Resident Experiences:

What have our previous residents said about their experience at the Rhinebeck Residency?

 

“Coming into the Rhinebeck Residency, I was extremely anxious because it was my first residency. But the moment I entered the space, I felt right at home. Krista, Joyce, and Brett made me feel immediately welcomed and supported. This residency reminded me how important it is to find a creative community of like-minded people. When you’re creating work on your own, it can be frustrating and lonely. As a designer/artist, I loved collaborating with people from different backgrounds during the workshop. It was extremely helpful to get various feedback from different perspectives and engage in dialogue about each of our works. And I loved the balance of alone time/free time and community gathering. Eating meals together helped foster intimate conversations and community building. Also, I think having Tatiana tell the story of the Crystal Cottage was a great way to kick off the weekend! Overall I felt motivated and re-energized by the creative energy of the Crystal Cottage and the other residents. There is power in collectively showing up to do the work.”

— Bianca Ng, Residency III

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“The Rhinebeck Residency is all about generosity and conversation. The owner of a beautiful property volunteers the space and the backstory, The Seventh Wave editors bring in amazing food and the most stimulating questions one could think of to get the weekend started. Each editor has a different approach to creative work and, together, they run a very challenging and respectful workshop that proved to be both nurturing and provoking, as all workshops should be. I took a plane, a train and a car to join the Rhinebeck bunch this 2018, and once there I found the perfect combination of solitude and conversation that made every mile traversed a small price to pay for such an uplifting weekend. The Seventh Wave Residency Program is, in my book, an uprising star I can’t wait to share with other creative minds back home.”

— Paulette Jonguitud, Residency III

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The Rhinebeck Residency really gave me the freedom to explore my own creative process without the burden of distractions or expectations. The editors provided not only a safe haven for discourse, but for my mind and body to wander. I have to admit that on the first day, I was like a goldfish swimming in circles, not realizing I’d been transported from a bowl to a pond. Learning to relax and lean into spontaneity took some time (and a few swings in the hammock), but it was a necessary step in giving my voice some much needed space. … The workshop session was SO helpful and it really brought us residents together. Even though I’ve been in workshopping environments before, it’s always a scary prospect to have intense discussions about personal work with people I know, let alone a group of strangers. But once you realize that everyone is there for the same reason, with the same doubts and the same demons, that fear dissipates quickly.”

— Tara Rose Stromberg, Residency III

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“I’m one of those unfortunate writers who has yet to master self-discipline. There is always a Facebook update, a nagging worry about finances, health issues, or troubled friends, frustration with the state of my home, another paper to grade, another email to draft. I am awkwardly and painfully lumbering through this writer’s life, and that lightbulb moment of insight on how to turn this into grace eludes me. Applying to the residency was a call for help from that voice in me that refuses to give up. And that voice was affirmed x1000 this weekend. I woke at 3 AM to write the night after my return, and I begin two new pieces that I had not conceived of until that moment. It must have been the soft pine needles against my feet, the yeasty forest air, the dragonfly races over the pond. But it was just as much the listening that happened between us. Thank you for the way you listened. It made me want to keep on speaking.”

— Anna Fridlis, Residency II

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“This was my first residency experience. Used to the solitary nature of writing, it was out of my comfort zone to embark on a weekend with new people in an unknown place. I am so grateful that I did. It was an uplifting and nourishing experience to share, discuss, contribute, belong, hear and be heard (and grill and imbibe!). When we went around the table on Sunday to share parting thoughts, I felt a lump in my throat — which spoke to a precious connection forged in a mere 48 hours.”

— Eve Lederman, Residency I

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“Rhinebeck is magic, and my residency with Seventh Wave was a conduit. I didn’t think it was possible for a handful of days to pull me out of a creative slump that had lasted more than a handful of years, but I was so wrong. The setting is beautiful, the lodging was charming, and the food was awesome. I owe the amazing writers and editors I spent that weekend with a debt of gratitude.”

— Lauren Friel, Residency II

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“The Rhinebeck Residency was the first writing residency I have had the opportunity to attend. The unknowns preluding the weekend were intimidating, leaving me to feel quite out of my element as I drove upstate to a location where I had never been to spend a weekend in an isolated home with seven people I had never met. The premise of every grisly film flashed through my head as I turned down a gravel road that wound its way into the woods and out of sight of the main road. I took a deep breath before I turned off my engine, told myself it would be magical, and stepped into the novel experience of Rhinebeck. I was immediately welcomed and comforted by the warm smiles radiating from a group that was gathered on red chairs surrounding a long table perched on the back deck. The serenity only a mountain abyss can muster was immediate. Keyboards, books, pens and colored pencils scattered the table, each individual’s method of choice set out before them. These were my people, and I was welcome. The flow of conversation and ease of craft incited a sense of romanticism I thought was privy only to the artistic elite or encapsulated in the days of Hemingway long ago in Paris – but here I was, suddenly belonging to that culture, sharing whiskey and theories beneath a star speckled sky, the scent of cigars lingering on the warm summer breeze, our conversations providing vocals to the cricket’s song. At Rhinebeck, ideas both written and spoken flowed like steady rainwater upon the crystal glass atrium under which we would gather. At Rhinebeck, the world became limpid and we all belonged.”

— Georgia Lavey, Residency I

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“Rhinebeck was my first residency. The first time I said, yeah, this will help, this is what I need for my writing, and someone said back, yeah. Okay. I came to Rhinebeck carrying two six-packs and a big duffel bag, knowing no one. In the middle of a five-year project that I’m just now coming to the end of, excited and a little afraid to write something new. Alone with a group of strangers who became friends, miles from anywhere — but within walking distance of the woods. I remember listening to Kesha beneath a mid-century greenhouse, the words just coming. Sitting out on the porch and arguing about art and morality until the summer night chill got to me. Striding across the mown grass toward the last night’s gala, then racing home through the dark on the back of a golf cart, the landscape rushing away from me. It was all so intimate, so personal. The food, impressively good and yet very homemade. The conversations, about flat earthers and the freelance life, about Joe Henry and whether that was a muskrat down by the pond. The writing, piling up so fast and so true. It’s hard to accept, looking back, how short the time was, and how much we made of it.”

— T.B. Grennan, Residency II