Retreats

2017 Winter Retreat
Winter Retreat 
2016 Winter Residency
2016 Winter Retreat
TWH Adds a Facilitator to the 2015 Poetry Retreat
2017 Winter Retreat
Winter Retreat 
2016 Winter Residency
2016 Winter Retreat
TWH Adds a Facilitator to the 2015 Poetry Retreat
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Building a home for poets of color in the South

The Watering Hole hosts the only Southern writing retreat for poets of color and draws 50 to 60 poets to the retreat each year.

About the Winter Retreat

Interested in learning more about the retreat’s history, previous facilitators, graduate fellows, and current fellows?

Basic Details

Submission Period: Mar. 1 – Jun. 1
Applicants Notified: by Aug. 15
Retreat Dates: Dec. 26 – 30 every year
Branches: Workshop Fellowship or Manuscript Coaching Fellowship
Focus: Reading great poets, generating new work, and building tribe with each other.
Location: Hickory Knob State Park in
1591 Resort Dr. / McCormick, S.C. 29835 / (864) 391-2450
Attendance: Fellows must be arrive no later than the afternoon of Dec. 26th and remain in attendance until Dec. 30th.

Public Events:

Dec. 27th, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.  Faculty Reading (Hickory Knob Convention Center)
Dec. 29th, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.  Keynote and Graduate Reading (Hickory Knob Convention Center)
Dec. 29th, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  Fish Fry


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General Events

All fellows may attend a Performance Workshop, 3 Craft Talks, the Faculty reading, the Graduation Ceremony, the Fish Fry, other unofficial gatherings and classes led by other fellows.

Workshop Fellowship

Workshop Fellows gather in small groups of 10 to 14 and take 3 hours of workshop on Dec. 27th, 28th, and 29th. They rotate among three facilitators. The purpose of the workshops is to learn craft and generate new work. These workshops include lectures, analysis, discussions, writing prompts, reading assignments, etc. These fellows have the opportunity to read the new work they generated at the retreat during the fish fry on the 29th.

Manuscript Coaching Fellowship

Ms. Coaching Fellows are a cohort of 5 to 8. In the fall, they read and critique the manuscripts of 1 or 2 of their peers, using guidelines provided by the Ms. Coach. At the retreat, the fellows meet in small groups, discuss manuscript building strategies, discuss individual manuscripts, receive feedback from their peers and coach, and work on the structure of their manuscript. They have the opportunity to read during the fish fry on the 29th.


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Previous Years

2018 Winter Retreat–francine j harris, Chen Chen, Phillip B. Williams, Kimbi the Goddess (Performance), and Remica Bingham Risher (Manuscript Coach)
2017 Winter Retreat—Terrance Hayes, Delana R.A. Dameron, Danez Smith, Abiodun Oyewole (Performance), and Patricia Smith (Keynote)
2016 Winter Retreat — Evie Shockley, L. Lamar Wilson, Bettina Judd, and Sharan Strange (Keynote)
2015 Winter Retreat — Jericho Brown, Tara Betts, Randall Horton, Ebony Noelle Golden, and Marlanda Dekine,
2014 Winter Retreat — Frank X. Walker, Roger Bonair-Agard, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Darion McCloud (Performance), and Nikky Finney (Keynote)
2013 Winter Retreat — Tyehimba Jess, Lita Hoooper, and Remica L. Bingham Risher


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Your Fellowship

Have questions about your fellowship at the retreat, housing, facilities, fees, session calendar, payments, or what to expect when you arrive?

francine j harris is the author of play dead, winner of the 2017 Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and was a finalist for the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her first collection, allegiance, was finalist for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery and PEN Open Book Awards. Originally from Detroit, she has received fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a Cave Canem poet, and is currently the 2018/2019 Rona Jaffe Fellow at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library.

 

 

 

 

 

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His work has appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing a PhD through Texas Tech University. He is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.

 

Photo Credit: Jess Chen

Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan

 

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, IL native and author of Thief in the Interior, winner of the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a 2017 Lambda Literary award. He received a 2017 Whiting Award and 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. Phillip is the co-editor in chief of the online journal Vinyl and currently teaches at Bennington College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimbi the Goddess delivers Spoken Word by utilizing elements of Hip-Hop, Soul music and poetry. Served as co-artistic director, award winning co-host  and name mastermind of the Say What?! Open Mic and Slam series. Kimbi has hosted and performed over 300 events in Greenville, SC. A staple of the Greenville, South Carolina community, Kimbi’s performances have included TedX Talk (Furman University), opening for R&B sensation Trey Songz, the 3rd annual Millican Festival, and the winner of over 10 poetry slams including the Queen of the South Slam (2009). Kimbi has shared her poetry locally with the Say What?! Slam team, regionally at several Southern Fried Poetry Festivals, nationally at the National Poetry Slam (Madison, WI), and guest performance artist at colleges/universities . Kimbi was awarded for her contributions in the world of poetry at the 1st annual Poetry Gala in Columbus, GA. Kimbi co-organized and hosted the 22nd Annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam Festival held in Greenville, SC (2014).

 

Remica Bingham-Risher, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, is a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian
Poet. Among other journals, her work has been published in The Writer’s Chronicle, New
Letters, Callaloo and Essence. She is the author of Conversion (Lotus, 2006) winner of the Naomi Long
Madgett Poetry Award, What We Ask of Flesh (Etruscan, 2013) shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright
Legacy Award and Starlight & Error (Diode, 2017) winner of the Diode Editions Book Award. She is
the Director of Quality Enhancement Plan Initiatives at Old Dominion University. She resides in
Norfolk, VA with her husband and children.

 

  • Traditional $499–Fellows with the Traditional Package are housed in a cabin with either retreat fellows or manuscript coaching fellows and may host one workshop for the retreat. Cabins consist of one bedroom with two double beds, one living room with a couch or futon, and one kitchen stocked with basic utensils. Fellows with a Traditional Package are housed 3 or 4 people to a cabin, which means that these fellows must be willing to share beds or sleep on the couch. Roommate preference forms are linked on the confirmation page immediately after payment. While we do our best to accommodate them, roommate preferences are not guaranteed. (Cabins are based upon availability and are therefore not guaranteed.)
  • Double $699–Fellows with the Double Package are housed in a lodge room with either a retreat fellow or a manuscript coaching fellow. Lodge rooms are similar to hotel rooms. They consist of one living space with two double beds. Fellows with a Double Package are housed 2 people to a lodge room. Roommate preference forms are linked on the confirmation page immediately after payment. While we do our best to accommodate them, roommate preferences are not guaranteed.
  • Single $899–Fellows with the Single Package are housed in a private lodge room. Lodge rooms are similar to hotel rooms. They consist of one living space with two double beds. Fellows with a Single Package are housed 1 person to a lodge room. The registration form is linked on the confirmation page immediately after payment.

Getting Here

Check-In: Dec. 26th, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
First Event: Dec. 26th at 5:00 p.m.
Check-Out: Dec. 30th by 10:00 a.m.

Nearest Airport: Augusta Regional Airport (about 75 minutes away)

Shuttles

* The last one will leave the airport around 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 26th. We will request early check-in for shuttle people.
* The first one will arrive at the airport around 8:00 a.m. on Dec. 30th.
* If these shuttle times don’t work for you, reach out to the Tribe in the Facebook Group (for a ride share) or e-mail us for other options.

It will really help Candace and Monifa if any of you are able to take some of these tasks off of our plate. This is a new program, so we’re working the kinks out of it. We’ll need about 6 people to share this work. Each person would work between 9 and 13 hours over this period.

THE WORK

The first and last days are clutch. We’ll need you on hand on December 26th from 10:00 a.m. December 30th at 2:00 p.m. The other days might amount to 2 hours of work per day broken up at different times of the day.

Dec. 26

  • DRIVERS–At least two people will drive fellows in shuttles, drive facilitators in, help me and Mo unpack the van (about 4-6 hours of work).
  • RUNNERS–At least two people will pack and deliver gift boxes, run last minute errands to the grocery store, set up the conference room, carry boxes (up to 25 lbs), basically set up for the retreat (about 3-4 hours of work).
  • FOOD PREP–At least two people will help the facilitator’s chef unpack and organize his equipment and goods. They’ll wash and chop veggies, design serving containers, deliver food, and clean the kitchen (about 2-3 hours of work).

Dec. 27-29

  • DRIVERS–At least one person will need to take fellows to the grocery store on the 27th (about 1 hour total). 
  • RUNNERS–At least one person will set up the conference room, deliver folding chairs to cabins, and be available for errands (about 1-2 hours of work each day).
  • FOOD PREP–At least one person will assist the chef at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’ll wash and chop veggies, design serving containers, deliver food, and clean the kitchen (about 2-4 hours of work depending on the day).

Dec. 30

  • DRIVERS–At least two people will drive fellows in shuttles, drive facilitators outs, help me and Mo pack the shuttle van (about 4-6 hours of work).
  • RUNNERS–At least two people will double check each room and cabin, pack up the host cabin, help Candace and Monifa pack the van (about 3-4 hours of work).
  • FOOD PREP–At least two people will help the chef pack his equipment and goods (about 1-2 hours of work).

RETREAT DISCOUNT

We can give each Work Exchange person a $150 discount as a sincere thank you.

DRIVER ELIGIBILITY

  • A valid driver‘s license
  • A clean driving history
  • Willingness to shuttle fellows in the TWH rental van
  • Active vehicle insurance (including standard liability)

RUNNER ELIGIBILITY

  • Your own vehicle (for off campus errands that you run)
  • A valid driver‘s license
  • A clean driving history
  • Active vehicle insurance (including standard liability)
  • Ability to carry 25 lbs. 40 ft.

FOOD PREP. ELIGIBILITY

  • Cleanliness and safety awareness
  • Ability to carry 25 lbs. 40 ft.

 ***Work Exchange Fellows are not eligible for a one-on-one conference.

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