In July 2008, I acted on a long-standing desire to host a retreat at a family farmhouse in Larwill, Indiana, and SwampFire Retreat for artists and writers was born.IMG_1237

With my collaborators poet Mary Catherine Harper, and potter Steve Smith, SwampFire has grown since its first rag-tag band of Defiance College faculty and students.

From the start, Mary Catherine has been my steady creative partner and co-organizer. She created and maintains the marvelous SwampFire site which showcases each year’s retreat through writing and pictures.

When Covid-19 hit, Mary Catherine kept the SwampFire spark alive by growing our community over Facebook and organizing virtual workshops and readings. 

Screen Shot 2021-09-26 at 3.37.29 PM

In 2010, Steve began hosting SwampFire at 4 Corners Gallery Studio and Pottery in Angola. Each year Steve shares his talents from pottery to printmaking, stretching SwampFire’s artists and writers to create in new ways.

Through his work with Potters for Peace, Steve also serves as a model for the global good artists can do in the world. 

I am so grateful for SwampFire, the heart of my creative community and one of the greatest joys of my life.