On Friday evening, July 8th the Hermitage Artist Retreat invites the public to come experience the work of two poets who are in residency; The beach reading, which starts at 7:30 pm and ends with Mother Nature’s sunset at 8:30, features Sandra Beasley and Alexis Orgera

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LITERARY EVENING AT HERMITAGE BEACH EVENT

On Friday evening, July 8th the Hermitage Artist Retreat invites the public to come experience the work of two poets who are in residency. The beach reading, which starts at 7:30 pm and ends with Mother Nature’s sunset at 8:30, features Sandra Beasley and Alexis Orgera. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the readings. From 6:30 to 7:30, the recently renovated Hermitage House will be open. Please plan time to see the beautiful new hardwood floors, new paint and restored fireplace that makes the 1907 landmark look almost brand new. Visitors should bring their beach chairs and any refreshments, stake out a place on the beach and then walk back to see the historic Hermitage House. Hermitage events are free but reservations are strongly suggested in case there is a reason the program needs to move from the beach to the Hermitage Palm House, where space is limited. Reservations may be placed online [email protected] or by calling 941-475-2098, ext. 8.

“The Hermitage Artist Retreat is in ‘artist mode’ nearly year ‘round,” remarked Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “AND the benefit is that we continue to provide free community programming. On July 8th, we hope to have a great turnout as year-round residents and summer visitors come and enjoy hearing wonderful artists read from their work. Being on our historic campus at this quieter time of year and being in the restored Hermitage House will provide a reflective time to look around and imagine what it was like to live here in the beginning of the past century. Then, sitting on our beach, with gulf breezes, hearing inspiring work and ending with Mother Nature’s sunset is a terrific way to begin any weekend.”

Sandra Beasley is author of three poetry collections: Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Honors for her work include a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, and two DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. She lives in Washington, DC.

 Alexis Orgera is the author of two books of poems, How Like Foreign Objects and Dust Jacket, and several chapbooks. Her poems, essays, interviews, and reviews can also be found in Carolina Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, jubilat, The Journal, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere. She lives in Savannah, GA, where she writes, teaches creative writing, and runs Penny Candy Books. Alexis Orgera was the 2013 winner of Sarasota’s John Ringling Towers Award. 

“Sarasota lost Poet Alexis Orgera to Savannah, but before she left she was judged one of the best writers around when she won the John Ringling Towers Fellowship in 2013,” remarked Patricia Caswell, Hermitage co-founder and program director. “Now she’s back and we get to hear why her peers awarded her the prize.  Anyone who ever suffered from allergies will love Sandra Beasley’s book Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl.  Bring your snacks to the beach to listen, but don’t offer them to Sandra who, allergic to almost everything, turned her lethal problem into a darkly humorous book.”

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by Philanthropist Gerri Aaron, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Woman’s Exchange. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098, ext. 5, or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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