The Philly Pigeon believes that taking time to get out of the city, enjoy nature, experience new places and relax is an important part of building community and cultivating a sustainable creative practice. From 2017 to 2019 we took the top 4-5 poets from our grand slam finals on an all expenses paid poets retreat. Attendees then formed the cast of our multidisciplinary poetry production.
Many retreats are inaccessible because they either cost too much money or acceptance is determined by gatekeepers. The Pigeon’s retreat was completely free and the majority of the participants were selected by the slam, which is judged by random members of the audience. There were opportunities for artists of other mediums to apply to attend the retreat without participating in the slam.
During the retreat, participants enjoyed healthy meals made by our retreat chef, facilitated workshops and had free time/space to create, explore, play, or simply rest.
Each year our location alternated between Underhill, Vermont, where attendees can participate in writing, visual art, and movement workshops while surrounded by lush forests, and Treasure Beach, Jamaica, where poets can attend the Calabash Literary Festival while enjoying tropical bliss.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic our retreats are on pause as we seek additional funding for this program.