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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just returned from VCCA--Virginia Center for the Creative Arts!

I just returned from a two-week stay at VCCA--Virginia Center for the Creative Arts--and loved it. Nothing like being surrounded by talented writers, composers and visual artists in a bucolic setting with blue-birds flaring their lavender-bright wings in bushes and on telephone wires, with vines tendrilled around fences and long, patient green fields undulating away from your studio window. Don't mean to wax overly-poetic, but it was a soothing, beautiful setting. I met some great poets and artists, learned vinaigrette could be served five thousand different ways (thanks to the resident kitchen staff): bell pepper vinaigrette, cilantro-line vinaigrette, maple vinaigrette....and heard my first Tree Frog--a kind of wet gurgle emanating from the trees--a gurgle in short riffs repeating itself over and over again. This was the first fellowship to a residency that I had been awarded, and the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of the other resident artists was palpable and helped me settle into a writing routine. I plan to post soon some sitings of beautiful artwork I saw while visiting the visual artists in residence with me.

I'm still getting settled back into to being home again in Stony Brook, NY, but here are a few photos (see above) to get a glimpse of the grounds at VCCA. If a few more birds start showing up in my poems, their trills and vibrant colors--you'll know why. Having nature right outside my window was a true gift while staying at this artist's retreat.