Millay Colony for the Arts

Promoting the vitality of the arts and the development of writers, visual artists, and composers by providing a retreat for creative work.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MINI RETREATS for Arts Groups

The Millay Colony for the Arts Announces a New Program of
MINI RETREATS for Arts Groups

You already know The Millay Colony as a gorgeous pastoral residency program for individual artists. But you may never have thought about us as the perfect place for group-retreats. We have inaugurated an exciting new program offering retreats of between two days and two weeks to small arts groups all winter and in limited sessions throughout the year...

Your group (theater company, small press, gallery staff, band, collaborative duo...etc) can have a pastoral retreat/think-tank/working vacation with all the trimmings at our dazzling Upstate New York campus. This includes:

Up to Seven private bedrooms with double beds.
Up to Seven private studios for work.
Meeting and Dining Rooms.
A Fully Stocked Kitchen.
Wireless Internet, Computer, Printer, Copier, Fax Machine and General Supplies...
Possibility of Chef-prepared Dinners

Whatever your needs, we can make your Colony retreat productive, inspiring and refreshing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


and The Board of the Millay Colony for the Arts
invite you to celebrate

Wednesday, November 17th, 6:30PM
The Rouge Wine Bar, 99 Bank Street, NYC
Open bar and hors d'oeuvres

RSVPs and donations kindly requested at
All donations will be matched up to $5,000.

Your attendance at the event and your contributions support residencies for artists at The Millay Colony for the Arts. We are a 501(c)3 registered non-profit serving writers, visual artists and composers and bringing artists into Upstate schools. To read more about us, peruse our Web site.

Warmest regards - and hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ecopoetics Workshop with Jonathan Skinner

October 30th to November 2nd
Ecopoetics after Copenhagen: Language, Form, Site with Jonathan Skinner

Jonathan Skinner leads a hands-on workshop in ecopoetics at The Millay Colony for the Arts. This retreat/class includes twelve hours of workshop time, all meals, and ample time to work, ruminate and explore our lush natural surroundings. Private bedrooms and spacious private studios are available for all participants.

...Join us and delve into your work, explore new ideas, meet an extraordinary teaching artist and collaborate with others while spending intense work-time on our gorgeous campus. Fragrant with blueberries, thyme, and wildflowers, the quiet loveliness of our campus provides uninterrupted calm and inspiration—the perfect retreat for creativity and relaxation.

Visit for full details...


A field-based workshop, offering an introduction to environmental writing in relation to current poetic practice, in the post-Copenhagen moment. Setting our compass by key works of postmodern ecopoetics (Charles Olson, Gary Snyder, Lorine Niedecker, Larry Eigner, Ronald Johnson, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Ed Roberson, Cecilia Vicuña), let's hit the trail, charged with bringing our writing practice to the task of response.

In what ways do land art (Robert Smithson), research poetry (Juliana Spahr), conceptual writing (Kenneth Goldsmith) or mestizo poetics (Cecilia Vicuña) change our relation to place? When the very air we breathe is bought and sold, can poets reclaim the commons? How do we meaningfully respond, as poets, to disrupted urban environments, collapsing bee colonies, displaced communities, or the Pacific garbage patch?

This workshop sets out some of the tools for redefining language practice in the face of climate change and related global catastrophes, with a special emphasis on site-specific writing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Millay Colony Application Deadline (and a bit about blogging too)

Hi all,

I need to have a meta-moment here and note for the cyberspheric-record my reluctance to blog. Here I am blogging as an instrument of The Millay Colony for the Arts, and that is palatable. But, even though I enjoy reading blogs (as participant and as voyeuse both), I really resist the self-seducing lure of recording my thoughts in that beguiling netherworld betwixt personal missive and full-on publication. Who am I in this space and to whom am I responsible? I like to know those questions before I open my cyber-mouth. And yet, here I am. Because I want to let you all know that the Colony is exquisite in September. The vegetable gardens over-floweth with tomatoes, peppers, basil -- and the residents can pick and cook at their whim. When they are not working, and they generally are working. I love getting coffee in the Millay kitchen and hearing about break-throughs, new projects begun, old ones wrestled to completion...

...Lila Zemborain, Bob Gluck, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Leslie Silver, Tisa Bryant, everyone ...our conversations in the kitchen, as I got my coffee in the morning, at the table as we ate dinner or drinking wine in the late summer meadows, were a big part of my year. I love hearing about your work, in your voice, in such casual environs....

...where, you may ask, oh reader of this post, is she headed, this blog-defying and yet blogging writer of this post? She is preparing to tell you that the deadline for applying to our little slice of paradise is fast approaching: October 1, 2010 is the deadline for sending in an application (online or by snail mail) for a one-month residency with all the trimmings at Millay...Yes! A lovely private bedroom! Yes! A huge private studio! Yes! All meals! Yes! A CSA from a local bio-dynamic farm! Yes! Acres and acres of loveliness! Yes! You will work hard! Yes! You will read and write and paint and sculpt and hybridize and compose and create and invite your soul and bike on bike trails and hike on hiking trails and pick fresh veggies and swim in swimming holes and hear and see and read great work. Yes! All that and more. So apply. If I can blog, you can go to We look forward to hearing from you. kisses, CC

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Millay Colony Designates Cave Canem Residency

Millay Colony for the Arts inaugurates a Cave Canem Residency beginning with the 2011 season. The Colony, which offers one-month residencies to six visual artists, writers and composers every month between April and November, has designated one of each year’s 48 coveted spots for a Cave Canem poet.

Founded in 1996 by poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in MFA programs and writing workshops, Cave Canem is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.

Application deadline October 1. Details available:

Alumni News

From Alumni Composer in Residence Martin Hennessy:

"If you are free, please tune in (or log on) to WWFM 89.1 or copy and paste on Monday September 13th from 8PM -10PM EDT for a broadcast of a recent All Hennessy program at Westminster Choir College. The recital features the world premiere of RUMINATIONS (poetry by William Bronk) and much more and features the wit and power of baritone, Elem Eley as well as the dazzling clarinet playing of Bruce Williamson with yours truly at the piano. Elem and I contribute interviews with host Bliss Michelson throughout the program."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

October 1 Deadline Approaching

No, summer isn't over. We promise. Still plenty of time to tuck your toes in the sand somewhere or value the shade of the nearest willow (or building). But time is, as it does, moving forward. We know you'll want to think about your work sample over weeks and not hours. Gather your thoughts for an artist statement in an inspired and organic fashion while pondering your project rather than rush in a furious manner the night before. Well, maybe you will anyway. (Oh don't we understand!)

Here's a gentle reminder nonetheless...October 1 deadline approaches.

Also, you can now apply online! has all the details.

Back to your regularly scheduled leisure (or workshift!).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ronaldo Wilson Workshop!

We loved having Ronaldo V. Wilson here for his Archives and Ephemera Poetry Workshop. Photos, poems, objects, lines, language, and wine. Poof! It's gone....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Millay Colony on WAMC

Listen in at 11am as Caroline Crumpacker, Calliope Nicholas, and composer in residence Jen Wang appear on WAMC's Roundtable. They will talk with host Joe Donohue about the Open House and Concert this Saturday. General Colony doings bound to figure in.

Live online at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cavorting at the Colony: Open House and Concert

JULY 24, 5 PM to 8 PM

Join us for our annual Open House and Concert on the lush grounds of the Colony. Composer Laura Andel will guest curate the music including Albany's own efbom. Artmakers Chris Kardambikis & Jasdeep Khaira will decorate the buildings and grounds! Fleisher's Grassfed and Organic Meats will cook up homemade sausages. Hudson Wine Merchants & Hudson-Chatham Winery will choose delicious spirits.

Open Studios!
Sale of art, books, cds!
Hula Hoop Dances!
Outrageously good food!
Incredible Wines and Hard Ciders!
Mind-Bending Art!
Fun under the stars...
Call 518-392-4144 to buy a ticket or for more info.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Artmaking with Nina Katchadourian

June 30th to July 3rd

Family: This subject is something that is often (un)comfortably close at hand, rich with potential, and complicated to work with. The workshop aims to take an objective view of the topic on one hand, by looking at the work of artists (Janine Antoni, Patty Chang, Richard Billingham, Sally Mann, Gillian Wearing and Neil Goldberg among others) who have taken it up from a variety of proximities, but also to delve into the deeply subjective. This presents challenges: how do you allow an unknown viewer access to a story you are so close to? How do you prevent the personal from becoming solipsistic and self-indulgent? Working with this subject can obviously be personal, but it can also be a way to explore broader subjects concerning genealogy, history and origin, and the question of what it means to "be related" to someone in the first place.

The workshop is not restricted to any one medium and a cross-disciplinary approach is welcomed. Although not required, participants are encouraged to bring family documents that hold particular allure from them as possible starting points to work from.

Nina Katchadourian works in a wide variety of media including sculpture, photography, video and sound. Several times, she has worked with her family directly in collaboration (such as in "Accent Elimination," where she and her parents worked with a professional voice coach to acquire each other's accents) or other times by examining a family document in depth ("The Nightgown Pictures," based on a photo-document made by her grandmother about Katchadourian's mother). Other projects, such as "The Genealogy of the Supermarket," looks at the way family is portrayed through the images of people that appear on common grocery store products. Katchadourian was born in Stanford, California and grew up spending every summer on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, where she still spends part of each year. She is based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PS1/MoMA, MASS MoCA, Artists Space and SculptureCenter in New York, the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. In 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph entitled All Forms of Attraction. Katchadourian is represented by Sara Meltzer gallery in New York and Catharine Clark gallery in San Francisco. More information on Katchadourian's work can be found at

Workshop Schedule: Each day begins with a fresh breakfast followed by a three- hour workshop at 10:00 AM. Total workshop time for the retreat will be twelve hours. The afternoon can be spent working in the studio, visiting local sites, swimming in a nearby lake or walking the mountain trails. Dinner is served overlooking our gorgeous meadows. Evening hours are devoted to worktime.

Fees: $600 includes tuition, private room, private studio and all meals. $375 includes tuition and meals only.

For more information check the website or get in touch with Caroline Crumpacker at 518-392-4144 or

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ronaldo V. Wilson Poetry Workshop Retreat

July 30th to August 2nd
Archives and Ephemera: A Poetry Workshop with Ronaldo Wilson

What materials might we bring into the realm of the poem? With what sources can we open the life of the mind into language that captures and reveals our imaginations, intentions, and explorations? An archive is defined as "a place or collection containing records, documents," "a long term storage area," and "a repository for stored memories or information," while ephemera is marked as a "short lived thing," and "printed matter of passing interest."

This workshop asks you to bring in and work from your archives and ephemera, ideally anything that can fit in a standard sized brief case or grocery bag, depending on your records, habits, findings, and tastes. Perhaps you have a small archive of photographs, news clippings, or journals you've been collecting? Or, maybe you have a series of loose notes, sketches, objects, or partial but striking drafts that you've left untouched and wish to revisit?

Throughout the week, you will focus on your own archives and ephemera as a means of generating a cycle of new poems. Students will work on in-class exercises, as well as discuss freshly drafted works. To further inspire our writing and conversation, we will look to poets who work with various modes of the archival and the ephemeral to include Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination, C.A. Conrad's Advanced Elvis Course, Harryette Mullen's Sleeping With the Dictionary, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge's I Love Artists, Wayne Koestenbaum's Rhapsody of A Repeat Offender, and Meena Alexander's Quickly Changing River.

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man, winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009). He is a graduate of the PhD program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center, and NYU's Graduate Creative Writing Program. Wilson has won numerous fellowships to include the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Djerassi, and Yaddo. A co-founder of the Black Took Collective, he teaches creative writing and African American poetics at Mount Holyoke College.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Save the Date - July 24

Millay Colony's annual Open House and Concert happens this summer July 24. Details still forming, but you can be sure wine, music, art, and field flowers under the stars will be part of the soiree. This year guest composer Laura Andel will curate the music. Originally from Buenos Aires, Andel performs worldwide. She's also, of course!, a Millay alum....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

MASS MoCA Memorial Weekend Concert

Millay Colony neighbors MASS MoCA have a dynamite Memorial Day Weekend program coming up...Carolina Chocolate Drops in concert!

Spend the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend at MASS MoCA in North Adams! Erasing the gap between the 1930s and today, Carolina Chocolate Drops are a striking North Carolina trio who bring modern sizzle to the legacy of classic African American string bands with fiddles, banjos, and even kazoos. Concert starts at 8 PM, but come early for the opening of Petah Coyne: Everything that Rises Must Converge in the galleries from 5-7 PM. Tickets for both events available by calling 413 MoCA111 or visiting

MASS MoCA exhibited Nina Katchadourian who will be leading a workshop retreat for Millay in June.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EDNA in the works

Pictured is the inaugural issue of a journal of art made in residence at the Colony. We are receiving incredible work from 2009 residents for this next one. Pieces of score, poems, excerpts, collaborations, plays, book art, all sorts of provocative making will be represented!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Millay Colony goes to Denver!

Yes, we too will be at the AWPalooza (thanks, Mark Nowak! - see Harriet). A table, photos, EDNAs, and the ever amazing Caroline Crumpacker with steadfast sidekick Cara Benson will grace the Bookfair. We'd love to see you in the actual world, so do come by!

Also, check out the Center for Book Arts table where there will be info on their upcoming Poetry Chapbook competition. Millay Colony has sweetened the deal with Winter Shaker residency time for the winner!

We will be posting photos and updates from Denver...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010: Workshop Retreats Announced!

The Millay Colony for the Arts offers four-day workshop retreats on the Colony's sylvan setting. Each class includes twelve hours of workshop time, all meals, and ample time to work, ruminate and explore our lush surroundings. Private bedrooms and spacious private studios are provided. Attendance is limited to six persons per workshop.

June 30 – July 3: Family: Artmaking with Nina Katchadourian

July 30 – August 2: Archives and Ephemera: Poetry with Ronaldo Wilson

Sept 30 – Oct 3: Weather as Muse: Video with Bernadine Mellis

Oct 30 – Nov 2: After Copenhagen: Ecopoetics with Jonathan Skinner

For full details and guidelines go to the website:

Friday, March 5, 2010


I'm hoping that the Winter is treating you well. It's been a snowy, quiet time at the Colony lately, with only a few Winter guest artists here in recent weeks. Sarah Madsen and Tania Love are here now, and they fill the Colony with sweetness. Tonight Tomas Noel and a collaborator arrive for a few days...

I always use this time for programming, catching up on various organizational tasks, fundraising, hello-saying, general love-sending. This week has all about applying to the NEA for funding...I salute the NEA for adding artists' residencies to their programs. And for having the most helpful staff, even in the face of harried callers, like my good self, freaking out about not getting a DUNS number and other mind-numbing issues.

And, dear reader and grant-apply-er, please know that it is not the fault of any person who works at the Endowment that one must, in order to apply, register with myriad Web sites designed primarily for producers of industrial plastics and destined to fail at key moments in the application process. The government, that vast web of folks and sites, makes them do it...

In other news, one of our jurors (the lovely Deb Poe) took a snapshot of my puppy Chelseagirl Penelope Crumpacker, as she held forth at the Colony office.

Normally she is joined by Calliope's dogs Handsome Hugh and is Chelsea with Hugh last October...have no doubt, these two are the real brains of our operation...

Otherwise, we look forward to a glorious weekend in our Winter Wonderland.

If you are at all inspired to visit the Colony in all its pristine cool white loveliness, give us a call -- 518-392-4144 -- and we will happily show you around.

Looking forward to Spring at Millay, and to your visit, reader. Anytime.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Alumni Rachel Meuler Show in Brooklyn

SUM OF THEIR PARTS new paintings
Thu 4 March Opening Reception 5-9pm

Through 25 March

33 Washington St, Bklyn, NY

Friday, February 26, 2010

Workshop Retreat Schedule Firming Up

We are busy setting the line-up for this year's workshop retreats and should be able to announce the list within a week. Last year featured painting with Jason Middlebrook, poetry with Tomás Urayoán Noel, poetry with Eleni Sikelianos, and critical writing with Frances Richard. This year? Details coming soon....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In another sphere

Hi all,

This is the first time that I have ever written on a blog. I hereby enter the zone between intimate conversation and publication...hi hello and other greetings of the day and days.

I will be writing about all things residency-related, from my perch at The Millay Colony for the Arts.

You, reader, will come to know the characters that fill my days here: Warrior-baker Calliope Nicholas, Demoiselle of Letters, Cara Benson and, of course, my bouncy puppy Chelsea Penelope.

More soon -- I like this. I can say whatever I want.

xx, CC

Winter Shaker Report from Diane Simmons

Back from a Winter Shaker week at Millay where I worked on pulling together a short story collection.
Back, I'm remembering--and I'm glad--that I have a job where I see lots of students, a house to live in, and a husband to talk to about all that goes on, a teen age daughter to worry about.
Still, all of these good things aren't writing, and I realize that the week at Millay allowed me to live my work all the time, not just for the 2-3 hours a day I manage to steal--if I'm lucky--in "real life."
I know I could never live the life of an artist full time; I need people to see and places to go. It's scary to be alone most of the time with your own head.
But the opportunity Millay offered does remind me of the difference between art and busy-ness, and I'm very grateful for that.

Diane blogs at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

From Winter Shaker and Former Resident Patti Capaldi...

"It’s been so wonderful to be here watching the various changes with snow and storms, etc. Not wanting to leave on Saturday. My 3 wk stay was extremely helpful and constructive in getting work done away from the city and holiday distraction.

"Back to teaching soon. Loved the poetry trail - I don’t recall walking 14 years ago!"

For more on Patti's work visit