The Flowers Workshop

In partnership with The Headwaters Arts Center and The Art of Everyone

When: Aug 15 – 20, 2022
Where: Stamford, NY (in the Catskills) (TripAdvisor🔗)
Cost: Sliding scale tuition. Financial assistance available. $400 tuition, $600 tuition plus meals, $1450 all-inclusive. 

closeup photography of white and pink petaled flower

Writing  |  generative feedback  |  locally grown food  |  Book Arts  |  Hiking  |  forest bathing  |  Painting  |  Sharing  | 

Flowers  | Themed Cocktails  |  Celebrating  |  and so much more

Three Participation Levels

Joining us locally or finding your own accommodations? Still want to join us for farm to table meals? Interested in the shared accommodation?

Here are the options:

 

Commuter

Receive all workshop materials, attend workshop from 9am – 1pm, join celebrations.

Commuter Plus

Same coursework and writing as commuters, but adding all meals and optional activities.

All-Inclusive

Just like it sounds: join in everything, stay in the shared farmhouse, eat all the food.

closeup photography of white and pink petaled flower

Registration

The registration process takes about 15 minutes, and (among other things) you’ll be asked to describe your writing life and goals, your hopes for the workshop, and how you can contribute to the group overall. You’ll also pay a $25 fee. You can save the registration form and return to it later, so get started now!

Overview

The Flowers Workshop is a one-week writing and book arts retreat, facilitated by Amy Robinson in August 2022. The coursework will draw inspiration from multiple disciplines and genres, from painting to indigenous beadwork to poetry, but the primary mode of writing will be creative nonfiction.

The theme will be healing and regrowth, as we reckon creatively with the personal and collective traumas of the pandemic, with an eye toward remaking ourselves and our world for a more sustainable future.

Deep attention to landscape and the natural world, with as much time as possible to be spent outdoors, will nurture our work together and give us raw materials (sometimes literally) with which to create.

Over the course of the week, we will write and share our writing, plus make seeded paper, create handbound editions of our work, and plant our listening notes from our workshop into the Earth as a symbol of faith in what one another’s words can become.

Before the Retreat

After you register, we will send course materials by mail, including the book World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil; a packet of additional readings and a suggested book list; a handbound micro-chapbook of our itinerary; and a stamped and addressed postcard on which you’ll write your writing goals, hopes, and intentions for the retreat.

In June or July, Amy will send you a letter that responds to your goals. Along with the letter, you’ll receive generative prompts to try before we meet, guided reading questions, and a journal.

You will also receive an invitation to join a meet and greet on Zoom that will take place in late July or early August. At the Zoom meeting, we will have an ice-breaker activity, do a quick-write, and share some with the group some writing plus your goals, hopes, and intentions for the workshop.

Also during this Zoom meeting, we will have our first exposure to the Listening Response that we will practice at the workshop. Amy will invite participants to focus on one of the prompts from the micro-chapbook and bring a partial or complete draft with them to the retreat.

Itinerary

This is subject to change, of course, but it’s meant to give you an idea of what to expect.

Day 1: Connections and listening

We meet. Land acknowledgment. Wildflower foraging + listening walk. We co-create a centerpiece from what we forage. Establish our group norms and practices. Short prompts and sharing + listening. Make paper.

Day 2: Visual art and color

Optional morning yoga. Group portrait writing. Color-based prompts. Visit a local museum or gallery with ekphrastic writing prompts. Sharing + listening. Paint outside (optional).

Day 3: Reckoning and honoring the past

Optional morning hike. I Remember and The Pandemic is a Portal prompts. Iroquois Indian Museum visit + talk. Sharing + listening. Make floral candles (optional).

Day 4: Imagery and motif

Optional morning yoga. Flower symbols and beyond. Prompts for sharpening images and deepening motif. Iroquois beadwork. Sharing + listening. Block printing (optional).

Day 5: Pollination + planting

Optional morning hike. Revision work, with partners and solo. Responding more deeply. Beehive excursion and wildflower honey tasting. Sharing + listening. Arrange flowers (optional). Closing ceremony for our generative work together: plant listening journal.

Day 6: Blooming and replanting.

Optional morning yoga. Final edits and design. Bookbinding. Celebratory lunch. Public reading + event.

About Amy Susanne Robinson

Amy has taught poetry in Bangladesh, memoir writing to survivors of Katrina in New Orleans, and dozens of writing classes to people of all ages in Atlanta, where she grew up and where she now lives with her husband and two young daughters. Along with running Studio Friend, her teaching and coaching outfit, Amy runs a small press called 421 Atlanta that publishes short books of prose and poetry. Her own poems have appeared in numerous publications and were collected in two chapbooks with the words Adults Lessons in the title, and her fiction and essays (which are often about food) have appeared in Tin House, Saveur, Necessary Fiction, Pank, Alimentum, Fanzine, and Gay Magazine.

The Flowers Workshop is a family-friendly retreat.

Writers with children are encouraged to bring their whole family, who are invited to share in all the meals and general accommodations.

Check Out Our Accommodations!

FAQs

What is the $25 fee?

The $25 fee is a non-refundable deposit to hold your spot. After you register and pay the deposit, we will contact you to discuss payment options and financial assistance, if applicable. The deposit will apply toward the tuition. If you need a waiver for the deposit, please contact us.

What is "sliding scale" tuition?

Sliding scale means that we will not turn anyone away because of financial need. Some might be able to pay the full fee, while somone else might need a full scholarship, including tuition, food and activities, and shared accommodation in the farm house. We will help you discern the right fee after you register.

We can also help with local transportion and childcare.

Travel to the Catskills is not included, of course.

What is the Covid policy?

It is a Roxbury Arts Group guideline that program participants must have completed a round of a COVID 19 vaccine, or show proof of a negative COVID 19 test 48 hours before an event. This will apply to all participation levels of the workshop.

We will also follow CDC guidelines for gatherings at the time of the workshop, including masking indoors, social distancing, and symptom check-ins. Those sharing the farmhouse will discuss any additional precautions to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety.

How do I get there?

The nearest airport is Albany. We can help you get from the airport to the retreat location, just let us know when you’ll be arrriving.

What kind of workshopping will we do?

Well before the date of the workshop, Amy will send you some prompts which you can work on and bring to share with the group. Everyone will share, everyone will respond.

What kind of writers is this for?

Writers at any stage in their “career” will find value in this workshop. The most important characteristic will be generosity and an openness to providing and receiving feedback.

How many people can attend?

The workshop limit is 12 people: 6 commuters and 6 people staying on site. 

Since this is a family-friendly workshop, more people may be around.

Kids will be there? Do I have to babysit?

Yes, we hope plenty of kids and spouses will be around to create a fun and lively atmosphere. No, you don’t have to babysit. (But for an additional fee, 4-yr-old Grace might be able to schedule you for a doctor’s checkup.)

Do I have to hike or whatever?

No! When we’re not writing or workshopping, there will be a lot of optional activities, like hiking, visiting an Iroquois museum, making candles, etc. But don’t worry, if you don’t participate in any of those, you won’t miss any of the workshop content.

Who's providing the meals?

Food will come from Essex Farm CSA, an amazing independent farm near Lake Champlain. Seriously, check them out: essexfarmcsa.com. We’ll cook and eat together and do our own dishes.

Also, for people who enjoy alcoholic beverages, Amy’s husband Adam will be on hand to make themed craft cocktails, like a Bee’s Knees or The Business.

Have another question? 

Use the contact form here and we’ll get right back to you!