Monday, July 27, 2015

In Retreat


Hello from Millay Colony!

I am midway through a writers' retreat with four very good friends. This is my second time here, so returning feels like a homecoming.

Two of us are staying in the main house (this picture doesn't do it justice), while I'm retreating in the barn with two others. Each room comes with a studio that gets great light all day. The barn has a rustic feel. No cell service. No television. No better way to shake things up for a city slicker like me.



Steepletop Barn

The property, also known as Steepletop, was owned by poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. There is the retreat center, and her house and grounds, which have been lovingly maintained and preserved throughout the years. About 600 acres remain of this one-time blueberry farm.

Millay's House



I hadn't read much of Millay's work until I came to Steepletop. She lived from 1892 to 1950, and was a true rock-star poet. She came from humble beginnings, was the poet in the 1920s and 30s, and died young at age 58. Brassy, intelligent, promiscuous--I like to think of her as "a broad" who almost always got what she wanted. Known as one of the best sonnet writers in the 20th century, she's been all but forgotten in the canon of poets. Millay wasn't the nicest of poets, so I wonder about the price an artist makes to pursue her passion.

I can't help but be inspired by the landscape and by my fellow poets as we create in this amazing space. Millay is everywhere. I can't help but be inspired here.




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