Past Retreats

Woodstock Mayapple Writers’ Retreat – 2003-2022
Formerly Rustbelt Roethke Writers’ Retreat

The Woodstock Mayapple Writers’ Retreat (formerly Rustbelt Roethke Professional Writers’ Workshop) began at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, MI, in July 2003, and became an annual event. The program moved to Woodstock, NY, and changed its name in 2012.

The Retreat provides an opportunity for a group of professional poets and prose writers to meet in a residential peer-critique setting, give public readings and presentations on craft, and get to know each other and each other’s work. Past participants have been Elinor Benedict, Dorothy Brooks, Katherine Brueck, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, Don Cellini, Diane Sautter Cole, Anthony Connolly, Geraldine Connolly, Rachel Coontz, Vincent Cooper, Jessica de Koninck, George Dila, Gene Doty, Sandra Ebner, Katherine Fishburn, Shannon Frystak, Nola Garrett, Gaynell Gavin, Leslie Gerber, James Gibson, Renny Golden, Patricia Harkins-Pierre, Carol Henrikson, Tom Hunley, Betsy Johnson-Miller, Marilyn Jurich, Jason Kahler, Diane Kendig, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Judith Kerman, Joyce Kessel, Judith Lechner, Gary Leising, Adrienne Lewis, Diane Lockward, Beverly Matherne, Robert McDonough, Patricia McMillen, Linda Melick, Irene Mitchell, Carol Morris, Carol Novack, Maril Nowak, Beatrice O’Brien, John Palen, Martha Perkins, Linda Pierce, Jane Piirto, Nancy Pulley, Helen Ruggieri, Vince Samarco, Amee Schmidt, Melissa Seitz, Rhoda Stamell, Nancy Takacs, Li Tien and Zara Raab.

Poetry, poetry manuscript, prose and mixed-genre groups meet every day. Groups are designed based on participants’ needs. Groups are free to decide to meet more than 2.5 hours per day, and some do.


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All participants were featured readers at evening readings, held in Saginaw Valley State University’s Founders Hall and in a variety of venues in Bay City, Saginaw and Midland, Michigan, from 2003-2011. Readings after 2012 took place in Woodstock, Saugerties and Kingston, NY, and on Facebook.

Past public presentations have included:

  • Japanese verse forms, with Helen Ruggieri
  • Translation presentation and roundtables with Beverly Matherne, Li Tien, John Palen and Judith Kerman
  • The Prose Poem, with Vince Samarco and Judith Kerman
  • Hand-made books, with Judith Kerman
  • Literary Publishing, featuring most participants
  • The Writer’s Life, featuring most participants
  • The psychology of creative writers, with Jane Piirto
  • Caribbean literature, with Patricia Harkins-Pierre and Vincent Cooper
  • Brothers and sisters, with Marilyn Jurich

Workshop participants would like to thank the following for their support:

    in 2012-2015:
  • Woodstock Public Library, Woodstock, NY
  • Outdated Cafe, Kingston, NY
  • Inquiring Minds Bookstore, Saugerties, NY
    in 2003-2011:

  • The Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Saginaw Valley State University
  • The Office of the Dean of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Saginaw Valley State University
  • The Department of English, Saginaw Valley State University
  • The Melvin J. Zahnow Library of Saginaw Valley State University
  • Conference & Events Center, Saginaw Valley State University
  • Brewtopia Coffee and Tea, Bay City, MI
  • Creative Spirit Center, Midland, MI
  • Hoyt Library, Saginaw, MI
  • Theodore Roethke House, Saginaw, MI
  • United Church of Christ, Midland, MIAnd in 2003-2010:
  • Alice and Jack Wirt Library, Bay City, MI
  • The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, Saginaw Valley State University
  • White Crow Conservatory, Saginaw, MI
  • Jack and Alice Wirt Library, Bay City, MI
  • Grace A. Dow Library, Midland, MI
  • A&J Gallery, Bay City, MI
  • Studio 23 Gallery, Bay City, MI
  • Dwells in Attics poetry series at Bay City Coffee and Tea, Bay City, MI
  • Sweet Boutique, Bay City, MI

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