In this dark season, let's find out together, what lives under.

Let's get lost in the tangled roots of all the stories beneath the obvious stories. All the stories ignored or passed by.

Let's meander to places where our poetic truths live.

Let's become snakes. Creating patterns on the ground, allow the patterns to become our writing. 

 

The winter is a potent and profound time to slow down and sit together, to create space, and to write. This is why we are here, inviting you, to sit and write with us.

WHAT LIVES UNDER is a 3 session winter writing retreat series where we will practice rhizomic ways of gathering themes and obsessions, desires and longings. Where we practice remembering there are many and multiple ways of creating. We will practice the meander, not a hike or a sprint, but a slow kind of walk that has no beginning or end. We will allow ourselves to go off path, to venture and snake our way through our thematic forest floor, and finally, we will nourish our writing, we will graft it, allow it to emerge, and redistribute it, as art longs to live together.

Writing is a solitary art. But it's also collective. Language and experience are communal. We are not alone in the telling of tales, we are always part of each other's stories. We are always the food each other needs to keep going, to keep creating. We need each other. We need community. And we need time and space, carved out, specifically to honor the stories, the poems, the weird and wonderful ways of wording that long to emerge from you. We have been so isolated these last couple of years—  and in the dark season, we can ease our hunger by the hearth and pen and paper, together, to meet up and create in community. 

 

What Lives Under consists of 3 separate retreat sessions, all of them connected and in some sense a process of practice that are intertwined together.

Retreat 1: Rhizomatic

In this writing retreat session we practice the interconnectivity of our own writing desires. Why do we always think we need to narrow things down to one story? One idea? When we are rhizomatic we understand there are many tubular beings to explore. We tend to this practice by honoring all the things that sink us into story--through list making, naming, and diving under into the spaces of our own soil, exploring all the twisted and related stories we are called to tell and the ones we didn't even know were there. We don't have to write in one way. We don't have to find a "theme". We do not have to follow a traditional path. All that is, is in relationship. We should savor and enjoy the exchange of the rhizome, how everything is in connection, and how this tubular traveling practice can bring some very intense nourishment and liberation and exploration to our writing. How when we trust "all the things" we get to make art, in the most beautiful and profound ways- alive and in exchange with everything. Breathing, growing, involved.

Retreat 2: Meander + Snake

In this retreat session we take our rhizomatic practice and go entirely off path to meander what it all means. We will experience writing when there is nowhere to be, nor a destination, just the time and space to experience where you are led. We meander and snake through the forest of our own obsessions, loves, interests, wisdoms, downloads and learning that writing is not linear. That one word can take us to another. And one story can open us to an entirely different (but connected) portal. That storytelling doesn't have to be neurotypical. That the world, more than ever, is opening itself up to the meander, craves it, is ready for writers to snake through the darkness—  gathering all the substance we would not have found if we stayed on path, above ground getting caught up in traditional storytelling arcs. When we meander + snake we go places we feel we are "not allowed", gathering the words, and putting them together as we want, as they want, as it should be.

Retreat 3: Nourish. Graft. Emerge. Restribute

 

A lot of words that mean this: in this writing retreat session we spend time with what came from the first 2 retreats. We share. We allow for water and growth. We uncover. Sculpt. Add. Fertilize. And hopefully have something nourishing for ourselves, and perhaps the beginnings of something that can be replanted our there to share and be seen. This is where we get to remember spring is coming, and we can air our stories out for light, water, love, and mutual exchange. You will get the support and guidance you need to form, pray over, and finish your writing work born from the under, from this retreat series.

WHEN (deep winter to spring):

February.6.2022

February.27.2022

March.20.2022

Each writing retreat session is from 9am pacific to 2pm pacific. Each writing session will be 5 hours. Think of these three sessions as writing retreats, time and space you carve out for your art, your expression, you. 

These are a series that are connected together, so when you sign up, you sign up for all the sessions.

 

HOW:

we will meet on zoom and there will be space created for:

ritual + somatic practices

learning, sharing, and conversation

extended lengths of writing together

break-out sessions for deeper connection + feedback

lunch and movement breaks will be in there as well. 

 

OUR MODALITY: 

We are both academically trained writers and writing instructors that like to burn that concept up and turn it inside out. So instead, let's just say we are humans who write, who long to tell stories, and we hold space for deep expression of the written word, in any way that it unfolds. We cultivate spaces for others to lift up their voices, to be wild, to be honest, to be poetic, to be art, to make art, to see their stories as real ways of shifting the world. 

We are practiced in giving feedback, and we are honored to do so. But we do so in a generative way, a way that supports - not to fix or change or edit. We mirror and respond what is powerful, what is electric, what might be amplified. We notice and lift up stunning patterns, moments, and we can see the threads that bring people to their knees. We want you to love writing. And keep doing it. Art is never wrong. Art is what keeps us alive. There needs to be no criticism. Only more breath to give it life. We hope to be part of the breath to keep your art alive.

 

COST: 

We are offering a sliding scale of $200-$350 for each session. You can pay what feels right based on your resources and needs, for each session.*

So that's a range of $600-$1050 total. 

You can pay in 3 payments over 3 months. Or you can pay in full. 

To register, send your first payment (or pay in full) via Venmo or paypal

Venmo: @marybeth_bonfiglio 

paypal: @[email protected]

Once you register you will receive a confirmation email from us with further details and instructions. 

For any questions, please email. *Also, if the sliding scale price point still does not work for you, please email us, we have one scholarship opportunity. In the email tell us briefly (less than 200 words) why you want this scholarship. 

[email protected]

 

OUR VISION

May we honor this season, ourselves and the creative spirits in these times. May we honor Art as a living being. May we hold our writing as spells, may we open up to all practices that move creation through us.

We are fully here for you and your writing. And ours, too.

Angelisa is a Filipina-Greek American writer, mother, educator who is deep diving into decolonizing self, connecting with her ancestral lineage, and finding new forms to tell stories. She teaches writing at Napa Valley College and received her MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College with a focus in Creative Non-fiction/Memoir. While at Goddard, she served as lead drama editor and poetry editor for the Pitkin Review. She’s currently working on a manuscript called 10 Days:A Memoir about the brief, but impactful ten day life of her first born son. She has contributed to the Write On, Mamas, Reconceiving Loss, and performed her essay “Caledonia” for the “Listen to Your Mother” show in San Francisco. She lives on Onasatis (Wappo) territory in Napa, CA with her husband and three children.

MaryBeth is a Sicilian/Italian/Slavic American writer, mother, educator and ancestralist. She curates online and in-person spaces to explore uncontainable creative expression and is especially interested in weaving space for other nuerodivergent creators like herself. She's the founder of Blood + Belonging, an online ancestral wisdom school and writing worship series, the co-founder of Amulet Magazine, + holds pilgrimages through her organization, Radici Siciliane. MaryBeth has taught writing workshops all over the country as well as performed her writing in venues in NY, Portland and LA. She received her MFA in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. She's published one book of poetry, Dear Earth,  just completed her first hybrid memoir, and is currently working on a new writing project based on finding Eros in every day. MaryBeth lives on Lenape Munsee territory (mid-Hudson, NY) with her long time partner, 3 daughters, and 2 dogs.