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The Open Mouth Poetry Retreat is an annual gathering held at Mt. Sequoyah Center (where our residency space is) in Parker Hall, usually the first weekend in June. Two faculty members and up to twenty-six participants gather for three days of community-building, generative writing exercises, and one-on-one conferences with faculty, followed by a public reading. Open Mouth staff cooks all meals and facilitates trips down the mountain into the main part of Fayetteville.

Applications are read and selected by members of the Open Mouth Community and past retreat attendees.

The cost of the retreat is $350, which includes shared housing, meals, and tuition. Needs-based scholarships and scholarships for women and non-binary poets of color, Latinx poets, and Black neurodivergent poets are available through the generosity of past faculty members and organizations like Costura Creative. The Open Mouth team is committed to financial accessibility and is happy to support payment plans as necessary for accepted applicants who are not selected for the above scholarships.

Past faculty have included Hanif Abdurraqib, Eloisa Amezcua, Franny Choi, Nate Marshall, torrin a. greathouse, and Jake Skeets.

View an example of a past retreat schedule at this link.

Open Mouth Poetry Retreat

Applications for the retreat are now closed.  Check back for future application cycles.

about us:

Open Mouth Reading Series is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to increase access to, and engagement with, the literary arts in Northwest Arkansas. Part of fulfilling that mission is offering the annual Open Mouth Poetry Retreat, now in its third year. This four-day writing residency brings poets from all over the state and the nation, creating opportunities for collaboration and poetic community.


Open Mouth is home to the Open Mouth Reading Series, a monthly poetry event running for more than four years. A foundational element of the reading series is our dedication to making poetry inclusive, a communal event shared by professionals and dabblers, those who’ve been in the game for decades as well as those just starting out. Inclusivity extends also to our mission of equity, and we endeavor to make space for poets of color, queer poets, and any whose voices need to be amplified.

about the most recent faculty:


torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk & MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018) & assistant editor of The Shallow Ends. Their work is published/forthcoming in POETRY, Ploughshares, & The Kenyon Review. She is the youngest ever winner of the Poetry Foundation's J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize.


Jake Skeets Headshot_by Quanah

Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water’s Edge. He is Diné from Vanderwagen, New Mexico. He is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, a National Poetry Series-winning collection of poems. He holds an MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Skeets is a winner of the 2018 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Skeets edits an online publication called Cloudthroat and organizes a poetry salon and reading series called Pollentongue, based in the Southwest. He is a member of Saad Bee Hózhǫ́: A Diné Writers’ Collective and currently teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.

sponsored and supported by:

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Want to sponsor a scholarship or help offset costs? We accept donations from individuals and local businesses. Please email