• Rochelle Dsilva

Why The Poetry Retreat.

The reason behind creating this one-of-a-kind poetry residency.

A group photo of the poets who attended The Poetry Retreat along with a few of the mentors.
Poets from the first Poetry Retreat in Jul//Aug 2019

I started performing poetry way back in 2011. At that time, I was so hungry for perfection, the art form was new and I wanted to learn everything so I could write the best poems. I attended every workshop, every open mic and did everything I could to be immersed in the art form. It wasn't until a few years later that I started to discover my voice and my own unique way of telling stories. I have amassed a number of mentors and learn so much from each and every one.

Looking for opportunities to grow as an artist:

I had always dreamed of being a published poet, spoken word happened to me quite by accident, but after six years as a spoken word artist I had the opportunity to publish my solo collection of poems. Now I was truly coming to understand the difference between writing for the page and writing for performance. This is a distinction that still takes a lot of fine-tuning and unlearning. Through the years I have looked for opportunities to publish and perform my work but also for workshops where I can learn more and test new thought patterns. I have been a part of a few wonderful writing residencies and opportunities to engage with other poets and writers both in Australia and India. But what I found missing in India was a residency solely for poets that would equip you for anything poetry-related.

From seed to fruition:

It was a germ of an idea born about three years ago. I wanted to create something holistic for poets. A workshop or curriculum or residency that would guide, mentor, train and allow poets to look at poetry as a skill and not just a hobby or a side gig. And finally in 2019 I felt brave enough to put this residency out into the world and see if it would work, and boy did it surprise me! I could not have asked for a better group of poets and mentors to have started this journey with. The first edition of The Poetry Retreat was both a question and an answer and a reason to continue.

*The residency takes place twice a year in Goa. There are only 8 applicants accepted from all over India. It is a 5-day residential, immersive, poetry boot camp of sorts.

#thepoetryretreat #poetryresidency #writingresidency #goa #resourcesforpoets

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