has been such a boon. Here is how I wrapped up the last three days of my National Poetry Month readings:

On April 28th, I read Nick Flynn’s “Emptying Town” from Some Ether (Graywolf Press):

On April 29th, I read Mary Ruefle’s “Little Golf Pencil” from My Private Property (Wave Books):

On April 30th, I read Joy Harjo’s “Remember” from Academy of American Poets:

*************************************************************

And at Bending Genres, we wrapped up our “Found in the Forest” weekend workshop led by Wendy Oleson. So many incredible, innovative pieces were developed, and the support was off the charts. Join us on May 22- 24 when Tyler Barton will teach his “Artifact Lit” weekend workshop: https://bendinggenres.com/product/tyler-barton-artifact-lit-may-22-24/

Also, our fiction editor, Meg Tuite, kicked off a new project called Bending Genres Productions. She selected a poem by Colin Pope from his stunning book, Why I Didn’t Go To Your Funeral. Meg chose “Still Life with Casket in the Distance,” and with a cast of 15 or so writers, a videographer Brian Mihok, they captured this haunting, evocative experience: https://bendinggenres.com/2020/04/30/colin-pope-video/

Get outside. Be safe. Take care of yourself and of each other. Life is precious.