Sunday, September 11, 2011

My August VCCA residency

Thanks to the Verna Ubben Fellowship, sponsored by Don Ubben and The Poetry Society of South Carolina, I had a wonderful two-week residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts from Aug. 15 until Aug. 29. There were a number of visual artists from NYC there at the same time, as well as a few writers and a composer or two--and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. Most of my time, though, was spent in my lovely studio--the Nancy Hale Studio, W-3--writing and revising all day, every day. It had a large corner desk where I worked and looked out the window at a field of grasses and mountains along the horizon. Daily I would tack new work up on the bulletin board beside my desk, accumulating poems day by day. That helped me keep up the momentum. VCCA is in a rural area and has horses and a herd of cows. The weather was beautiful, so each morning I'd raise the windows in my studio to hear the nearby crickets, crows, jays, and trains. Plus an occasional rufus-sided towhee.

While I was there, several of the artists--Scott, Fiona, Cynthia, Amy, and Patte--opened their visual arts studios to us for an hour or so, and it was inspiring to see their work in progress. So much talent! Also, Erika and Michael gave a poetry/musical program one evening. Later the next week, Michael Paul Thomas and I got together to give a poetry reading. Sharing our work was an important part of the residency for some of us.

Here's the link to VCCA for further information. It's a wonderful place!

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