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summer song

Your summer swan-song: a four-day writing retreat in the Catskill Mountains with a collective of creatives who share a passion for writing, music & nature.

Locally-sourced meals that are appealing to all of the senses are included. Music, campfires, open-mics, and dancing round out each blissful day.

Location

The Ashokan Center

Where nature inspires

Powered by 100% solar energy, The Ashokan Center, the oldest outdoor environmental education organization in New York State, is nestled in Olivebridge, New York, two miles away from The Poetry Barn. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ashokan means "place of many fishes" or "where waters converge.”

Lodge. Camp. Commute.

Packages

Camp, commute, or choose to stay in one of three beautiful modern buildings designed to encourage guests to share experiences and expenses. All meals and unlimited fresh fruit, coffee, and tea are included.

 

Build Your Writing Retreat

Have a question? Call our retreat “concierge” for assistance! (845) 280-0430

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write. Hike. sing.

Workshops

Choose the songwriting or letterpress “track” or mix & match workshops designed to get you in the zone.

 
 
 

“The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song.”

—Sam Walter Foss

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stretch. Sip. Strum.

Activities

Movement, writing prompts, music lessons, and more.

 

 
 

“There are thoughts that moan from the soul of the pine,
And thoughts in a flower bell curled;
And the thoughts that are blown with the scent of the fern
Are as new and as old as the world.”

—Sam Walter Foss

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Schedule

 

workshops, activities, meals, and amenities to inspire, nourish, and entertain.

 
 
 

9/2


10:00-12:00

Meet & Greet

Check in and connect your fellow writers!

12:00-12:30

Opening Ceremony

Get inspired with Artist-in-Residence Philippe Petit

12:30-1:30

Simple Lunch

2:00-4:00

Breathe. Read. Write.

Intention & Invocation

2:00 - 4:00

True Nature : Writing & Drawing the World

Illustrated Journaling

4:15 -5:15

Prose Ramblings

Explore the fertile borderlands between nonfiction (what is) and fiction (what if).

4:15 - 5:15

Ukulele Lessons

5:30 - 6:30

Country Dinner Buffet

7:30 - 9:30

Features & Open-Mic

9:30 - 11:00

Stargazing

Campfire. S’mores. Sharing.

 

9/3


8:30 - 9:30

Continental Breakfast

10:00 - 12:00

True Nature : Writing & Drawing the World

Illustrated Journaling

10:00 - 12:00

Breathe. Read. Write.

Conversing with Nature

12:30 - 1:30

Simple Lunch

2:00 - 4:00

Sing/Song

Finding Your Voice in Singing and Songwriting

2:00 - 4:00

Just My Type

The Art of Letterpress

4:15 - 5:15

Poem Pairings

Poem-inspired adult beverages at The Poetry Barn

4:15 - 5:15

Ukulele Lessons

5:30 - 6:30

Country Dinner Buffet

7:30 - 9:30

Features & Open-Mic

9:30 - 11:00

Stargazing

Campfire. S’mores. Sharing.

9/4


8:30 - 9:30

Continental Breakfast

10:00 - 12:00

The Art of Writing

with Philippe Petit

10:00 - 12:00

Hike & Write

Cathedral Gorge

10:00 - 12:00

Body Intelligence

Create your own tools for self-inquiry and healing.

12:30 - 1:30

Simple Lunch

2:00 - 4:00

Sing/Song

Finding Your Voice in Singing and Songwriting

2:00 - 4:00

Just My Type

The Art of Letterpress

4:15 - 5:15

Prose Ramblings

Explore the fertile borderlands between nonfiction (what is) and fiction (what if).

4:15 - 5:15

Ukulele Lessons

5:30 - 6:30

Country Dinner Buffet

7:30 - 9:30

Features & Open-Mic

9:30 - 11:00

Stargazing

Campfire. S’mores. Sharing.

9/5


8:30 - 9:30

Continental Breakfast

10:00 - 12:00

The Art of Writing

with Philippe Petit

10:00 - 12:00

Hike & Write

19th Century Writers Cabin

10:00 - 12:00

Body Intelligence

Create your own tools for self-inquiry and healing.

12:30 - 1:30

Simple Lunch

2:00 - 4:00

Sing/Song

Finding Your Voice in Singing and Songwriting

2:00 - 4:00

Just My Type

The Art of Letterpress

4:00 - 5:00

Checkout

5:15 - 6:15

Poem Pairings

Poem-inspired adult beverages at The Poetry Barn

Farewell & see you next year!

 

Swim. Canoe. Sauna. s’mores.

Amenities & Add-Ons

 

Build Your Writing Retreat

Have a question? Call our retreat “concierge” for assistance! (845) 280-0430

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Dine. Camp. dance.

Shared Spaces

Share your writing around the campfire at night after the evening performance. Dance under the stars. 

“I hunt for the thoughts that throng the woods,
The dreams that haunt the sky.”

—Sam Walter Foss

 

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Directions

 

by car

Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19. Leave traffic circle on Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill). In 12 miles, turn left onto Reservoir Rd. Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at “T”. Bear right down the hill past the first left turn (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West. Go 1/4 mile & turn left onto Beaverkill Road. Go 1 mile then turn right and follow signs.

by bus

Take Trailways to Kingston station, about 25 minutes away. You can arrange for a taxi (e.g. Kingston Kabs, 845-331-8294).

by train

Take MetroNorth to Poughkeepsie or Amtrak to Rhinecliff stations. 

by PLANE

We are closest to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, NY (SFA).  Albany Airport (ALB) is just a few miles further away.  Newark Airport (EWR) and NYC airports are two hours away.

 
 
 

Praise from Past Retreaters

A joyful, rewarding, enriching experience. The lovely setting, comfortable accommodations, delicious food and collegial atmosphere added to the pleasure of spending a weekend exclusively focused on writing.
— Avra Wing, Author of Angie, I Says
I was one of the members at the Poetry Barn’s Workshop on the Living Object Retreat Weekend with Judith Vollmer. The experience checked off every box: a supportive teacher who offered inspiring prompts and helpful feedback; students who really dug in, were generous with their comments and fun to be around; and a beautiful environment, both outside the barn where it sits on gorgeous woodlands, and inside, where its comfortable, modern aesthetic and wall-to-wall books and are a bit of poetry heaven. The weekend ran smoothly thanks to Lissa Kiernan’s planning and good-humored daily involvement. I’ll be back for more!
— Tina Barry, Author of Mallflower
The fall retreat was a highlight of my 2018. It definitely ‘fulfilled.’
— Beth Umland, Partner, Mercer

“So, away! for the hunt in the fern-scented wood
Till the going down of the sun;
There is plenty of game still left in the woods
For the hunter who has no gun.”

—Sam Walter Foss, The Bloodless Sportsman

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gratitude

Partners & Benefactors

We couldn’t be more honored to collaborate with some of our area’s most innovative organizations.

 
 
POST TRAUMATIC PRESS

POST TRAUMATIC PRESS

 
 
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Collaborate & Volunteer

 

Get in touch if you’re interested in volunteering or creating together!

 
 
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