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Elizabeth Bishop House Puts the Treat in Retreat


I never really bought into the idea of retreats. You can just write a home, I internally scoffed. But now, I'm eating those words.


I'm so grateful to have spent a few days with a writerly friend in the childhood home of Nova Scotian poet, Elizabeth Bishop, this week. We spent the mornings working, headed out for lunchtime excursions, then came back and worked for a couple more hours until dinner. Then we'd drink wine and read our words to each other.


The progress I made was immense. I cut a whopping 10,000 words from my memoir, completed a major restructuring, and began re-writing it from the beginning--getting to page 140 or 250. It was so cool to look through the guestbook at all the other writers who had spent time working on their craft there.Being in a new environment, within those storied walls with a fellow artist gave me a jolt of productivity.


I will always hold these days close to my heart. Now, I understand. There's something to be said for getting away from it all. You can immerse yourself in a way that's not always possible amidst the distractions of day-to-day life. It will be the first of many retreats for me.


Have you been to the Elizabeth Bishop House or participated in another Writing Retreat? Tell me about it in the comments and learn more about the house here!


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catherine
03 abr 2023

I'm looking forward to my third-year-in-a-row retreat at the EB House this fall! It's such a sweet house with poems tucked away in every corner. What a resource for Nova Scotia writers. So glad you enjoyed your stay & found it both inspiring & productive. & to share it with a writerly friend makes the experience that much richer. I'm predicting a return visit is in the cards for you! 🏠

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Miembro desconocido
31 mar 2023

It's good to be surrounded by passion, purpose and people who appreciate the same. I'm glad you took a chance and found value in it! Never been to Elizabeth Bishop house, but have a new plan to meet weekly at a library to write as schedule permits. It's the accountability and permission we need to give ourselves that is often the struggle. This should be an enjoyable and invigorating act we don't need permission to experience. Thanks for sharing your insight! Sarah Butland

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