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Feeding the Muse

Kavanaugh is setting for
Green River poetry retreat

Local poetry group supports
budding, experience writers

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (November 2010) – Anna Lucas’ first retreat experience with the Green River Writer’s Inc. was in 2004 and she has participated in almost every one that has been offered since then. Writers’ helping other writers is what the literary group is all about.
“The moment I walked in the room at the first retreat, I felt that I belonged there,” said Lucas. The first person she met was Mary O’Dell, president and founder of the Green River Writers Inc. “She is a warm, open-armed woman and a wonderful writer and mentor.”

Georgia Wallace

Wallace

Lucas, who writes poetry and a few short stores from time to time, has been published in The Heartland Review, The National Catholic Reporter, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Right Hand Pointing.
Lucas has gained valuable experience from the Green River Writers. “We encourage each other and learn from each other,” she said. “There’s no rigid agenda at any of the retreats. I especially enjoy the critiquing sessions.” Lucas was co-chair of the 2010 Green River Writers writing contest.
The Green River Writers is a not-for-profit founded in 1984 to support writers through education, promotion and fellowship.
Lucas will be one of many writers taking part in the upcoming Green River Writers Poetry Retreat held Nov. 4-7 at Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center in Crestwood, Ky. Novice and seasoned writers are welcome to attend.
“We value the involvement of every participant, beginning writers as well as the well-published,” said O’Dell. “You never know who will have the answer to your question, the ability to fill your needs.”
The Green River Writers have been conducting retreats for the past 25 years. Four annual retreats are held: a poetry retreat in November, a prose retreat in March, and two additional retreats in January and July.
“I have participated in this retreat numerous times and keep returning because of the outstanding critiquing I receive on my work, as well as the support and friendship of other writers,” said Middletown, Ky., resident Georgia Wallace. Wallace became acquainted with O’Dell about 22 years ago at a writer’s conference in Eastern Kentucky. “We have been friends and colleagues ever since.”
Wallace mainly writes poetry and describes her style as “revolving around the universe of family and place, a close up picture of the past and present.” Many of the retreat participants are well-published poets, Wallace said, but there are just as many who are not.
As an active member of the Green River writers for 23 years, “I try to attend all of the annual retreats,” Wallace said, as well as other local and region workshop weekends. “I am eagerly looking forward to participating in this year’s poetry retreat and the giving over of my days and nights solely to writing and reading poetry, to participating in group writing and critiquing sessions, and welcoming returning participants again and to meeting new participants.”
Wallace said her writing would not be at the level it is today “without the feedback and support of this great group of writers. For me, the annual Poetry Retreat always turns out to be a weekend of harvest and thanksgiving.”
Monthly prose meetings for the Green River Writers are held the second Sunday of each month from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at O’Dell’s home. Poetry meetings are held the first Saturday of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at homes of volunteer hosts. Due to the Poetry Retreat, the next poetry meeting will be held on Nov. 13.

• For more information, visit www.GreenRiverWriters.org or contact Mary O’Dell at (502) 245-4902.

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