Literary Hook: The Clearing ‘a nurturer of the creative spirit’

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117812568227536.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Built in 1942, The Clearing’s Main Lodge sits atop the Niagara Escarpment and offers breathtaking views of the western sky.‘);

Many writers who have “day jobs” dream of time and space to devote solely to their writing, a place of quiet beauty where the only hat they have to wear is that of “writer.”

One such place is The Clearing, in Ellison Bay, Wis. Many folks from the Rock River Valley have vacationed in Door County and are familiar with its wonderful parks, majestic lake, bay views, art, music and theater. Did you know that a magical place for a retreat, a class or independent study is also in Door County?

The Clearing is described in Richard Carters’ Cabin Fever as “a nurturer of the creative spirit. Some people just come to ‘get away,’ but many come to pursue a special interest, a small dream, to engage in a creative act, that little ‘art’ they always wanted to try—the one an inner voice keeps asking for.”

Michael Schneider, The Clearing executive director, said: “The class is, of course, just part of what you get when you come to The Clearing. There’s so much more. You get to take a class that is truly unique. The setting is beautiful—in the woods, on the water, with a picture postcard view of the setting sun.”

The next few columns of Literary Hook will focus on the writing classes to be offered at The Clearing for spring and summer. Today, we will simply look at the list of classes a writer can take and describe them in greater detail in forthcoming columns.

Poetry and Writing courses to be offered at The Clearing for 2007 are as follows:

“The Process of Writing: Focus on Poetry and Short Prose,” May 20-26, taught by Christine Swanberg

“Poetry Camp: The Poetry of Place,” May 27-June 2, taught by Judith Strasser and Robin Chapman

“Writing Workshops with Norbert Blei,” June 17-23, taught by Norbert Blei

“Expanding the Reach of Poetry,” July 15-21, taught by Ellen Kort

“A Journaler’s Life,” Aug. 19-25, taught by Darlene Cole and Joyce Morrison

“Making Good Writing Great: Proven Techniques for Creating the Kind of Work that You, Yourself, Want to Read,” Aug. 26-Sept. 1, taught by John Lehman

“Women’s Writing Retreat,” Sept. 9-15, taught by Judy Bridges

“Writing Personal Fiction,” Oct. 21-26, taught by Sara Rath

Packages include room, board and tuition for the week. “Commuter” classes are also available. For more specific information, call toll-free at 877-754-3225 or access

I hope this information has piqued your curiosity regarding writing at The Clearing. More to come in future issues!

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

from the May 2-8, 2007, issue

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