Tag Archives: poet

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.


I’m not going to make a joke about the word HUNGARY

...though believe me, I erased a few puns before I took the high road. It's been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in my writing life, my academic life and my life-life. Bob and I both got faculty exchanges to teach at the University of Pécs, in Pécs, Hungary. It's still summer weather here, on the 4th of October. We arrived almost a month ago and since then I've taken the train to Vienna for the weekend,  hosted a party on our back patio for our colleagues, Bob has assisted in the grape harvest and we've settled in to watch the parade of feral cats cruise through the yard.

I'm teaching a Multi-Genre Writing Workshop to upper-division students at PTE and an online class for CWU.  I'm also working on a new book and training to run the Ljubljana Half Marathon this month.

Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia.

Marian, Szabolcs, me and Bob after a Charity 3K run our first weekend in Pecs. The run was sponsored by Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Postal Service and benefited cancer research.

Marian, Szabolcs, me and Bob after a Charity 3K run our first weekend in Pecs. The run was sponsored by Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Postal Service and benefited cancer research.

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The Cathedral in Pec, Hungary

The school on our street.

The school on our street.

Beautiful Morning, Beautiful Afternoon

I ran this morning up to high lookout at the top of the next valley over from Labastide Esparbairenque. The temperature was hot even at 9 and I hadn't done a longer run in a while, but I loved every minute of it. The runs here are so refreshing that I don't want to turn around—I come back feeling better and full of hope. Beauty erupts everywhere out on the trail—vistas open around each turn. I plan to have some new shots of the trail and the views to post later.

Then a long (3 1/2 hours) French lunch was devoured by our group at Sire de Cabaret  in Roqueferre—with glorious desserts and duck, lamb, entrecote, etc. I have no photos of lunch, but I think I was the only one not taking pictures. Today was a day to look ahead to our last big project of the Creative Castle class and to enjoy being in France.

The Day with One Photograph


John Fanning, who owns La Muse with his wife Kerry, let us in the ancient chapel today. This is a beautiful, peaceful space—it calms a person right down. This is John meditating in the chapel.

Today was also the book swap in La Muse's library. All of the students brought wonderful gifts to leave.

Alex Emmons, Aaron, Alex and I had a little adventure in the course of finding a place to buy bread and some necessities—we hit the epicerie in Mas Cabardes at just the time when it was closed and tooled up to Mazamet instead.

Hey Dude! Is that my langoustine ravioli?

More reasons to love Paris:

5. Dead king's heads in the Musee du Moyen Age (Medieval Museum)

6. Walking through streets forever trying to find the aforementioned Musee and one crosses the street into Luxembourg Garden (below right).


7. Sitting down at lunch  at Le Comptoir with complete strangers and getting invited to visit them in New Zealand<./p>

8. On Rue de Bourgogne (very short street) there is a wonderful little hotel AND a bar called Club des Poetes (Poet's Club)—did you all get that??? My street had a Poet's Club!!!


9. This representational portrait (below, left; very unusual for the time—most art was religious) in the Musee du Moyen Age, which became my favorite photo from this trip so far and 10. The last macaron


Paris doesn't suck at all if you greet everyone you meet politely and show that you appreciate what is around you. I was treated beautifully and everyone made little jokes with me. Maybe at me too, but I didn't know!I tried to speak French whenever I could--which was not much. I ate by myself in nice restaurants and got great service and nice seats. What really cracked me up is that I come from a little town in central Washington state where it is notoriously hard to get dates—and I hadn't even made it off the subway before I got hit on by "Emil." I had slept in my clothes all night, had chocolate gateau smeared on my jeans and my greasy hair was hanging in my face. Emil showed me how to find the Magenta line to the Haussman station, told me he liked Obama and asked me if I wanted to go sightseeing with him. I said Non, but thank you (I have a sweet boyfriend) and he said in perfect English: "You are very welcome. It was nice to talk to you. Obama is better than George Bush."

Hey Dude! Where’s my macaron?

Reasons Why Paris Doesn't Suck

macaron-louvre 1. Jet-lagged as I was, I located macarons within the first three hours I was in Paris along with a big baguette sandwich and a "Coke Light." I just had to walk into Boulangerie Eric Kayser and point! My first photo on the ground in Paris was this caramel de sel macaron in front of the Louvre.

2. I stumbled into line at the Musee D'Orsay, where I had forgotten how much I loved this sculpture: Charles Cordier--Negre du Sudan

3. Views like the one below. After a much needed shower and nap, I ran to the Eiffel Tower (having overslept and nearly missing my ticket time).


4. Dinner at Les Cocottes sitting at the bar.

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!