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T E L L U R I D E , C O L O R A D O

Bear Creek Lodge in Mountain Village

O C T O B E R 3 – 7 , 2 0 1 9


We hold silence, robust discussion, listening and laughter as elemental to the grand vision of what it means to draw in the deep well of expression. We are eager to spend this long weekend with you as we take time to slow down while inspiring, encouraging, and expanding the limits of our art while nurturing body, mind and spirit. 


Drawing In The Deep: A Poetry, Art and Movement Retreat in the heart of the San Juan Mountains

Join us at Bear Creek Lodge in Mountain Village– above Telluride, Colorado. October 3rd-7th, 2019

Featuring Sam Roxas-Chua, Lisa Allen Ortiz and Kierstin Bridger

We will set aside long stretches of time to write, draw, and think, observe, listen and practice new ideas and concepts. You don’t have to have any special talent for art or writing but a curious and open mind will guide you in discovering resources inside yourself you may not have practiced before. We will read poetry as a way of opening into generative writing but feel free to write fiction, memoir, or any other genre.

  • Generate new writing with guided writing excercises
  • Rediscover poetry as a tool to open new avenues in self-expression.
  • Learn and practice Asemic Writing and meditative drawing
  • Benefit from a space for witnessing and reflection
  • Enjoy robust campfire chats
  • Relish shared meals at Mountain Village Lodge and in the historic town of Telluride
  • Settle into stillness and movement in unexpected ways
  • Experience supportive kinship with other writers and artists
  • Witness colorful Colorado at its finest in full autumnal splendor
  • Schedule an optional writing dialogue with the authors for writing support 

Each day (Friday, Saturday Sunday) our sessions will be led by Sam, Lisa or Kierstin. We’ll start at 9:00am

A more specific schedule will be available to participants.

Thursday will be the day to check in to Bear Creek Lodge. Sam and Lisa and
Kierstin will read from their most recent works. Hors d’oevres and welcome cocktails will be served (alcoholic and non alcoholic).

Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning yoga for writers and artists (or basically anyone who types or hunches).

Monday: Feel free to ask for a late checkout.

Monday optional activities:

Kierstin will guide a small group on a beautiful and slightly more intense hike to an unforgettable spot!

Shopping/ historical tour in town

More writing or drawing time at the lodge

Morning one-on one appointment with Lisa or Sam


TUITION $495 including admission to the Thursday night reading This excludes lodging which you will book with Bear Creek here:

LODGING COSTS: This will be an intimate group. Bear Creek Lodge will have special pricing for this event from 10.03.2019 – 10.07.2019

After we receive your application information and confirm your spot you can 

reserve at a first come first served basis these available configurations:

4 Bedroom Condo: 

$303.20 per night x 4 nights (all fees and taxes included) = $1870.63 for the entire condo.        4 people per condo  (all have their own bedroom) = $116.91 per person per night.

This option allows you to bring up to three friends (or 3 couples who share a bed). You can also book it and wait to see who you might be sharing a condo… how exciting!


2 Bedroom Condo

$151.20 per night x 4 nights (all fees and taxes included) = $961.96 for the entire condo.          2 people per condo (each have their own bedroom) = $120.24 per person per night.


Single Unit Hotel Room available as well. Inquire for pricing with lodge.

Contact for lodging: 

Donald Wainwright

Bear Creek Lodge

Assistant General Manager(Friday – Tuesday 9:00AM – 9:00PM)

Office 970-729-8874

Cell    970-729-3133



Really check this site out, as you will book your room separately from tuition. The most affordable option is 4-bedroom condo- so bring a friend or family member or just be open to roommates- private bedrooms shared kitchen. Check out the pics!!


If you live in Telluride/Ridgway and want to stay in your own home tuition would exclude breakfasts =$425

To Register CONTACT send name, email address, mailing address, a brief paragraph about yourself  here

or to

Tuition fee may be paid in two installments. PayPal, Venmo, and checks are acceptable payment. After your registration has been confirmed. Payment instructions will be sent to you for the $495 tuition or the $425 off site breakfast free option after we receive your registration information and confirm your spot.

Please Note:  Registration only reserves your spot at the retreat. It does NOT book you a room at Bear Creek Lodge that must be done separately and directly with Donald Wainwright at Bear Creek Lodge. 

If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, the following applies:

  • No refunds available for any cancellations after September 15. All participants at this point are responsible for the full cost of workshops.








Featured Instructors

Sam Roxas-Chua is a poet and multi-disciplinary artist from Eugene, Oregon. He is the author of the books Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater (Lithic Press), Echolalia in Script: A Collection of Asemic Writing (Orison Books) and the chapbook Fawn Language (Tebot Bach). Recent poems and artwork have appeared in Narrativedecember magazine, and Cream City Review. In 2014, his poetry sequence “Diary of Collected Summers” was awarded the Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize. His asemic work has been exhibited at selected galleries including the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Sam is the director of The Requatorist, an organization dedicated to writing mentorship, publishing, and audio recording services. Find him online at and

Read more about Sam’s projects:

Lisa Allen Ortiz is a writer and teacher from Santa Cruz, California. Her book A Guide to the Exhibit won the 2016 Perugia Press Prize and her work has been featured in Best New Poets and on Verse Daily and appeared in Colorado Review, The Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal and Narrative Magazine. She has taught in the Catamaran Center for Literary Arts and is part of the Hive Poetry Collective in Santa Cruz.

More about Lisa’s projects:

Kierstin Bridger lives in Telluride with her family. She is author of two books:  Demimonde (Lithic Press), winner of the Women Writing The West’s 2017 WILLA Award and a full collection; All Ember (Urban Farmhouse Press). She is a winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, the 2015 ACC Writer’s Studio award, and a Silver Charter Oak Best Historical Award. Bridger was short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Competition in the UK. For six years she curated Ridgway Alley Poems and Co-Directed Open Bard Poetry Series. Bridger directed the 2018 Telluride Literary Burlesque show and now teaches online poetry at Adams State University. She earned her MFA at Pacific University.

More about Kierstin

Kierstin directed Telluride’s 2018 UNCORSETED: It’s Not What is Seams for Literary Burlesque



The last 15 min of the Colorado Matters Show:

One of Kierstin’s poem’s embedded into this soundtrack from Larkin and Eddy


Can I handle the altitude?

Mountain Lodge is at 9500 feet so if you are inclined to altitude sickness you may want to acclimate for a night or two in Montrose. This is a great article with tips:

Will the hiking yoga and be strenuous?

No. In cultivating a non-competitive atmosphere we are more interested in slowing down this weekend. Though you are welcome to exercise in the gym, swim in pool or take an early morning hike etc. 

How do I get there?

Telluride and Mountain village share the same zip code but Mountain village. Bear Creek Lodge is a short and free gondola ride up the mountain. Telluride is the historical mining town below. 

Getting to Telluride

Do I have to be a published writer or an artist? I can barely draw. 

Not a problem! An open mind, and willingness to try new things will be all you’ll need. Though some members of the group will be professional writers, educators and artists.  All levels will be welcome!

I have books. Can I sell my books? 

Yes! We support writers. We’ll have a table for books-you’ll need to handle your own sales in a quiet non-disruptive way. Participants can browse at their leisure. 

How will meals be handled?

This is mostly all inclusive with some caveats:

There will be continental breakfast provisions in your rooms so that you can organize your mornings as you’d like. There is a grocery store within walking or shuttle distance if you want specific items. A cute little breakfast place is also close by at the Mountain Lodge. Also within walking distance: two coffee joints including a Starbucks. Coffee will be in the lobby in the morning!


We’ll keep you in hydrated and in good spirits –iced herbal and black teas, ice water and light snacks all day. 


Themed and on-site i.e. Mediterranean, Latin, or Asian soup/salad bar with an emphasis on flexibility, freshness and local, organics when possible—easy to manage if you are vegan, vegetarian or paleo. If you have really specific allergies please let us know. 


Thursday: Cocktails and non alcoholic drinks will be served with hors d’oevres before will be served before the reading.

Friday: We’ll all go out as a group for a casual meal in town or the village on us excluding alcohol.

Sat: Small groups on your own—you can also stay at Bear Creek and cook together or grill! 

Sunday: A special farewell dinner price included in your tuition.

Will there be scholarship opportunities? Yes! We have two merit/financial based scholarships available for all nights of lodging (Thursday, Friday, Sat and Sun plus all meals. You will be responsible for getting yourself to Telluride. Simply send up to 5 poems or 10 pages of prose and a statement of financial need to We will review the scholarship information and respond by mid-July.

image by Lisa Allen Ortiz
Asemic work by Ann Dettmer, Sam Roxas Chua and Kierstin Bridger

Telluride is a very casual place. Jeans are welcome at 99% of all social events! You may want to dress up a bit for our Thursday night author reading and welcome cocktail hour and the farewell dinner on Sunday night but otherwise you’ll want to be cozy and be able to move with ease. 

What To Bring:

  • One of my favorite words–athleisure–comfy clothes that you can wear all day –smart enough to dress up with jewelry/scarf or jacket if you want to go out. Layers are great and sweatshirts are encouraged especially for campfires!
  • Comfortable shoes –hiking /walking/lounge
  • Cozy socks
  • Warm jammies
  • Collapsible walking stick if you use one
  • Swimsuit/cover-up or robe/flip flops
  • Workout clothes – for those of you who will be doing more intensive hiking/biking/running in off time
  • Yoga mat—if you can throw it in the car but if you are flying here don’t worry we’ll have one for you.
  • Cardigan/light puffer coat-fingerless gloves are handy too
  • Vests are handy for shoulder season weather
  • Hats sunhat or ball cap for outside and/or knit cap if you get chilly
  • Favorite cozy scarf
  • Must have snacks (we’ll have lots of good stuff but we wont have everything)
  • Medications (no hangovers allowed) & prescriptions/toiletries including sunscreen!
  • Notebooks –this is best for generative writing together (especially if you pound hard and noisily on a keyboard)
  • Small Sketchbook 
  • Chargers/power cords/portable chargers/extra batteries
  • Paper/pens
  • Reading material i.e. book or kindle
  • A favorite poem to share– yours or someone else’s
  • Moisturizer! Telluride can be very drying!
  • Reusable water bottle/coffee thermos cup
  • Flexible, positive attitude and a curiosity for the new
  • Headphone/earbuds–optional
  • Laptop/cellphone/camera –optional I use my cell phone for notes when I’m out walking. I love snapping pics-and Telluride has some amazing vistas but we won’t have cameras out while we are reading or writing. Please remember to ask permission before taking pics and/or posting pics of retreat participants.
  • Work sample you’d like to share or meet with our featured writes about during scheduled time– optional
  • Specialty watercolor palettes/inks/brushes/small pen sets for sketching –optional
  • Business cards (and a place to hold others’ cards)-optional
  • Mints/candies/gum to suck on for energy and fresh breath—the grocery store is close!
  • Earplugs, white noise app on phone—optional
  • Bear spray- just kidding- writer/artist isn’t their favorite flavor- too grizzled!
  • A few books to sell – optional (no more than 10)

Specific to our high-altitude Denver location this year, I’m adding a few other things to the list:

  • Take it easy the first day and give your body time to adjust
  • Be careful drinking alcohol, as high-altitude can double the effects
  • Bring saline gel or spray if you’re prone to nosebleeds
  • Really…drink lots of water, which helps guard against altitude sickness
  • Take extra care with medical issues (altitude might affect medication, chemical balances like glucose, etc.)
  • Strong scents and perfumes are not necessary or welcome for this retreat. 

Fun Takes on Packing Lists:

Other helpful links:

Top 5 reasons to visit Telluride in the Fall:

What to do?

Insider guides:

Our Writers