Northeast Retreat 2021

This page includes a selection of unedited writings from the Franz-Herbst family during their recent writing retreat. Enjoy the exploration in poetry and prose for its raw creativity and authenticity. When doing such a family exercise, create in the moment. This is not the time for critical feedback, the grammar police, or academic polish. Instead, find one another within the stories and highlight the gems and treasures.

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Day 1

Beavertail Lighthouse 

Each of the retreat outings began with my son giving a historical briefing of the site in order to enrich the touring experience. While he provided information about the Beavertail Lighthouse on Conanicut Island, I was quite impressed with how many lighthouses had burned down at that particular location, which inspired my short story. Needless to say, we each imagined stories that captured the structure's past, present, and potential. Read poetry and stories here. 

Day 2

Downtown Boston

Our family included Downtown Boston in our tour, and visited the Museum of Afro-American History where stood the African Meeting House, the longest-standing building structure of the African-American church (not to be confused with the longest-standing organization). In the museum, we were most impressed with the history of the church and the museum's exhibit on African-American jazz. Afterwards, we became ecstatically lost in one of Boston's coolest used bookstores, Commonwealth Books. Read poetry and stories here. 

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Day 3

Juniper Hill Cemetery

The final outing of the Northeast Tour involved visiting a beautiful cemetery in Bristol, Rhode Island called "Juniper Hill." Some of the tombstones dated as far back as the 18th Century, which catapulted most of us into a historical setting for our poems and prose. 

Read poetry and stories here.