For several years my husband and I have hosted a writer's residency from May to October/November for established writers on our property called Aspen Words Writers in Residence. It’s a great collaboration: Aspen Words handles the selection and administration of the residents, and we provide the space and solitude to work, along with a vegetable garden. The selected writers come for one month to our cozy barn apartment and a refrigerator full of groceries, to tackle a looming project deadline. They have access to all of the wilderness this valley has to offer when they are not working, and our dogs train them to provide biscuits when they show up at the back door. Each resident also reads her (or his) work at a free public event at Hooch (an offshoot of Meat and Cheese) in Aspen.
It is a joy to host since we meet fascinating artists, and love being part of a broader artistic community. And the collective creativity naturally impacts my studio, my husband's own profession as a journalist, our children, and our lives. The Residency not only provides personal inspiration, but also is a very tangible way to support the Arts. Supporting artistic process and opportunity is more important than ever since public arts funding is shrinking exponentially --even the NEA and NEH are on the chopping block in our current administration. Artists need to advocate for themselves and their community like never before. The Alliance of Artists Communities is a great resource if you are interested in applying for a residency or even in hosting your own.
Our dogs are pictured here with former writer in residence Kerry Egan's book -- On Living --a wise and loving reflection about the author's work as a hospice chaplain. She was a delight to host and we are so proud of her books' success. You can listen to her interview on Terry Gross: NPR- HealthShots; Hospice Chaplain.
“A poetic and philosophical and brave and uplifting meditation on how important it is to make peace and meaning of our lives while we still have them.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat Pray Love & Big Magic
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Our House · Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corp.
Composer, Writer: Graham Nash