Thursday, February 07, 2013

A Poet on the Coast: by Patty Kinney

Susan Rich had Patty Kinney, one of the incredible women I met at our last Poets on the Coast Retreat, as a guest blogger.  Patty wrote about her first experience at our retreat, and I thought I'd share it here as well as it's  a lovely snapshot of the weekend and her memories....

Being a Poet on the Coast: By Patty Kinney--


I was not a person who liked being around a bunch of women before this experience.

Now, I embrace it.

I do a lot of lucid dreaming. My desires inform my dreams. Two years ago when I yearned to travel to Newport, Oregon to attend Poets On The Coast, a writing retreat for women, I just couldn’t swing it. Life got in the way. Still, it lodged itself like a sliver in my subconscious.Honestly,  I wasn’t crazy about spending the weekend with a bunch of strangers, especially women. But the dreams didn’t stop; the sliver festered.


Last September, when the retreat was in it’s second year, I became a Poet On The Coast

My drive from Olympia to the Oregon Coast took place on the hottest day of the year. I left behind a very ill mother and a sunburned child. I arrived early, happy to discover an Irish Pub near the 100 year old Sylvia Beach Hotel. I needed a Guinness to brave all these women. 

An hour later, I checked in to the Neverland of writerly hotels. Each room is named for writers, novelists, poets - dead and alive. I lugged by vintage suitcase to the Alice Walker room, opened the door and cried. I’d been to Uganda twice. The room was a near replica of a cabana I stayed in while on safari in East Aftica. I poked around other rooms (they leave them open before guests arrive). I was bookended by John Steinbeck and Virginia Woolf. I checked out Colette (posh), Mark Twain ( stately), Dr. Seuss (whimsical).

When it came time to meet the women, I took the stairs one by one. My feet moved so slowly I was sure they were drugged. As I reached the Mark Twain room, other women began to filter in. Renee from Canada, Angie from California, Amber from West Virginia - two dozen in all. The entire Pacific Northwest and beyond represented. We were recently homeless women, lawyers, teachers, nurse practitioners. We wore bare feet, Birkenstocks, slippers and Italian sandals. I was immediately intimidated. My inner child sucked it’s thumb. . .


Thank you, Patty!



~ Kells


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1 comment:

  1. Just read about Poets on the Coast. Love the idea. Would love love love to join.

    ReplyDelete

Always love to hear from you...and the anonymous option is open for those feeling shy.

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