Once again, I’m spending a long weekend in Aurora, where Michele Moure-Reeves and her Aurora Project board are working on creating West Virginia’s first full-time artist retreat center. Each time I visit, there’s progress. And each time I learn something new about this small town and its fascinating history as a resort community and a 1920′s artists’ community. Soon it will again be a place for artists to come and live. For an overview of Aurora and the Aurora Project, please read the article I wrote for Wonderful West Virginia earlier this year.
This weekend, about a dozen writers are gathered here for a short-term retreat. During the daylight hours, we are free to work on our own writing, hike in nearby Cathedral State Forest, or just relax at Brookside Inn, our “headquarters” for the retreat. Last night, before and after a wonderful dinner, we listened to selections of each other’s writing. This evening we will have a real treat: a reading by West Virginia’s poet laureate, Irene McKinney. And, if the aromas coming from the kitchen and permeating the whole inn are any indication, the reading will be preceded by another fabulous meal.