Pink Door Poetry Conference

I’ve just gotten home from the Pink Door Women’s Poetry Retreat in Rochester, NY and I’ve been changed by it forever.

The three-day retreat consisted of workshops, moderated discussions, Poetry & Pie readings, mosquitoes, tents, torrential rain, tears, pantoums, revelations, and ritual.

The mastermind behind Pink Door is the poet Rachel McKibbens, author of two full-length books of poems and breath-stealing performer who recently appeared at Dodge Poetry Festival. Her back up is her husband (and NEA grant recipient) Jacob Rakovan, who cooks every meal for us CONSIDERING THE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS OF 44 WOMEN! 

Rachel and Jacob host this writing retreat AT THEIR HOUSE! They let us take over every couch and floor space, every patch of grass where a tent might fit and their generous, gorgeous kids even gave up their beds to women writers. I shudder to think of their water bill!

Women came from all over the US to write, share and process. The poems from each of three Poetry & Pie nights were among the best I’ve heard and I can’t remember a better poetry reading I’ve attended.


Naturally, it’s fun to go to established literary conferences that have had years to iron out their process and reputation. But, the thrill of going to a homegrown, backyard event with such mind-blowing talent is a special, secret joy. Well, until I wrote a blog post about it I guess.

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