RADAR LAB TESTIMONIALS
RADAR LAB is an eleven day writers residency in Akumal Mexico. Readers from previous RADAR Productions events or Sister Spit may apply.
1. Read what our previous artists have to say about their experience.
Sometimes, you just need to disrupt the rut of your regular life’s routine in order to clear the dustballs out of your headspace, thus rallying & restoring your facilities to think clearly & imaginatively, so as to process ideas, parse language & to write. This, RADAR Lab did for me — with generous measures of good company, good conversations, good eating, good discipline, good inspiration, good motivation, good resolve & good purpose.
- Justin Chin, Lab 2010
Thanks to RADAR Lab, I feel like I can now label myself an artist and not be a liar. Usually, I identify so much harder with other labels that artist feels fake or flimsy. Spending time on a Mexican beach with other queer artists with the only caveat being that we be creative was what really did it for me, empowered me. RADAR Lab dignified me with the ability to see myself solely as a writer. What a luxury and a gift and a privilege that I’m still savoring. As a result of the writerly pamperings that I was given at the retreat, my artistic spirit was allowed to grow and now it’s out of control. I’m doing tons of things, even writing poetry again, sorry world, and I credit this flowering to RADAR Lab.
-Myriam Gurba, Lab 2009
The RADAR Lab was the first time I had ever been able to focus completely on my writing. No day job. No touring. No appointments. Just the most daunting project I have ever thought of and starting it in this magically setting was…magic. Plus, falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean was incredible. I can still hear it.
- Natalie Illum, Lab 2009
RADAR Lab was a really exceptional experience for me. It was amazing to be around so many talented, dynamic writers working across broad subjects and multiple mediums. I wrote a whole lot in the time I was there but, more importantly, I was able to make great strides towards beginning a process of making my project cohesive–something that has really helped me gain the traction I needed to finish my book. I feel really grateful for the opportunity.
A year later, I am in the final stages of creating content and will spend the rest of this year finishing and editing the manuscript that was still in its infancy there. Since the Lab, I won the 2009 Mary Tanenbaum award for Nonfiction from the San Francisco Foundation for my manuscript. I was accepted into the Intergenerational Writers’ Lab at Intersection for the Arts based on “This Fragile Fortress” and my work was published in their online anthology. The Lab has really helped me propel my project forward and I feel really excited to have the momentum to finish it this year and begin looking for a publisher!
- Thomas McBee, Lab 2009
RADAR Lab offered not only much-needed time and space to focus on my book in a peaceful—and achingly gorgeous—setting, but also the chance to work in, and be challenged by, an uncommonly brave community of writers. The ten-day retreat was far richer than I could’ve imagined.
- Quince Mountain, Lab 2010
I had such a good time. I was astonished by light underwater swimming up above fish. I thought I am so violating. There they were down there all serene and peaceful. The writing experience at RADAR for me was stellar and unique. It’s production through a very intimate process of community that I found was awkward and inspiring like life. Everyone’s writing selves were vivid for me and it was a total treat to see what everyone was doing in there. I mean in their heads and on their computer screens. It was a radical kind of agreement an extensive of performance community quieting down to interior community next to each other. I’ve never had a retreat experience like it and I am very grateful to RADAR for including me in it. It was loving and smart, physical and inert, spare and nutritious. I’d go again in a flash because I felt I had been shuffled well into a good hand of work. Time was radiant. Thanks, RADAR.
- Eileen Myles, Lab 2010
The RADAR Lab was my first experience with a residency. The structure and time provided me a space in which to sink into my work that home does not quite make possible with the pressures of the everyday breathing down my neck: laundry, bills, work, food, dog hair clean-up. The experience changed my belief in my own capacity to make work if just given the time. Since being there, my work ethic has been honed, and my courage sharpened along the sea. The Lab has made a profound mark on me, and honed my unwavering commitment to my writing.
- Sara Seinberg, Lab 2009
The RADAR writer retreat was a magnificent gift. Michelle, Ali and Beth created a heavenly working environment in every way; the healing ocean waters, inspiring colors of the Caribbean, sumptuous food adventures, Aztec sweat lodge ceremonies, cave spelunking, and continuous great laughs up the wazoo. The days were structured around beautiful, silent hours writing together– so much fun. I learned a lot about being a writer, got a lot of work done, and left the retreat with an experience I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. What a blessing!
- Annie Sprinkle, Lab 2010
RADAR Lab in Akumal Mexico was the best retreat I’ve ever attended. The work time was productive, the food was divine. I shed my mask of fear somewhere between the sweat lodge and the cenote plus I made some new friends. I’d recommend this experience to anyone who needs a block of uninterrupted work time by the balmy Caribbean and in the company of great writers. It was fun as hell, we were well taken care of and I got a lot of work done on a new project.
- Beth Stephens, Lab 2010
It was great to hear these writers I respect so much read drafts of their work out loud to all of us, because the drafts sounded like mine, like works in progress, like something that is not supposed to be this perfectionism-driven ego-maniacal thing. It registered that yeah, trying to have this shining thing the first time will only further set us back, that getting out whatever is the most important part of it. Sure this is something we know because we are told, but to see it in action, in reality, not in school, not in a writer’s group, not on the internet, just people, established and emerging, writing habits and all, brought together by this one event, this retreat, all in progress at the same time, made me really get it. Something happened to me on this trip, and now I approach story with such a nice fat sloppy “who cares if it’s not perfect” combined with the not knowing. Because if I’m doing it right, the story is taking me for a ride, not the other way around. Not knowing and not caring is a lesson I have learned over and over, and I think this retreat solidified that lesson for me.
- Rose Tully