Poetry on Demand

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Our crew at Poetry on Demand at the White Street Walk on Friday. What a great night! On the left are poets Cynthia Peterson, Joan Barrett-Roberts and Ruth Weinstein. Steven Foster talked with Poet Mary Meriam, right, before she wrote a poem just for him.

Books in Bloom 2019

Ruth Weinstein (left) and Cynthia Peterson helped out at the annual Books in Bloom Festival May 19 at the Crescent Hotel. It's an event put on by the Carroll and Madison Public Library Foundation and features authors of bestsellers and writers from many genres sharing stories of their journeys and a look into how they practice their craft. This year's writers included Jeffery Deaver, Chris Bohjalian, Lauren Wilkinson, James Dean and Wilen Cash. 

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New York writer awarded Aging Mind Fellowship

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Jodi M. Savage is the recipient of The Aging Mind Fellowship for 2018 at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Ark. Jodi, a writer and attorney in New York City, was chosen from 19 entries for The Aging Mind Fellowship, awarded to a writer working on a project about Alzheimer’s, dementia or the effects of aging on the brain.


During her two-week fellowship, she will be working on an essay collection about caring for her grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Her work will explore the ways in which race, gender, class and faith influence how Black people experience Alzheimer’s.

Essay topics include how police treat individuals with mental illness, dementia and intellectual disabilities; how Black people’s religious and cultural attitudes about mental illness affect their willingness to seek treatment for Alzheimer’s disease; and why it’s important to honor religious and cultural beliefs and practices of Black Alzheimer’s patients.


Jodi’s nonfiction has appeared in Catapult, Kweli Journal, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and The Establishment. Jodi is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a contributing editor for Kweli Journal.


In 2016, Jodi founded the literary event Writers Slam for Alzheimer’s to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Jodi can be found online at and on Twitter (@macreflections).


The Aging Mind Fellowship provides for two weeks of free residency at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.


The Writers' Colony would like to thank Wayne Clark for his generous support of this fellowship.

Texas screenwriter awarded Moondancer Fellowship

Cora J. Duffy is the recipient of the 2018 Moondancer Fellowship at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Ark. Cora Jessica is a screenwriter, poet and essayist whose writing often explores place and one's connection to or longing for a particular place.


Cora Jessica will continue work on her feature-length screenplay, White-haired Goldenrod, during her time at the Colony. It is a script that immerses the Braun sisters, two senior-aged scientists and key players in early 20th century forest conservation, in the lush wilderness of Appalachia.


Cora Jessica grew up in small town, rural Kentucky. For the last two summers, she has been leading travel tours to Yellowstone National Park. She believes the world is a wellspring of stories and is especially interested in projects that encourage child and elder storytelling.


She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University and a MFA in Screenwriting from the UCR Palm Desert Low-Residency program. The film treatment for White-haired Goldenrod was an Official Finalist at the Cannes and New York Screenplay Contests and a Round II qualifier for the Sundance Sloan Commissioning Grant. Her experimental nonfiction, "Tone Poem No. 1: 'Für Nabokov,'" is published by Story|Houston.


Cora Jessica lives in Dallas where she is currently developing the travel web series for kids, Huddleston Hermit Crab, a collaboration with her husband, children's entertainment producer/puppeteer Matt Daniel. The goal for Huddleston is the same as that of White-haired Goldenrod: to remind us, in these techno-progressive times, that an extraordinary place awakens our senses, inspirations, gut truths and memories.


The Moondancer Fellowship is awarded to an author writing in any genre who expresses their love of and concern for the environment through their writing. This fellowship provides for two weeks of free residency at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.

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Environmental journalist awarded Fellowship

Jeremy Hance has hiked beneath the canopy of the Amazon, paddled in the Okavango Delta, and chased orangutans in Borneo. He has traveled the world in search of rare species and pristine places, routinely putting himself in situations that would spike anyone’s anxiety, despite being diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder OCD at the age of 26.


Jeremy, a freelance environmental and science journalist, is the recipient of the 2018 From Mental Illness to Wellness Fellowship at the Writers’ Colony.


While at the Writers’ Colony, he will be working on a memoir-nature project, “Not Built For Travel,” showcasing the sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant, but always candid stories of what it’s like to be a serious environmental journalist with mental illness. It also explores our relationship to the wild, including a look at new research on why nature – yes, nature – may be the answer to our mental health crisis.


He currently writes a column for Mongabay, known globally for its reporting and analysis on the environment, called “Saving Life on Earth: Words on the Wild.” Prior to this, he wrote a blog in the Guardian called “Radical Conservation.” 

As a senior staff writer and editor for Mongabay for six years, he wrote more than 3,000 articles for the website and still writes regularly for them as a senior correspondent. He has written two series recently on one of his favorite species, the Sumatran rhino. Hance's articles have also appeared in HuffPost, The Sydney Morning Herald, Ensia, Yale E360, and Alert: Conservation among other outlets. 

When not traveling to the far ends of the Earth, Jeremy lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, daughter, and two pups.

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Books in Bloom 2018

Books in Bloom on May 20 this year featured authors Deborah Crombie, best known for the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mystery series; Marcus Sakey, whose newest book is "Afterlife"; and Lisa Wingate, author of "Before We Were Yours". Martin Philip, Arkansas native and head baker for the King Arthur Flour Company, was also a guest and talked about his new book "Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey Home in 75 Recipes". As always, it was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, celebrating books and the writers who produce them for us.

Board member Woody Barlow, left in photo at left, paid a visit to the Writers' Colony table at Books in Bloom at the Crescent Hotel. WCDH Director Linda Caldwell, at left and above, greeted visitors and shared information about the Colony in between sneaking off to listen to authors speak.

Randolph School's 2018 Spring break visit

Students worked on all kinds of projects at the Colony, including book art, left, and writing poetry based on the Zodiac, above.

Spray-painting galaxies

A budding clothing designer made a pair of retro bellbottoms while other students worked on paintings and drawings.

US-China Poetry Dialogue delights

Eureka Springs audience

Those lucky enough to be at the Writers' Colony Oct. 25 got to hear some incredible poetry from some of the most renowned poets from China and the U.S. Poets with the US-China Poetry Dialogue, a collaboration between the University of Oklahoma, Beijing University and the Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series, performed at the Writers' Colony, where they were in residence.


During their week-long stay in the area, the poets and critics will give poetry readings and engage audiences at the Fred Jones Museum of Art in Norman, Okla., and on Nov. 26 will be at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.


Xi Chaun (far left) is one f the most influential contemporary poets in China. He has several collections of poetry and has translated African and English poetry into Chinese. He teaches Classical Chinese Literature at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.


Hank Lazer (left) has 24 books of poetry and has translated editions of his work in China, Italy and Cuba. He was awarded the Harper Lee Award for a lifetime of achievement in literature and is a Professor Emeritus and Associate Provost Emeritus at the university of Alabama. 


Denis Mair (below, far left) translated some of Wang Guangming's poetry. Denis is a poet and translator and has taught Chinese at University of Pennsylvania and Whitman College. Wang is a Professor of Arts at Capital University, Chair of the Chinese Department and Director of the Chinese Poetry Studies program.


Stephen Fredman (below, middle) is a poetics scholar. He has been awarded a number of fellowships and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. 


Jonathan Stalling (below) is  an English Professor from University of Oklahoma. He was the moderator.

Maryland writer awarded mental health fellowship

We are delighted to announce Liat Katz as the recipient of the From Mental Illness to Wellness Fellowship for 2017 at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Ark.


Liat describes herself as the literary lovechild of David Sedaris and Sylvia Plath. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a late-in-life writer. Her work has been published in Lilith, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, Gargoyle, Kveller, and the narrative medicine websites PulseVoices and KevinMD. She is a graduate of the New Directions writing program through the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.


“I write to make sense of the world I see through the lens of a mom, a clinician, a patient, a wife, and a person just muddling through life,” she says.


Liat lives in Rockville, Maryland with her wife, two daughters, four cats and a bunny.


From Mental Illness to Wellness is awarded to an author working on a nonfiction story of success about the journey from mental illness to wellness. This fellowship provides for two weeks of free residency at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.

Moondancer Fellowship recipient focusing on fracking

We are delighted to announce Maryann Lesert as the recipient of the Moondancer Fellowship for 2017 at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Ark.


In all of Maryann’s writing, the natural world and its human inhabitants are equally prominent and intertwined. From her first play, “Superwoman” (1998), a 90-minute warning of technologies that threaten to erase our biological sense of place, to Threshold, her current novel-in-progress about environmental activists working to stop fracking in Michigan’s state forests, Maryann’s work is equally inspired and supported by time with the natural world.


Threshold grew from two years of boots-on-well-sites research on fracking in Michigan’s state forests. An excerpt from Threshold appears in Fracture, Essays, Poems, and Stories about Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016). From 2012 to the present, Maryann has presented her research on the scientific, sensory, and community effects of fracking in a presentation titled “Fracking in the Forest,” to over 50 academic, environmental, and public audiences across the state.


Maryann is a playwright, novelist, and journalist who teaches creative writing at Grand Rapids Community College. From 1999-2006, she was a Resident Company Playwright with Actors & Playwrights Initiative of Kalamazoo, Michigan. During her API years, six short plays and three of Maryann’s full lengths received productions, awards, and publication. Two of her one-act plays appear in The Art of the One-Act (New Issues, 2007) and Smith & Kraus’s Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2007 (2008).  In 2003, Maryann completed a Master of Fine Art in Writing at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and her first novel, Base Ten, was published by the Feminist Press in 2009.


The Moondancer Fellowship is awarded to an author writing in any genre who expresses their love of and concern for the environment through their writing. This fellowship provides for two weeks of free residency at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.

Inspiring Recovery Fellowship donors share dinner with recipient

Some of the donors to the Inspiring Recovery Fellowship shared dinner last night, July 11, with fellowship recipient Molly Eagan. Molly received the fellowship to work on a book about complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Guests included (left to right) Sharon Spurlin, Molly, Sandra Templeton, Valerie Damon, writer-in-residence Lyzette Wanzer and Sally Gorrell. It was a great evening of shared stories, perceptions and ideas over the wonderful cooking of the Colony's Jana Jones. Other donors to the fellowship included Jill Slane, Elise Roenigk, Jim Fredericks, Bryan Manire and Beverly Hanby.

May Festival of the Arts

Ruth Weinstein and Cyndi Petersen at books in Bloom, May 21 2017

Books in Bloom

Books in Bloom was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, as Writers' Colony residents Ruth Weinstein (far left) and Cyndi Petersen discovered May 21 in the gardens of the Crescent Hotel.

Melancholy Notes

Artist Dan Morris created a beautiful sculpture (right) as part of Yard Art May 2017 and was kind enough to display it at the Writers' Colony. It is for sale for $850; part of the proceeds go to WCDH.

Melancholy Notes, a sculpture by Dan Morris displayed at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow

Poetry on Demand at the White Street Walk

Poet Karen Hayes and Chris Fischer at the Poetry on Demand tent at the White Street Walk May 19 2017

Four poets produced Poetry on Demand at the White Street Walk on Friday, May 19. For a mere $3 participants could have a poem written expressly for them. Chris Fischer, above, and Mary Tait were kind enough to host our tent in their parking lot. Poets Karen Hayes, above with Chris, Jocelyn Morelli, middle top, Cyndi Petersen, top right, and Ruth Weinstein, not pictured, were the poets who made the magic happen. A few people were moved to tears by the works produced,but the most common reaction was joy, like that shown on Janie Clarks face, far right with Poet Karen Hayes. 

Poet Jocelyn Morelli at teh WCDH Poetry on Demand tent at the White Street Walk
Poet Karen Hayes writing a porm at Poetry on Demand
Poet Cyndi Petersen at the Poetry on Demand tent 2017
Happy poem recipient Janie Clark and poet Karen Hayes at the White Street Walk Poetry on Demand tenf ro the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow

Randolph School's Spring break visit

The Randolph School kids went back to Huntsville, Alabama this morning, March 9 of 2017, and the Writers' Colony is so quiet without them. A group of juniors and seniors comes up every Spring break to spend time in Eureka Springs and work on their final projects. We had writers, singers, a pianist and a ukulele player, an architectural designer, a young man writing code to teach his computer how to recognize written language, a painter and a sculptor. This was their fourth year to share their break with us, and I hope we get many more.

Fellowship project to focus on healing after sexual assault

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is no longer a diagnosis limited to soldiers returning from a war zone. Counselor and mediator Susan Kraus will be writing a self-help guide for rape victims suffering from PTSD during her fellowship at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.


There has been a drastic shift in the definition of rape and the potential to prosecute, Susan writes, because of the prevalence of the “hook-up” culture and the acceptance by many young people that casual sexual contacts are the norm. Everything that used to be considered evidence – ripped clothing, bruising, semen, going to a hospital, reporting to the police – is moot once someone says it was consensual.


Susan has started working with young women who have been raped but cannot prove it. Their friends say “Get over it” and “Don’t make a big deal … it was just bad sex.” The police don’t believe them, courts and universities can do nothing.


“Their PTSD is unique and insidious, and they carry guilt and self-blame around in their emotional back-packs (if they even remain in school.) When a woman is raped by a stranger, myriad fears and anxieties must be dealt with,” Susan writes.

“But when a young woman is raped by a boy she flirted with and would have liked to date, the damage can be worse. She distrusts everyone. Everyone and everything is a potential danger. More significantly, she distrusts herself and her own judgment.

“There are many books about rape and rape recovery. But this form of rape is different. This post-trauma recovery process is different. The treatment approach must be different.”


Susan is the recipient of the 2016 Inspiring Recovery Fellowship, awarded to an emerging or established writer working on a nonfiction project concentrating on mental health issues and recovery. The Fellowship entitles the recipient to a two-week stay at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, in beautiful and charming Eureka Springs, Arkansas.


She has worked with military members, their spouses and families and as a Licensed Domestic Mediator for the State of Kansas. She has worked as a freelance writer for years, is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and has published two books, “Fall From Grace” And “All God’s Children” that feature a middle-aged female protagonist who is a therapist and mediator.

Panama adventures net Moondancer Fellowship

We are delighted to announce Alia Hamdan as the recipient of the Moondancer Fellowship for 2016 at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Ark. She will be spending two weeks at the Colony working on her short young adult novel loosely based on her travels and adventures in the ecosystems of Panama. She traveled through Panama as part of an ecological study with Virginia Commonwealth University.


"I was an untested desk and armchair naturalist when I ventured into Panama and only a mild birder. When I emerged from the trials that the natural world inflicts upon the naïve, I was changed. I had been through hell on my part, though indeed I had volunteered for it. But I had also seen the most amazing things, the most colorful and diverse species that I have ever laid eyes on, far more than I could ever have imagined,” she said.


“There are over 800 species along the Panama Canal alone which is still more than all the avian species in the entire continental United States. I saw trees which could only be as thick as elephants and a mile tall. I became stuck in the deepest mangrove mud among the garbage of our human societies that littered the forests, certain I would never emerge. I was bitten by innumerable and unidentifiable creatures and pooped on by the species I had come there to study. I climbed and crawled up muddy hills, through dense rainforests and air so humid that it seemed swimmable, and up the steepest trails I had ever seen, so long that my companions and I were certainly far out of earshot and lost from each other on several occasions. I was dead-sure I would never return home to see my family at several points. Every minute was a trial and a moment where I had to ask myself if I would fight or fly or surrender.”


Alia will share her adventures during an event while she’s at the Writer’s Colony in October.


The Moondancer Fellowship is awarded to an author writing in any genre who expresses their love of and concern for the environment through their writing.

Alia Hamdan Moondancer Fellow 2016

Tulsa writer chosen for My Time Fellowship

We are delighted to announce Keija Parssinen as the recipient of the My Time Fellowship for 2016 at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Ark. She will be spending two weeks at the Colony working on her third novel, “Nostalgiaville,” which she describes as “a literary work of psychological suspense that plays with the Gothic tradition”.


Keija is the author of “The Ruins of Us,” which earned a Michener-Copernicus Award and was long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize, and “The Unraveling of Mercy Louis,” which won an Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her writing has appeared in The Lonely Planet Better Than Fiction travel writing anthologies, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Salon, Five Chapters, This Land, Marie Claire, and elsewhere.


She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She is now an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Tulsa. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son.


Thanks to a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, My Time is designed to support parents who are also writers. It provides a writer with children under 18 living with them a two-week residency at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, along with a stipend to help cover the cost of lost work or child care.

Fleur Delicious Samplings and Sips

We had a wonderful time creating the "Outlander" 19th Century fantasy at The Writers' Colony for the July 5 Fleur Delicious kickoff party. We owe a huge thank you to all the people who helped us make this event such a hit, including Vintage Soul Events for the fabulous transformation of the Writers Colony, Railway Winery, Grotto Wood-Fired Grill and Wine Cave, Eureka Zen, Teresa Pelliccio Art, Loretta Young Legacy Project, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese, Sandy Royce Martin, Mackenzie Doss, Molly Sroges, Sunshine Landscaping, Ilene Powell, Dori Thomas, Vicki Adams, and Kitchen Magician Jana Jones, who created all those beautiful desserts in the photo. It was a wonderful event and the perfect beginning to the Fleur Delicious festivities. Click the link below for a video.

Books in Bloom 2016

WCDH Director Linda Caldwell at Books in Bloom 2016
Diane Les Becquets and Sanderia Faye, WCDH alums, at Books in Bloom 2016
Writers' Colony tent at Books in Bloom 2016

Books in Bloom was in its usual beautiful spot at the Crescent Hotel Conservatory and gardens. The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow shared a tent with alum Tayla Boerner, who was signing copies of her first novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee. She sold all her books, two cases full, during the afternoon event put on by the Carroll and Madison Public Library Foundation. WCDH Director Linda Caldwell, top left, staffed the tent with a little help from Colony friends and volunteers. Colony alums Diane Les Becquets, author of Breaking Wild, and Sanderia Faye, author of Mourning Bench, shared a tent, left. Sanderia also sold out of books at the event.

Poetry on Demand at the White Street Walk

Molly Sroges and Mackenzie Doss at the White Street Walk
Kenzie Doss hands a poem to John Rankine at teh Poetry on demand tent at the White Street Walk

     Molly Sroges (left, back) and Mackenzie Doss (left, front) typed up original poems on demand at the White Street Walk in May. The two wore 1920s garb and crafted roughly 100 poems during this fundraiser for the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. Mackenzie, right, swears that's her deep-in-thought face and not a sneer.

Kenzie Doss deep in thought at the Poetry on Demand tent fundraiser for WCDH