Rustbelt Roethke
Writers' Retreat

now Woodstock Mayapple Writers' Retreat


Rustbelt Roethke Professional Writers' Workshop began at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, MI, in July 2003, and has become an annual event. The name has been changed to Woodstock Mayapple Writers' Retreat to reflect the change in location.

The Retreat provides an opportunity for a group of professional poets and prose writers to meet in a peer-critique setting, give public readings and presentations on craft, and get to know each other and each other's work. Past participants have been Elinor Benedict, Katherine Brueck, Wendy Carlisle, Don Cellini, Gene Doty, Katherine Fishburn, James Gibson, Renny Golden, Patricia Harkins-Pierre, Betsy Johnson-Miller, Marilyn Jurich, Diane Kendig, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Judith Kerman, Joyce Kessell, Adrienne Lewis, Beverly Matherne, Robert McDonough, Carol Morris, Carol Novack, Beatrice O'Brien, John Palen, Linda Pierce, Jane Piirto, Nancy Pulley, Helen Ruggieri, Vince Samarco, Diane Sautter, Amee Schmidt, Melissa Seitz, Rhoda Stamell, and Li Tien.

Poetry and prose or mixed-genre groups meet every day.

All participants were featured readers at evening readings, held in Saginaw Valley State University's Founders Hall and in a variety of venues in Bay City, Saginaw and Midland, Michigan. Readings in 2012 will take place in Woodstock and Kingston, NY.

Past public presentations have included:

  • Japanese verse forms, with Helen Ruggieri
  • Translation presentation and roundtables with Beverly Matherne, Li Tien, John Palen and Judith Kerman
  • The Prose Poem, with Vince Samarco and Judith Kerman
  • Hand-made books, with Judith Kerman
  • Literary Publishing, featuring most participants
  • The Writer's Life, featuring most participants
  • The psychology of creative writers, with Jane Piirto
  • Caribbean literature, with Patricia Harkins-Pierre
  • Brothers and sisters, with Marilyn Jurich

We've been having a great time! Here are some more pictures:





Workshop participants would like to thank the following for their support in 2011:

  • The Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Saginaw Valley State University
  • The Office of the Dean of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Saginaw Valley State University
  • The Department of English, Saginaw Valley State University
  • The Melvin J. Zahnow Library of Saginaw Valley State University
  • Conference & Events Center, Saginaw Valley State University
  • Brewtopia Coffee and Tea, Bay City, MI
  • Creative Spirit Center, Midland, MI
  • Hoyt Library, Saginaw, MI
  • Theodore Roethke House, Saginaw, MI
  • United Church of Christ, Midland, MI

And in 2003-2010:

  • Alice and Jack Wirt Library, Bay City, MI
  • The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, Saginaw Valley State University
  • White Crow Conservatory, Saginaw, MI
  • Jack and Alice Wirt Library, Bay City, MI
  • Grace A. Dow Library, Midland, MI
  • A&J Gallery, Bay City, MI
  • Studio 23 Gallery, Bay City, MI
  • Dwells in Attics poetry series at Bay City Coffee and Tea, Bay City, MI
  • Sweet Boutique, Bay City, MI