Come to Sourwood Forest Summer 2024

As I prepare to welcome artist Patricia Wallbertson to Sourwood Forest next week, I’m remembering other Sourwood Forest summers and hoping to find more artists and writers to visit this summer and early fall. If you’d like to spend time at Sourwood Forest, please contact me by searching for Judy C. Strang in “faculty and staff” on the Washington & Lee University website, and email me at the address you find there. (My technology wizard is working on a fix to prevent all the unwanted traffic we’ve been getting from the contact form on the website.) Here’s a testimonial about Sourwood Forest a former writer/artist-in-residence:

Maiden Hair Fern near Melody Creek, Sourwood Forest

“When I first arrived at Sourwood Forest, I was greeted by a particularly friendly wood thrush perched on a nearby fence post. For weeks I had spent my mornings following a thrush’s call near my home without ever spotting its source. But here, in this remote corner of Amherst County, VA, beyond the car horns, advertisements, and fluorescent linings of the city, I was met, immediately, by what I’d been looking for, as if the bird had been nudging me here all along. In the days that followed, during my short stay at Sourwood Forest, this suspicion was confirmed again and again–by the soft silence of the mornings, writing at the window overlooking a quilt of native flowers and shrubs; by the path of white oak, beech, and (yes) sourwood that bent through the understory; by a quirky family of goats, all congregating nearby for their next taste of tree trimmings; and by the birds, over and over again–the tenacious hummers battling at the feeders, that chance encounter with a yellow-breasted chat, the fiery coat of a scarlet tanager. Sourwood Forest not only offered a perfect place to write, to walk, and to witness, it offered me a place to be, to remember how to be. The wood thrush, with its one-bird harmony, knew what I needed after all.” (Grant Kittrell, June 2023)

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