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Poetry: Coming and Going

A Day-long Poetic Retreat

The River House

Sunday, April 7, 9:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Join poet, publisher and story-teller, Michael Czarnecki, and local River House poet, John Berry as they lead a day-long poetic retreat exploring where poetry comes from, and how we send it back out into the world. In this program, we will be exploring the ways in which we are able to voice our poetry; through the spoken and written word and how the inspirited Spirit of Poetry asks us to share.

Michael and John will be inviting conversation into living in the present moment, honoring our creative spirit, and listening deeply when Inspiration calls. We will also be exploring the vulnerability of speaking your poem, writing Haiku, and learning to hold nothing back in your writing.

Round robin sharings of poetry throughout the day, and an open mic to cap off the retreat. Each participant will receive a chapbook to be published honoring the event with poems included from all in attendance.

The cost for the event is $50.00 per person, and will be held Sunday, January 27, from 9:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

The River House Café will be open all day serving food and beverages

(not included in the tuition).

Tentative Order of the Day:

9:30 – 10:00   Round Robin, sharing 1 short poem each

10:00 – 10:30  Intros

- Your name

- Where are you from

- No more than 5 words describing why you are here.

10:30 – 12:00  

Michael to speak on Spirit, Essence of Poetry, Living in the Moment, Where does Poetry come from? Open conversation about our experiences of poetry and inspiration, why we must write.

Segue into Haiku workshop with 20 minute minimum for participants to create haiku

12:00 – 1:00  Lunch break

1:00 – 1:30  Round Robin sharing of created Haiku

1:30 – 3:00  

Conversation:  How is it to speak your poem in public?  Vulnerability as the  

True essence of strength and connection to Spirit. Invitation to step outside

and read a poem to a tree or the river.

Returning back inside, continued conversation:  Where is your poetry going?

How does your sharing affect other people/yourself? Poetry as an oral art.

How do we walk our poems out into the world?

3:00 – 3:15   Short break

3:15 – 5:00

Writing from the heart, Holding nothing back.

Prompts as a tool but not a replacement for honest poetry.

An hour for participants to write.

5:00 – 6:00  Dinner

6:00 - 7:00  Reading from participants, open to the public but not an open-mic.

Tickets here: www.theriverhousewv.org/event-registration

For more information email

John Berry


Michael Czarnecki

John Berry is a poet and carpenter, reiki practitioner and wedding officiant living and working in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His third book of poetry, The Lawnmower Poems is scheduled to be released in 2019. While writing is essential in his life, it is the spoken word, the oral tradition of poetry that is holding greater significance and elemental power for him as the years pass. In this light John frequently hosts open mics and readings, and is a passionate promoter of the spoken word.

Michael Czarnecki is a poet, oral memoirist and small press publisher. He founded FootHills Publishing in 1986 and since then FootHills has released over 400 chapbooks and books of poetry. In 1994 Michael gave up other work to devote his time and life to poetry. Since then he has made his living solely through the creative word. In the last 20 years he has given hundreds of featured readings throughout the country. His Poems Across America Tour in 2013, a 14-week journey, featured a reading in each of the 48 contiguous states.