The Watering Hole Poetry Winter Retreat and Public Programs

The Watering Hole Poetry Organization builds Harlem Renaissance spaces in the new contemporary South by hosting poetry workshops, retreats, and classes for adults and youth. Their annual winter retreat will take place at Hickory Knob State Park in McCormick, SC this December 26-30. The retreat will feature a line up of nationally and internationally renown poets, including MacArthur Genius Terrance Hayes, Palmetto Poetry Series author DeLana R.A. Dameron, National Slam Champion and Hurston-Wright Legacy Awardee Patricia Smith, Spoken Word legend Abiodun Oyewole from The Last Poets, and National Book Award finalist Danez Smith. SC Humanities supported this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

The Watering Hole began as a Facebook group created by fellows of the Cave Canem South Workshops. It has grown to include a variety of public events, youth programming, and other opportunities. The winter retreat, which started in 2013, has also expanded over the years. Participants enjoy living room style daily classes/workshops, daily craft talks, two readings, one holistic and interactive workshop, a keynote speech, group writing challenges, and a genuine community. More information is available on the website here:

There will be two readings that are open to a general public during the 2017 retreat. The facilitators Terrance Hayes, DeLana R.A. Dameron, Patricia Smith, Abiodun Oyewole, and finalist Danez Smith will present a reading on Wednesday, December 27 at 6:00 p.m., and a keynote speech from Patricia Smith and public reading with The Watering Hole fellows, will be held on Friday, December 29 at 6:00 p.m., followed by a fish fry. The Watering Hole Co-founder Candace Wiley said, “Come one, come all. It will be an evening filled with poetry, celebration, and mindfulness.” Both programs take place at Hickory Knob State Park (1591 Resort Dr, McCormick, SC 29835).

For more information about The Watering Hole and the winter retreat, please visit the website at

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.