OLD FRIEND FROM FAR AWAY: THE PRACTICE OF WRITING MEMOIR
with Natalie Goldberg
28 June – 2 July 2021, Madeline Island School of the Arts, La Pointe, WI
Dear Memoir retreatants,
We will be gathering for our study of memoir just after the equinox. We will relax into Madeline Island’s summer, allow it to support us as we anchor our minds to pen and paper. Each day, except in class discussion, we will practice gentle silence from wake-up until 4:30PM.
To help settle ourselves, I’d like us to read the following books ahead of time. Please remember that when we read, we are studying the writer’s mind. Writers are our teachers. Bring these books to the retreat and mark parts you’d like to share in class:
Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage Into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku by Natalie Goldberg
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Also, please read Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoirby Natalie Goldberg. You do not need to bring this book with you
Before coming to the retreat, I encourage you to do some writing practice, do two or three ten-minute workouts a week. This will help you enter our gathering with limber writing muscles. Don’t know how or where to start? Use Old Friend from Far Away, orWriting Down the Bones and Wild Mind.
Bring and wear loose fitting clothes. Bring fast writing pens, notebooks, a pair of slip-on shoes, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, swimsuit (if you’d like to take a dip), a small day pack, and a water bottle.
I’m guessing that, for most of you, this will be your first time traveling since the start of the pandemic. Please take good care of yourselves en route. While together, we will practice health and safety protocols—physical distancing, face covering, and sanitizing.
I send you all my best. Be well.