A Creative Writing Retreat that Fosters


  • During the fall equinox of 2019,

    myself and Lila Arnaud co-organized a group of writers, artists, and community activists to travel from New Orleans, Louisiana to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a creative writing retreat that supported self-actualization and community building. Participants were encouraged to deepen awareness of barriers and opportunities in their work by:


    exploring wounds as sites for transformation;

    producing new writing, and expanding upon existing writing through facilitated activities;

    sharing work with each other, offering feedback, identifying ways to amplify each other’s work and connect to resources;

    ritual-making and practicing tools for mind-body connection.

  • BLOOM activities included

    morning yoga silent breakfasts vegetarian meals, snacks and beverages exploratory conversations creative writing workshops time at the beach free time sharing writing and receiving feedback open-mic salons shared altar-building and ritual making support around connecting with resources and other ways to amplify each other’s work.


    Core Values:

    Gathering with People, Building Community

    Cooperative Economics

    Design Justice: Centering Accessibility

    Practicing Awareness of Consumption

    Organic Emergence of Patterns, Styles, and Ideas that Bring Our Shared Vision to Life


    BLOOM centered:

    writers/ artists/ movement workers/ community builders/ culture bearers with an interest in the ways that art and community activism interconnect

    those willing to reflect and share with fellow participants

    feminine creative spirit

    cultures and experiences of Black and Brown, working-class, queer, women and gender non-conforming people

    people wanting to address wounds as sites for transformation

    people wanting to deepen their practice of self-development and ritual making

    BLOOM was self-determined by people designing a response to our own needs for structured spaces of creativity and self-development. People of any gender, race, ability, class, and age were invited to apply.
  • Before COVID,

    BLOOM was set to launch its second iteration in June 2020, with plans to deepen programmatic goals by working with both cohorts to:

    Cultivate space for self-actualization

    Strengthen participants' writing crafts

    Expand participants' writing crafts

    Expand participants' capacity to tend to our growth needs in relation to other people and ecosystems that we exist in. [Self-awareness; inter-connectivity; interdependence.]

    Deepen community among a sizeable yet intimate group of writers, artists, and creatives based/rooted in New Orleans.

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  • Nurturing Creative Spirit Through Pandemic Times

    Virtual Workshops 2020-2021

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    Shaping Time & Presence: An Exploration of Everyday Routines and Objects as Sacred

    writing under the influence of texts by Alexis de Veaux and Kiese Laymon, and sounds by Amina Claudine Myers, Spirit McIntyre, and Sexto Sentido

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    BLOOM Literary Salon

    a space to share & receive feedback to a work-in-progress or finished piece of writing, a song, the story behind a work of visual art, or an oral story.

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    BLOOM turns 1!

    a gathering to celebrate && breathe && write together

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    Evoking Feeling:

    An Exploration of Our Body's Connection to Memory

    This 90-minute workshop presented participants with an opportunity to get curious about memory. We paired mind-body exercises (breathwork, meditation, and body scanning) with sensory stimulation (existing texts, visuals, and sounds), to offer creative writing techniques that prompted participants to connect to memories held in particular places within our bodies. Participants were encouraged to explore the collective memories to which our respective lived experiences belong.