What Past Participants Say …
This workshop was a huge gift. Magical. I met incredible women and the experience of sharing each others’ stories was spectacular and encouraging. –Bridget Price, Mexico City, Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat
The program was well-organized. It was hard to make choices about what to attend. I didn’t want to give anything up. The material was amazing. There was a sense of community beyond anything I ever expected. — Katie Kingston, Colorado, Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat
Beth and Robin are great teachers. They made everything flow. — Nancy Coleman, Maine, Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat
This was a great experience and opportunity. It helped me to express myself. I loved this workshop. — Janet Chavez Santiago, Oaxaca, Mexico, Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat
Immersion in a new culture with a group of talented and inspiring women was definitely the catalyst for this poem, “Woman Resting.” One day I found myself resting in the hammock, and while letting its hypnotic sway take over, I experienced the flooding of the five senses in this magical place, Teotitlán del Valle. I was motivated to write this poem, to try in one small way to capture the experience of this slower paced lifestyle. I haven’t experienced such a “lull” since childhood.
Teotitlán del Valle is all about weaving; indigo and cochineal dye hangs in natural wool skeins from the roof top lines. It fact, it seems that everything hangs from the sky in Teotitlan: the drying threads, the hammocks, the pomegranates, the grapefruits, the laundry, and even the sounds: birds, burros, roosters, pigs. The experience at the Oaxaca Woman’s Writing Retreat was enhanced by the meditative atmosphere that allows for interpretation with a gathering of women who believe in writing as a spiritual plunge into the unknown.
When I returned to the United States, I submitted the poem to Nimrod International Journal’s 2011 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, email@example.com, where it placed as a finalist and was published in the Nimrod Award Issue titled, “What Time Is It?” Other good news followed. I submitted my manuscript, What Does Lorca Own?, which had been reviewed at the conference by Robin Greene. We discussed the manuscript in depth, and I sent out the revision to several competitions. It placed as a finalist in the 2011 Idaho Prize for Poetry, www.losthorsepress.org, and will be published in October 2012 by Lost Horse Press (distributed by the University of Washington Press, Seattle) under the new title Translating Clouds.
No writer ever writes alone, and I have many individuals to thank for their support including Norma Hawthorne, Robin Greene, Susan Florence, and the other talented participants of the Oaxaca Women’s Writing Retreat. For me, the experience was a success, giving me the time to write new poems, forge new friendships, and experience a new culture, where I felt welcome and safe as I hiked the village roads and spoke to goat herders, children learning English, and women who smiled back. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.katiekingston.com
This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and every aspect of this program exceeded my expectations. Norma and Bill, you were incredible guides to culture, photography, and more! I loved the vigil experience at the cemeteries in Xoxocotlan, and could have stayed until dawn – it was for this particular opportunity that I enrolled in this Day of the Dead expedition, and yet this was only one of the impressive components. In addition we learned first-hand about cooking, preparation of home altars, weaving, markets, village life, and of course, photography. The diversity of our group members’ experiences and contributions further enriched the program. In a nutshell, the expedition was absolutely well organized, with great technical teaching by Bill and a wonderful, culturally-sensitive leader in Norma. I highly recommend it to others. – Jenny Snead Williams, Executive Director, Duke University Center for Latino/a Studies, Durham, NC, Day of the Dead Photography Expedition
I absolutely loved the three-day workshop for making Mexican sterling silver! I learned how to carve in wax and cast a sterling silver pendant/ring. I also made earings and a carved ring. I found the casting in the ancient sling facinating! Absolutely everything is done from scratch as it has been done through the history of silver jewelry making. I worked with three master jewelers. You will love the work of Brigitte,Evan and Ricardo! I learned to saw metal and soldering, using the torch and polishing. If you really want to learn how to make silver jewelry this is the class. The teachers are very kind and professional. They are also patient guiding you through each step. If you wish to make some of your own designs this must be organized a head of time. They have this down to a science. If you are serious about making silver jewelry this is the class for you– Carol Egan, New Jersey, Lost Wax Sterling Silver Jewelry Workshop
I recently spent a few fabulous weeks in and around Oaxaca. A highlight of the trip was the lost wax silver “experience” with Brigitte and Ivan. With their clear and masterful instructions and their hands-on teaching techniques I never felt overwhelmed. One of the many benefits of taking classes with them was learning about the highly developed pre-Columbian Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations (pre-Columbian) Their positive and always helpful attitude made me want to go further. And in fact I did. I extended the original class to make a beautiful, original design ring that has received many compliments and even offers to buy it off my finger! I have taken jewelry courses as a hobby for several years but this was the most enlightening, instruction to date. I’m looking forward to more instruction from Brigitte and Ivan and Ricardo, a local silver expert, in the future. Do yourself and favor and spend some time learning from Brigette and Ivan. Please feel free to communicate with me through Oaxacan about my very positive experience. — Marty Knight, Henderson, NC, Lost Wax Sterling Silver Jewelry Workshop
I spent two lovely days learning to make jewelry in February with Brigitte and Ivan in Oaxaca, Mexico. It felt great to be in a working studio with artists. They were both passionate about their work and seemed to enjoy sharing their knowledge. They were patient, kind and open to my personal artistic style. The surroundings were comfortable and I never felt rushed in any way. I came home with not only a beautiful necklace but an appreciation for the art of jewelry making. — Sue Baldassano, New York, Lost Wax Sterling Silver Jewelry Workshop