Dec 26 - 30 2015
2015 Watering Hole Poetry Retreat

2015 Watering Hole Poetry Retreat

Presented by The Watering Hole Poetry Organization at Santee State Park

Saturday, December 26 – Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Santee State Park, in Santee, South Carolina

This retreat is open to everyone but preference is given to members of The Watering Hole Facebook community.

Applications Deadline: October 1, 2015
Application = cover letter + 3 poems + $5 reading fee

To apply, e-mail a cover letter and 3 recently written poems as a Word Document to The subject line should be “Retreat Application” + [YOUR LAST NAME] + [YOUR RECEIPT #] (eg. R374836605) in the subject line. Please, list your name and the poem titles on your cover letter, but do not include your name on any of the poetry pages.

To pay application fee, please click here.

Price: $298 by November 15.
Early Bird Discount: -$50 if paid in full by midnight November 1st
Returning Discount: -$100 for previous retreat attendees who pay by midnight November 1st
The first ten people who pay receive one-on-one conferences with a facilitator.

The price reserves your space in the classes, covers housing for 5 days and 4 nights, and pays for all tuition costs. We will be housed in modern cabins that have 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a full living, and full kitchen. All participants are responsible for their own travel and food. All participants are required to stay for the entire retreat from beginning to end.

Stay tuned for upcoming scholarship information. Thanks so much to our generous donors for making these possible.

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and has fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts.  His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, andThe Best American Poetry.  His first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets.  He is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.

Tara Betts

Tara Betts is the author of the book Arc & Hue (Aquarius Press/Willow Books 2009), In 2010, Essence Magazine named her as one of their “40 Favorite Poets.” Betts worked with several non-profit organizations inChicago including Gallery 37 and Young Chicago Authors. She is still shaping and working on her dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate in English/Creative Writing at SUNY Binghamton. Betts was a lecturer in creative writing at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ until 2011. A Cave Canem graduate, she received her MFA in Poetry from New England College and residencies from Ragdale Foundation, Centrum and Caldera, and an Illinois Arts Council Artist fellowship. Her work can be found in The Break Beat Poets (Haymarket Books 2015)

Randall Horton

Randall Horton has earned a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing, from the University at Albany-SUNY, received notable poetry prizes, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. His publications include a memoir, Roxbury, and the poetry collections,The Definition of Place, The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street, and his most recent, Pitch Dark Anarchy and Hook: A Memoir. He is now an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Haven, Connecticut where he often speaks to his students on the impact of imprisonment. It is a most necessary education. Many of them are enrolled in the university’s Criminal Justice Program.

Each year, we ask our facilitators to take an experimental, non-Western approach for classes. Rather than sitting in a sterile classroom, all facing the teacher at the board, (not the most effective way of teaching or learning), we are going to use the learning style that Nikky Finney says she experienced in Toni Cade Bambara’s living room. Nikky says that much of her growth as a poet came from sitting in a living room filled with writers and talking about craft. We purposefully picked a location (Santee State Park) that would allow us to experiment with this aspect of Toni Cade Bambara’s teaching style. The poets in your small group will be in one living room, sitting at the feet of each other and learning from each other as much as they learn from the facilitator. Your creative breakthroughs may very well come from interacting with the retreat participant next to you.

Admission Info

Application Fee is $5 (instructions in description)

If accepted to the retreat, registration is as follows:

Price: $298 by November 15.

Early Bird Discount: -$50 if paid in full by midnight November 1st

Returning Discount: -$100 for previous retreat attendees who pay by midnight November 1st

The first ten people who pay receive one-on-one conferences with a facilitator.

Phone: 864-513-1894


Dates & Times

2015/12/26 - 2015/12/30

Location Info

Santee State Park

251 State Park Rd, Santee, SC 29142