Tag Archives: artists

Opportunities Abroad with Writing!

Attention all writers and lovers of art and travel!! Here are two great writing trips for summer adventures!

Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Concerning Art


Leader: Susan Rich (http://poet.susanrich.net/) One-week Residential Workshop Retreat
Arrival: Saturday, 4 August 2012
Departure: Saturday, 11 August 2012

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
--Henry Thoreau

Poetry and painting are sister arts according to the Greeks. It’s a natural collaboration to focus on ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrastic poetry simply refers to our poems inspired by visual images. Together, we will discuss traditional and experimental models of the form by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hayden, Lisel Mueller and Rainier Maria Rilke; study recent examples by contemporary poets, and sharpen our powers of observation and description.

Finally, through a series of provocative exercises, we will write our own poems on a variety of works of art. For the purposes of this workshop, art includes sculpture, collage, architecture and the natural world. All levels of writers are welcome — from beginners to very advanced practitioners.



Write With Us in Istanbul, Turkey

May 11-15, 2012 + optional trip to Izmir area, including Ephesus
Learn, Become Inspired, Build a Bridge to Another Culture


Conference Fee: $550
Optional Three-day add-on Trip: about $450
With Sheila Bender, Yesim Cimcoz and Susan Bono
Optional 3-Day Trip Extension to Ephesus Area May 16-18

Sheila Bender joins Susan Bono, editor of Tiny Lights, and Yesim Cimcoz of the Writing Istanbul Project in guiding poets and writers of personal experience in writing and touring the amazing city of Istanbul. We have an optional add-on trip following the workshop for those who want to see more of Turkey. Spouses, friends and partners are welcome to join us in activities surrounding our writing groups work.


Vienna, Part I: Schlagobers

Two trips to Vienna (one solo in Sept and one with Bob in Oct). The train ride is 6 hours each way via Budapest. When I visited Vienna alone I hit the last weekend of summer weather. I was able to sit outside with my plum cake and grosser brauner at Cafe Sperl.  I also tried the plum cake at the historic Cafe Hawelka. Better at Sperl.

When it rained on the next visit, Bob and I and everybody else in Vienna had the same idea: to go to Cafe Demel


The nut cake is almost gone but the cup in my hand contained hot chocolate with Bailey's and schlagobers, one of the best words in the German language. I'm trying really hard not to blink at the flash.

BUT the best dessert was at the Albertiner Keller:


Poppyseed-honey mousse with sour cherries. In a little glass preserves container. What??? You can see in the top left corner what was left of Bob's sachertorte.

More later on art and buildings!

Lucky Me!

la-muse suzanne

I'm back at La Muse in beautiful Labastide Esparbairenque, France with photography professor Alex Emmons and our class of eight students enrolled in "Creative Writing and Digital Photography in Medieval France."

Today was our first chance to get out into the sunshine and explore the area. Suzanne Blons and Brandy Dohrman (right) relax on the overlook before our extraordinarily long hike.

L’ Oeuf Magnifique


Today we drove up the mountain north of St. Julien to do LAND ART with the artist Christophe Eppe. Homer couldn't come with us. He would have been in the way.

Two of our sculptures began as spheres and then collapsed. It was a little discouraging. On the left, Christophe checks out our ultimately successful rock egg. On the right, Jaclyn, Christophe, and me after all of us completed the egg.



La Muse in Labastide Esparbairenque

Even the flight attendant on my Air France flight who was from the Languedoc had trouble pronouncing the name of the town which was my destination. But after missing my first flight to Toulouse, then barely making my train to Carcassonne, I was picked up at the train station by John Fanning, the director of La Muse. La Muse is a Writer's and Artist's Retreat in the Aude "department" in the Languedoc region of Southern France.


I was so pleased to be given a residency here. The above left is the hallway to my room, while the right shows the street side of La Muse. To the immediate left is the back, which faces the valley. When the weather is warm, the patio is a great place for dinner. The town is in the middle of the "Black Mountain" region, basically in the middle of a huge chestnut and pine forest—no one ever knows what part of France I am talking about when I try to describe it. Check it out on the map!