This past weekend was Peter Murphy’s annual Poetry and Prose Winter Getaway at the Grand Hotel in Cape May. The Getaway runs from Friday night through Monday at lunchtime, and all attendees basically spend three days immersed in their art: poetry, fiction, memoir, painting, novel writing, songwriting. It’s a good place to give oneself permission to write for a weekend, and I quickly learned that it’s actually a good deal more fun than the Philadelphia Writers Conference (which is more about discussion and less about output). Peter‘s Getaway is a really encouraging, nurturing environment that puts regular writers (like me) in a place where they can engage with successful writers in their genres. For instance, I workshopped this weekend with Doug Goetsch and Barb Daniels, and said hello in passing to Stephen Dunn. Also available for workshops were Laura McCullough, Lois Harrod, Renee Ashley and Kurt Brown, among others. It’s a nice place to spend a few days, and the 200+ people that attend each year are generally friendly and full of good feedback.

So here’s a pictorial retelling of the weekend (kudos to Jaime for being picture happy, since I took hardly any photos):
Upon arrival Friday afternoon, Jaime and I went for a romantical walk on the beach, enjoying the sunset and feeling very much in love (just kidding):

We then joined the evening’s festivities in the Penthouse Ballroom:

where we sang “On the Way to Cape May” and played some goofy games.
Sidenote: Songwriting instructor Nancy Falkow does a better “Hallelujah” than even Jeff Buckley.
We did some workshopping and writing, as was meant to be according to the description of the weekend, but we also made some new friends. That’s Liz on the right. She’s a good poet.

We also did some drinking and dancing at the hotel’s restaurant. Here’s Peter and Jaime discussing some very serious thing, I’m sure:

Oh, wait, no, they were just talking about giving Peter a tattoo:

That’s right, kids, we all got sparkly temporary tattoos. Jaime totally brings the party.:

Best tattoo moment: We gave Peter a flower tattoo. He said, “It used to be that the girls wanted to take my flower. Now they just want to give me one.”
And we played some air hockey, too:

(for the record, Elizabeth kicked my ass.)

Seriously, it was a good weekend – not very relaxing, but pretty productive, and fun.

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