A Hundred Gourds 4:2 March 2015

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The Seabeck Haiku Getaway: an interview with Michael Dylan Welch

| Introduction | page 2 | page 3 |page 4 | page 5 | page 6 |page 7 | page 8

Interview with Michael Dylan Welch

Aubrie: I have to ask: Why is the weekend so busy?

Michael: In 2014, the Seabeck haiku weekend was definitely the busiest it’s ever been, I think, because, unlike the previous couple of years, we had trouble staying on schedule. It’s also very hard to say no to good workshop or activity proposals, so I’ve tried to fit everyone in as best as I can. A lesson learned from this is to have more breaks, which will help us recover from sessions that might go too long. I also want to have more time to walk in the woods or down to the oyster-shell beach, and more writing time. And to say no to some proposals.

I’ve always had the philosophy that if people are investing a lot of time and money to attend, you want to give them a full slate of activities. And if some people have less energy, then it’s up to them to choose which events to skip, if they need to—this is advice I always emphasize on the first night. But I’m reluctant to schedule nothing at all at certain times just because some people might feel overwhelmed and want a scheduled break. That feels unfair to those who do have the energy for everything, or pace themselves if they need to take an occasional break. However, in 2014, for the first time, even I felt like it was too busy, when I usually have lots of energy for everything. So we’ll definitely be relaxing the schedule for 2015. Each retreat takes its own course, and in 2014 we also happened to have less writing activity, so we’ll also be building more deliberate writing sessions into the schedule as well.


Michael may not have found time for the boats, but
I skipped lunch to make a phone call.
Even if I was still tethered to the dock.

(Photo by Vicki McCullough)