The BOAAT Writer’s Retreat is a weeklong workshop and writing residency for seven poets and a prominent workshop leader. Workshops meet for five sessions (three group workshops and two one-on-one workshops with our workshop leader), Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Each year the BOAAT Writer’s Retreat is hosted in a spacious log cabin in the mountainous Vilas, North Carolina. The only necessary payments are the tuition, which covers the workshop, board, and home-cooked meals provided by BOAAT Press. All participants are expected to pay for any travel expenses. What's unique about the BOAAT Writer's Retreat is the freedom given to all the poets. You'll have the luxury of a residency in the mountaintops where you're given the time and space to write, all while receiving the chance to workshop your poetry with an established poet. Join us and be sure to read the testimonials below! 


APPLICATION FEE: There is none.

WHEN: Sunday, June 7th, - Saturday June 13th, 2020



Shane McCrae is the author of six books of poetry: The Gilded Auction Block (forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux), In the Language of My Captor (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; The Animal Too Big to Kill (Persea Books, 2015), winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award; Forgiveness Forgiveness (Factory Hollow Press, 2014); Blood (Noemi Press, 2013); and Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011). He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

ROOM AND BOARD: Upper level: a spacious loft that sleeps 4 (this is a shared living/sleep space), full bathroom - Middle Level: Two single bedrooms, kitchen, living room, full bathroom, laundry, upper deck over looking the mountain - Lower Level: 1 double bedroom (shared living/sleep space), 1 single bedroom, a gameroom (pool table), full bathroom, and a lower deck with a jacuzzi. It's more than likely you'll be rooming with someone.

SUBMISSIONS: Please submit up to ten pages of poems and provide a separate statement on why you think the BOAAT Writer's Retreat would benefit you (500 words or less). Acceptance is based on the potential we see in the writing sample and the statement of intent. Submissions will close on August 15th, 2019, on Submittable.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Every applicant will be notified by October 15th, 2019.

TUITION & ACCEPTANCE: $1,100 for room & board, 5 workshop sessions (2 being 1-on-1), and food. If accepted, you will have to provide a $250 deposit to secure your spot (this goes towards the entirety of your tuition). The remaining $850 will be due by February 15th, 2020. We'll accept 7 emerging poets.


Click on the images to enlarge the photographs from our previous BOAAT Writer's Retreats.


New Jersey native Ysabel Y. Gonzalez, is also known for her performance poetry under the alias Ancestral Poetisa. She received her BA from Rutgers University, an MFA in Poetry from Drew University and currently works for the Poetry Program at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Ysabel has received invitations to attend VONA, Tin House and Ashbery Home School writing workshops. She’s been published in phati’tude Literary MagazineHuizacheAcentos ReviewWaxwing Literary Journal, The Wide Shore and forthcoming in It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. You may find more of her poems and recorded performances at www.ysabelgonzalez.com.

The BOAAT Writer’s Retreat was incredibly rewarding for my poetry and for my personal well-being.  This retreat was half residency and half workshop, which allowed my poetry the opportunity for feedback and critique, along with plenty of down time to generate new work. I met other writers whose poetry resonated very deeply with me; I connected with them and their work. 

Our workshop leader, Eduardo Corral, was encouraging and energetic, pushing us to be our best selves throughout the retreat in everything we did, including writing new work, learning to listen to the outside world in different ways, and documenting and experiencing the world up in those gorgeous mountains.

Sean Shearer at BOAAT could not have been a better host and supporter of our work—encouraging us in different ways to be open to the BOAAT Writer’s Retreat experience, which included writing, reading, karaoke, playing pool, and lots of conversations with each other about our work.

Overall, this was an incredible experience!  Thank you Sean and BOAAT for creating such a dreamlike week.

Steven Alvarez is the author of THE CODEX MOJAODICUS, which won the 2016 FENCE Modern Poets Series Prize. He’s also the author of the novels in verse The Pocho Codex (2011) and The Xicano Genome (2013), both published by Editorial Paroxismo. He has also authored two chapbooks, Six Poems from the Codex Mojaodicus (2014, winner of the Seven Kitchens Press Rane Arroyo Poetry Prize) and Un/documented, Kentucky (2016, winner of the Rusty Toque Chapbook Prize). His work has appeared in the Best Experimental Writing (BAX), Berkeley Poetry ReviewThe Drunken BoatFENCEHuizache, and Waxwing

After nearly a decade since my last workshop, I was thankful that the BOAAT Writer’s Retreat was not what I remembered as “workshop.” I learned craft from important, emerging writers who have returned me to locating and grounding my voice in ethnography, history, rhetoric, and poetry. I also gained a great deal from the retreat, and I felt a renewed energy to create and collaborate. 

Paige Lewis is the Copy Editor at Divedapper and an Assistant Poetry Editor at Narrative Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington ReviewThe Cincinnati ReviewNew Orleans ReviewSmartish Pace, and elsewhere.

It's hard to put into words what this retreat did for my writing. I came to the BOAAT Writer's Retreat knowing that I'd been offered this rare gift, this weeklong break from the distractions of the everyday. I knew this and yet I'm still astounded by how much I was able to write. It felt like poetry paradise to wake up every morning before dawn and write as the sun rose over the mountains, and to then come upstairs and discuss poetry with a group of brilliant poets who all wanted, really wanted, to talk about poetry. It became this glorious routine: wake up, write poetry, read poetry, talk poetry.  

One of the reasons I wanted to be a part of the first BOAAT Writer's Retreat was to have the opportunity to learn more from Eduardo C. Corral, whose poetry had already taught be so much about what poetry could accomplish. In our workshops and in our one-on-one meetings, Eduardo showed me the beauty and importance of my work's poetic quirks. His advice and encouragement to go deeper into these quirks has already helped me break into new directions with my writing. I'm extremely grateful for that guidance, and for this entire experience.

The BOAAT Writer's Retreat greatly exceeded all of my expectations, and my expectations were incredibly high to begin with.