SUMMER 2019 RESIDENCY FELLOWS
AND WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE
The Wolny Writing Residency allowed me to experience a creative freedom that oftentimes gets dimmed by the busyness and mundanity of everyday life. Being on the tranquil Florida coast, where time seems to come to a halt, it was refreshing to not only immerse myself in a new setting but also give myself permission to do whatever I needed to do in order to be fulfilled. Whether it was watching the sunrise on the balcony with a cup of coffee, or sitting around the kitchen table workshopping with my peers, this residency allowed me to take a step away from the hyper-productivity culture that our society glorifies. The Wolny Writing Residency is a beautiful and transformative experience because throughout those seven days, the only things that matter are your wellbeing, your craft, and your collaborators.
The Wolny Writing Residency was an experience that made me recognize how important it is to set aside time to reflect. Being in Florida surrounded by the warm beach breeze, the smell of palm trees, and the company of fellow writers was extremely rewarding. I was constantly challenged by workshopping with people who wrote unapologetically, and because of this, I was forced to confront the self-made boundaries I had unconsciously created when it came to my creative expression. The techniques I learned to apply to my work, the sense of community that I established with my peers and writing mentor, and the opportunity to just have a week to absorb the language of poetry are some of many things that would have not been possible without this residency.
The Wolny Writing Residency was a wonderful gift that allowed me to experience a full, uninterrupted week dedicated to literary craft. Being in the quiet, slow-paced town of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida made rest, reading, writing, and listening a top priority. Each setting from the condo, the patio, the half-ice-cream-parlor-half-coffee-shop, to various eateries in walking distance from the condo, to the Dali Museum, and to the beach, were all desirable environments for thinking, creating, and sharing. Even now as I speak about my experience during the Wolny Writing Residency, my verbiage denotes action in its future tense, because the writing techniques I learned from mentor Dr. Tara Betts, and friends Zakiya Cowan and Patricia Damocles, are staying with me.