Megan Tilley’s “Puddle” feat. in Quail Bell Magazine

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce that Megan Tilley’s poem, “Puddle,” is featured in the new issue of Quail Bell Magazine.  Megan Tilley, one of the one of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s interns has been instrumental in planning the CWW’s upcoming Pre-Thanksgiving Yoga, Writing, and Juice Cleanse Retreat in Quail Bell Magazine (November 22-23). In the interview, the CWW shares tips on creating a creative discipline of writing, yoga, and self-care.  If you are interested in the CWW’s Pre-Thanksgiving Yoga, Writing, and Juice Cleanse Retreat, there is a limited time reduced registration fee. It will only last until Thursday, November 20th at 11 p.m., so apply now! – Jessica Reidy

by Megan Tilley

The bodies around me dream of poppies, draped half-lidded across scratchy couches. Science fiction is all that plays on the television, and I watch tin can space crafts drift in and out of stars, fingers of both hands on two different pulses to make sure there’s still life in their veins. I can feel the wet thumping through the pad of my thumb as space flashes by me and I wonder if this is how god feels.

When the azaleas are in bloom we go walking among the fires of their blooms, grass soft underfoot. Golden bourbon sings in our veins, softening in the shadows and the sunlight that shines through lazy-branched oaks. There are notches in the park from the great war, where men hung like the wind chimes on my grandmother’s porch. She drinks sweet tea like it was water from Jordan, says words so gentle they melt in your mouth like rose hips.

Summer closes. The trees bear heavy fruits, skin smooth under grasping palms. He takes a bite, juice running along his jaw, autumn sweet. We dangle our feet over rock edges, where fish dappled orange and yellow gape pink mouths wide. He says how sad it is that they their pond is all they know. I look to the north, at a horizon unsmudged by mountains, at the trees still summer-bleached forming a cup of its own, a puddle shimmering in unending sun where we swim day after day, pretending it’s the ocean.

Rita Banerjee & Diana Norma Szokolyai’s “Mis/Translations” feat. in Quail Bell Magazine

Who-LambThis month, Quail Bell Magazine will be curating and publishing a series of “Mis/Translations” poems by Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai are the founders and directors of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop (CWW). You can read about the CWW’s upcoming Pre-Thanksgiving Yoga, Writing, and Juice Cleanse Retreat in Quail Bell Magazine. In the interview, the CWW shares tips on creating a creative discipline of writing, yoga, and self-care.  Rita also discusses the creative writing invention exercise “Mis/Translations” and how it can help kick-start your writing. Rita’s poem, “Who Lamb” was inspired by a Mis/Translation exercise at the last CWW Verderonne retreat. Norma read her own poem, “hullám/wave” in Hungarian and Rita “Mis/Translated” based entirely on the sound and feel of  words that were foreign to her.  – Jessica Reidy

by Diana Norma Szokolyai
(to be read out loud simultaneously in Hungarian & English)

Az állando hullám                                The continuous wave
igaznak hangzik                                     rings true
egymással keresztbe futó hullámok              cross sea
elmerülök a hullám sírban                       I am submerged in a watery grave
érzed?                                                   Do you feel it?
Már jön az érzelmi hullám                       The tidal wave is already coming
Az égbe nyúlik                                       It is reaching for the sky
és a felhök, gyáva mint a nyúl                   and the clouds, timid as rabbits
hallom a folyamatos hullámot                   I hear the continuous wave
beszélsz hullámositásokat                                    you are talking channelings
szeizmikus hullámok idógörbéje                time curve,
a hajadba, hullámos papirszalag             in your hair, streamers
hullám, hullám                                       wave, wave,
hullám                                                  wave

Who Lamb*
by Rita Banerjee

Who lamb.
Who’s into who lamb?
Igor likes Congo Music,
Caress my photo, who lamb.
He said Marion bring me a who lamb,

Azaleas on the bank,
Hollow as eggs
On the bank

Best who lamb with chocolate
Seismic who lamb
Igor likes to pay
For it with
Who lamb
Who lamb
Who lamb

* A “Mis/Translation” of Diana Norma Szokolyai’s poem “hullám/wave.”

Check out the on-going series of “Mis/Translations” poems by Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai at Quail Bell Magazine!  If you are interested in the CWW’s Pre-Thanksgiving Yoga, Writing, and Juice Cleanse Retreat (November 22-23), there is a limited time reduced registration fee. It will only last until Thursday November 20th, so apply now!

CWW Interview in Quail Bell Magazine about Yoga, Writing, Juice Cleansing, & our Pre-Thanksgiving Retreat

We are delijuiceghted that “Writing Through Holiday Stress: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop on Pre-Thanksgiving Retreat” is in Quail Bell Magazine. You’ll find our tips and tricks for cultivating our writing and self-care rituals; our perspectives on the supportive relationships between yoga, Ayurveda, juice cleansing, and creative regimen; our SPECIAL REDUCED RATE for registration (only lasts till Thursday!); more information about what the retreat entails; and even a juice recipe to get you started at home. We hope you can join us in New York this weekend, but if you can’t this is the next best thing.  Read the interview here and sign up for our retreat here!

Gypsy in Paris: novel research and Jazz Manouche at L’atelier Charonne in Quail Bell Magazine

jessica reidy

I’m so excited that my Paris Gypsy Jazz bar travelogue is in Quail Bell Magazine. I just came back from a fantastic work/play adventure that began in the much re-blogged Cambridge Writers’ Workshop‘s infamous Yoga and Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne in Picardy, France, at which I was both a participant and a visiting professor. That then transitioned beautifully into about a week of solo research in Paris. The only way I could think to express this experience was sampling my journal, gushing over the most wonderful little Gypsy Jazz bar, L’atelier Charonne, and putting in a little Paris-photo gallery for this little piece. I know I can’t do it justice, but it was nice to take a shot at it. I was also lucky to see a bunch of friends in France– Gina La Piana, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko, the CWW femme fatales 

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Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Interviewed about France Yoga & Writing Retreat in Quail Bell Magazine

9520443_orig Jessica Reidy, Puschart Nominee, proud VIDA Member, novelist, and yoga practitioner, interviews Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, and Elissa Joi Lewis for her new piece on the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer Yoga & Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne in Picardy, France in Quail Bell Magazine.  In the article, Jessica Reidy discusses how daily yoga, craft of writing seminars, and workshops go hand in hand to spark creativity, encourage relaxation, and produce good writing habits.  She writes:

That’s when I heard about the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop (CWW), founded by writers Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee, and their Summer Yoga & Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne, France. I thought, A retreat—what a magnificent idea. Someone would say, “Jess, do yoga now. Here’s a pillow.” And “Jess, write now. I’ll take care of lunch.” I’d pay for that. A few months later, there I was.Retreats are immersions: they deepen and intensify your practice and afford the time, space, and experience to figure out how to transmute those teaching as rituals in your daily life. And Château de Verderonne feels like a sumptuous two week ritual. Yoga in the gardens or, weather not permitting, in our private salon, is led twice a day, before breakfast and dinner, by the wonderfully gifted Elissa Joi Lewis, who also teaches art classes.

And it was in the Château de Verderonne workshop that I got good advice on how to rein that puppy in. Outside of yoga class, there are allotted times for free-writing, workshops, and craft talks, all of which made me realize how much I needed a non-judgmental writing community. An MFA is a lot of great things, but most MFA workshops don’t necessarily give you room to make (many) mistakes. That’s what your community of writers is for—they are the friends you can trust (inside and outside an MFA) to look at your messy, fragile baby bird novel, as ugly and wet as it is, and not to smash it into the ground. Instead, they’ll give you advice to help it grow up into some more presentable stage of bird. And whether I was in yoga class or workshop at the retreat, I had room to experiment and could trust gentle yet wise guidance. Yoga asks the practitioner to sacrifice her ego, just as the writer must surrender her ego in order to allow herself the space to draft and try out those imperfect ideas. (Or lay those imperfect eggs? I don’t want to stretch this metaphor too much.)

With the combination of drifting around the Château with blissfully few responsibilities and the structure of the retreat, I was impressively productive even though I went on all the optional excursions to Paris, Chantilly, Picardy, and Versailles. I outlined the entire novel, wrote new scenes, and revised old ones, and came away with a real plan. I even shared some of the work I had written at Spoken Word Paris, an indie literary performance gathering, mostly comprised of expat writers.  – Jessica Reidy (Full Interview at Quail Bell Magazine)

Please Note:  Although Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer Yoga & Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne, France has passed its initial deadline, admissions are rolling until filled, and there are still a few spaces.  Apply A.S.A.P.  Rolling admissions will be accepted until June 15, 2014.