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, April 25, 2012

Poet In Residence Claire Donato at Germantown High School

Claire Donato with Germantown English teacher Stacy Dore

Students writing!!!

Rapt attention

Above are just a few photos from the day spent accompanying the truly amazing poet Claire Donato in her role as visiting poet at the Germantown High School. We at the Millay Colony began this program last year in an effort to extend our gifts to the larger community. If we are able to support all these incredible artists, why shouldn't the surrounding areas benefit from this?

So, with some generous funding from the Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation, we were able to bring Claire back up to Millay for a mini-retreat and a few days in school. What followed was the best kind of poetic mayhem! Students were engaged, lively, and making their own versions of Shakespeare's sonnets with pens, markers, and white-out.

Students will be making books of the work created in class, and there will be a culminating presentation in May. More photos to follow as well as a report from Claire and examples of student work in our Spring Newsletter.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hi there lovely readers,

Here are some photos of our first workshop of the year, From the Office of Recuperative Strategies...with Rachel Levitsky & Christian was amazing...

We met at the offices of Trisha Brown Dance Company, who beyond generously let us use their gorgeous, airy loft space for our Weekend Workshops (thanks to one and all for this lovely sharing of resources!!). The workshop began with an exercise: we partnered off and alternated staring at our partner while they shut their eyes and being stared at by them while we shut ours. From this place of self-consciousness and heightened noticing, we began our two-day conversation, writing workshop and think tank...

At all times, Rachel & Christian guided us, but also let our individual worlds and personhoods and thoughts and questions and projects and feedback flourish and form the class. Each discussion was deeply nourishing and felt like the tip of a large mountain to be was extraordinary.

We did several writing exercises, shared work and talked through angles for projects we are working on, thinking about, stuck in (c'est moi!) or just imagining...

I'll share one part of one hand-out that Rachel & Christian gave us, from C.A. Conrad's "The Right to Manifest Manifesto":

"The aim of (Soma)tic poetry and poetics is the realization of two basic ideas: (1) everything around us has a creative viability with the potential to spur new modes of thought and imaginative output. (2) The most vital ingredient to bringing sustainable, humane changes to out world is creativity. This can be enacted on a daily basis. "


Our next workshop will be Frances Richard "Critical Writing as Creative Process" and if you don't already know it, Frances is brilliant and the class will open doors onto ways to write in around and on topics one may be nervous to approach with language...fear no more...


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April is here....

and so is the first batch of 2012 residents!

Winter Shakers season was wonderful and, as always, particular to the unique individuals and groups who join us for varying lengths of time. Also, it is when the juries gather, upkeep is kept up, and we are able to host some unusual programs.

One highlight worth particular mention is our Poet in the Schools Program. The first year we worked with Teachers & Writers Collaborative to bring Adam Wiedewitsch up to the area for a week stay at the Colony and an in-school unit at Germantown High School. This year we brought up Millay alum Claire Donato who led an inspiring and seriously cool unit on collage, erasure, and handmade poems.

Claire will be back to the Germantown High School in May for a culminating presentation with everyone who participated. Meantime, teachers, administrators and students alike are busy making books of the inventive work created during Claire's visit.

More details and photos to follow!