Tag Archives: Labastide Esparbairenque

Full Circle for The Daughter’s Almanac

IMG_1355 Manuscripts in progress are laid out on the desk. Moleskine journal is being filled. The first blog entry in over a year attempted. Today I brought my new book, The Daughter's Almanac, as a gift for the library at La Muse -- a singular event in my life-- because I wrote some of the poems while I was staying in this same room five years ago and they are about these trails and woods, the river and the mountains in this unique part of France. See what I mean?

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!

Poetry is Cool Part Deux


Welcome to Southern France, where for the next two and a half weeks I am at La Muse Artists' and Writers' Retreat in the Languedoc village of Labastide Esparbairenque. I am lucky to be on a sabbatical from my job as a writing professor at Central Washington University and very lucky to be here at La Muse right now.

My friend in the photo above, Homer, La Muse's pet spaniel, has been accompanying me on my long runs on the mountain roads that surround the village. I will be blogging about poetry, writing, running, food, animals and other loves of my life. There will be a daily poem and a running journal. Say hello!