Hermitage Artist Retreat Presents A “Sunset Reading on the Beach”

 with Poet Melissa Studdard and Author Michael J. Seidlinger

Friday, August 23, 7 p.m.

These gifted writers will intrigue with their outward and inward journeys, against the gorgeous backdrop of the setting sun and the glistening Gulf waters.


(Sarasota County) The Hermitage Artist Retreat presents a “Sunset Reading on the Beach,” with poet Melissa Studdard and author Michael J. Seidlinger, Friday, August 23, 7 p.m. on the beach at the Hermitage. Studdard will read poems from her poetry collection, “I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast,” as well as from manuscripts in progress, some of which were created during an April residency at The Hermitage and reflect her time there. Seidlinger will read from a novel-in-progress based on a road trip he took during the summer of 2017. Audience members are invited to bring their own beach chairs and blankets. In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors to the Palm House.  Reservations for this free series are required and can be requested at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


Patricia Caswell, the Hermitage’s co-founder and program director, says, “Young, hip and smart, these gifted writers will intrigue you with their outward and inward journeys, against the gorgeous backdrop of the setting sun and the glistening Gulf waters.” She adds  that the Hermitage is grateful to the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota for sponsoring both of these residencies.

Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Poetry, Harvard Review, New Ohio Review, Psychology Today, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere, and has received awards, including the The Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, and the REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award. Of her work, Robert Pinsky writes, “This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God,” and, Cate Marvin says her poems “would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry, which is, as we know, poetry that is not only most pure of heart, but beautifully generous in vision and feeling.” To learn more, visit www.melissastuddard.com.

Michael J. Seidlinger is a Filipino-American author of a number of books, including My Pet Serial Killer and The Fun We’ve Had. He is an editor at large for Electric Literature and is a member of The Accomplices. In 2012, he founded Civil Coping Mechanisms, an independent press specializing in poetry, hybrid-form fiction and nonfiction. His writing has appeared in Buzzfeed, Forbes, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, PANK, Hypable, and elsewhere. He has taught classes for Sarah Lawrence, Kenyon Writers Workshop, and Catapult. A graduate of George Washington University’s Master of Business in Publishing program, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. You can find him online at michaeljseidlinger.com, on Facebook and Twitter (@mjseidlinger), and Instagram (@michaelseidlinger).

Award-winning creators of all artistic disciplines are invited to live and work at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood. During their residencies, they share their talents with the community. Some programs are in the Palm House; others are on the beach at the Hermitage. Whether a program is indoors or outdoors, attendees are invited to stay and enjoy the beach afterwards.

Executive director Bruce Rodgers explains that these cultural gatherings exist to give the community the rare opportunity to interact with celebrated authors, poets, artists, composers and performers from around the world. “Artists who are invited to be at the Hermitage are asked to give free programs for the community during their stay with us.” He adds that, in addition to programs at the Hermitage, many artists also participate in free outreach programs at area schools, colleges, and in collaboration with regional cultural organizations

All programs are subject to change. Please check the Hermitage website or Facebook page for updated program status. The Hermitage Artist Retreat is located at 6630 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. For more information about the Hermitage, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:

The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat located in Englewood, Sarasota County, Florida. It invites accomplished artists in all disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its artists, who are asked to interact with the community, touch thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage fellows have included Pulitzer, Tony, Emmy, Grammy and MacArthur Fellowship award winners. The Hermitage awards the $30,000 Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, and the Aspen Music Festival awards the annual Hermitage Prize in Composition. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


The Hermitage is supported by:

Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes).