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VOL. 42 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 18, 2018

Residents ‘bray’ about their time at SAFTRA

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“Who says being an artist has to be a lonely endeavor? I left SAFTA inspired and excited to continue my work, having made a lot of progress, and having made new connections with a whole new group of fellow travelers on this narrow path strewn with words.”

Jennifer McCharren, Montgomery, Alabama

“A rooster crows. A donkey brays. The ducks and chickens come to greet you at the fence of their coop as you make your way to the wooded path in the foothills for a good midmorning run. And did I mention how fresh the eggs are? If like me, you have only ever had supermarket eggs, you are missing out. In my bright red room, painted with atavistic butterflies and a giant white oak tree (I think), I worked with a truly singular focus. And when I needed a change of scenery, I could work on the front porch, sitting on a porch swing. And the experience was capped off with a wonderful Holler Salon reading and dinner at Erin Elizabeth Smith’s house. These are truly generous and kind people and I cannot wait to go back and do it all over again.”

Carlo Matos, Chicago, lllinois

“It is so obvious to anyone visiting for the first time that Firefly Farms is a labor of love. From the handmade kitchen table to the hand-poured kitchen counters, to the whimsical and hilarious murals (I spent the week talking to the jet-pack toting pupa on my wall), every part of the place is touched with a beautiful combination of artistry and communal effort. My productivity sky-rocketed while I was here. After getting up to feed the small and friendly crew of animals (a new experience for me), I found myself more than ready to try new things while writing. In a week’s time, I was able to finish my first book manuscript and produce a chapbook’s worth of new work.”

Sara Biggs Chaney, White River Junction Vermont

“It would be impossible to say all the good things I’d like to say about SAFTA and my time at Firefly Farms. If you are looking to get away from it all, yet still feel connected to a larger community, then a residency at Firefly is the way to go. I had the solitude and resources (Wi-Fi, computers, printers, a huge library) to get a lot of writing and reading done, yet was still invited to participate in regular poetry workshops, a science fiction writing workshop, a grindhouse movie shoot, as well as SAFTA-sponsored readings. The accommodations are comfortable, and if you do lack for company, there are chickens, ducks, three sheep, a goat, and a donkey named Jayne. Thanks to Erin, Joe and T.A. for making me feel so welcome. My time spent was hugely rewarding both in terms of work accomplished, as well as new friends made.”

Michael Albright, Pittsburgh

Source: SAFTRA