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River View Poetry Getaway
Write. Relax. Reconnect.

May 4-6, 2018
Garrison, NY

Join us for a spring writing retreat to recharge your creative spirit, awaken your imagination and breathe new life into your poems. Get away to write and be inspired:

   ● Energize your poetry with encouraging workshops and supportive feedback sessions
   ● Restore yourself with nourishing meals, optional yoga classes and time to explore the beautiful grounds
   ● Enjoy a nurturing community and time to relax

The River View Poetry Getaway is brought to you by Murphy Writing of Stockton University, proudly celebrating our 25th anniversary.

"I've never done an overnight writing retreat before and was amazed at how much writing happened just being away from home. The atmosphere was perfect: open, honest, sincere and so encouraging. Definitely worth the money, the drive and the time!"
   ~ Anne, Belmont, MA

Space is limited.
     Our programs fill quickly.
          Register today so you're not disappointed!

Workshop | Schedule | Faculty | Location | Pricing | Registration | Travel


Our retreats are centered on the belief that when writers leave behind the distractions of their busy lives to gather in an encouraging community, they are able to make important breakthroughs in their writing.

This revitalizing workshop will trigger your imagination as you craft new poems that surprise and please you. Peter Murphy will lead the program.

Feedback sessions
Two times during the weekend, you will participate in supportive feedback sessions. You will have the opportunity to share your new writing, to reflect on what you wrote, get responses on what worked well and receive suggestions for strengthening the next draft. You will have one feedback session with each of our faculty–Peter and Emari DiGiorgio. Each session will be limited to 12 participants.

This restorative weekend will offer craft discussion, writing prompts, writing time, feedback, motivation and inspiration.

"I come away a better writer, a better reader and a better critic of my own work–not to mention a refined model of workshop etiquette, depth of feedback, attention to detail and genuine kindness and support that is in no way competitive, but surrounds one with such amazing talent that one wants to be the best writer she or he can be. I hope to keep the friends I have made at the Getaway forever. I will see you next year, as I am now part of the family and a loyal attendee."
   ~ Tiffany, Santa Barbara, CA

Yoga (Optional)

You will have the option to begin each morning with a gentle vinyasa yoga class, led by poet and certified yoga instructor Emari DiGiorgio. Her classes are designed to accommodate a mixed-level group.

If you plan to participate in yoga, please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and bring a mat. If you don't own a mat but wish to participate, please purchase an inexpensive one at Five Below, Target, TJMaxx, etc.


This poetry writing retreat starts with dinner on Friday night and runs through lunch on Sunday.


  3:00 p.m. Check in anytime between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. and settle in
  6:00 Dinner
  7:15 Welcome and evening session


  7:00 a.m. Sunrise yoga (Optional)
  8:00 Breakfast
  9:00 Assignment 1 and writing time
  11:30 Assignment 2
  12:00 p.m. Lunch
  1:15 Writing time
  3:15 Feedback session
  5:45 Break
  6:00 Dinner
  7:30 Assignment 3 and writing time


  7:00 a.m. Sunrise yoga or writing time
  8:00 Breakfast
  9:15 Feedback session
  11:45 Closing
  12:00 p.m. Lunch
  2:00 Check out before 2:00 p.m. and depart


Workshop leader
Peter E. Murphy writer headshotPeter E. Murphy was born in Wales and grew up in New York City where he operated heavy equipment, managed a nightclub and drove a cab. He is the author of eight books and poetry chapbooks including two books of writing prompts and Stubborn Child, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. More than a dozen excerpts of his memoir-in-progress, You Go To My Head, have been published as standalone pieces in literary magazines. The founder of Murphy Writing of Stockton University, Peter has received dozens of awards and fellowships and has led hundreds of workshops for writers and teachers. Enjoy a brief interview with Peter and read some of his work at

Additional feedback session & yoga leader
Emari DiGiorgio is the author of The Things a Body Might Become and Girl Torpedo, which won the 2017 "Numinous Orison, Luminous Origin” Literary Award. She's the recipient of the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize, the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, a poetry fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts and numerous residencies. Emari is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet who teaches writing at Stockton University and hosts World Above, a monthly reading series in Atlantic City, NJ. She is also an RYT certified yoga instructor. Enjoy a video interview with Emari on State of the Arts and read some of her poetry at

"I was a first-time attendee and thoroughly enjoyed it. You have set an amazing tone of collaboration, growth and personal fulfillment that every attendee and instructor seem to embrace and spread. The facility was excellent, the food quite tasty and the evening sessions were lively and fun. Well done! I’ll be back!"
   ~ Mike, New York, NY


Take up residence at Garrison Institute, a retreat center located on the site of a former Capuchin monastery. The grounds, situated on a beautiful 95-acre property, overlook the Hudson River. The tranquil, park-like setting offers space for contemplation and restoring oneself.

The grounds, situated on a beautiful 95-acre property, overlook the Hudson River.


You may select a single room or share with another person. Garrison’s accommodations are simple and quiet. The bedrooms are accessed via stairs and are located on the second, third and fourth floors, with the exception of two handicapped-accessible bedrooms on the first floor. The building is 85 years old and does not have an elevator.

Note: The rooms do not have private bathrooms. Each floor has two spacious, communal bathrooms. Each bedroom offers twin beds. Bed linens, a pillow and a towel will be provided, but Garrison does not offer a daily housekeeping service.

If you would like to bring a spouse, significant other, friend or family member, these non-participating guests are welcome to share your room, which would have two twin beds, and may attend all meals and activities other than workshops.

Rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Register early to get your first choice!


Executive Chef Shelley Boris, a former restaurateur from Manhattan, serves healthy, delicious meals featuring locally-grown organic ingredients whenever possible. Meals are mostly vegetarian and are served buffet style with gluten-free options. Soy milk will be available for coffee and tea, but meals may contain dairy.

If you have dietary restrictions beyond vegetarian and gluten-free, please read this closely before registering: Unfortunately, Garrison is unable to accommodate other dietary needs. At each meal, the ingredients will be listed to allow you determine if you can eat off the buffet. If you have restrictions beyond vegetarian and gluten-free, plan to bring food with you to supplement your meals. Garrison offers a refrigerator, microwave and toaster for the food you bring. In addition, they will provide simple, unseasoned supplemental items such as plain rice, vegetables and eggs. Garrison is not able to discount their rates for people who bring their own food.


   ● Relax in either of two saunas
   ● Enjoy the walled garden, meadow, labyrinth and gazebo overlooking the river
   ● Stroll the hiking trails that connect to the Appalachian Trail
   ● Write in any of the three lounges, where tea and coffee are available
   ● Free wi-fi in the common areas
   ● Free round-trip shuttle from Garrison Train Station on Friday and Sunday

Garrison Institute is located an hour north of New York City in the Hudson Valley, situated across the river from West Point. It is 2 hours from Princeton and under 3 hours from Philly and South Jersey. See the Travel section below for the address, directions and other travel information.

"This was my first time attending and I truly grew. I loved the low-key, relaxed nature and appreciated the thoughtful assignments and how they were structured. I loved the sessions, the combination of reading, craft suggestions, discussions and writing. Thanks for the great experience."
   ~ Christine, Philadelphia, PA


-+- Register now -+-

Save as much as $30!
    ● "Early Bard" Discount ($15 off) if you pay in full on or before March 20
    ● "re-PETER" Discount ($15 off) if you've attended any of our other programs!

All-Inclusive fee includes

   ● Weekend writing workshop
   ● 3 days/2 nights accommodation
   ● Homemade meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
   ● Morning and afternoon snack breaks
   ● 24 hour beverage station with tea, water and instant coffee
   ● Round trip shuttle from Garrison Train Station on Friday and Sunday
   ● Use of wi-fi, saunas, lounges, gardens, labyrinth and hiking trails

Room package options

   ● Tuition with Single Room Package — $675
   ● Tuition with Double Room Package — $525 per person — A double room can be a great way to save money. Let us know if you'd like us to match you with a roommate.
   ● Tuition with Shared Room Package (With non-participating guest) — $965 — If you are bringing a guest, they may join us for meals and all non-workshop activities.

Fees do not include other transportation, college credit, gratuities or personal expenses.

Special commuter option includes

   ● Weekend writing workshop
   ● Homemade meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
   ● Morning and afternoon snack breaks
   ● 24 hour beverage station with tea, water and instant coffee
   ● Use of wi-fi, saunas, lounges, gardens, labyrinth and hiking trails
   ● Tuition with Commuter Package - $400

Commuter fees do not include transportation, college credit, gratuities or personal expenses.

Registration Options

   ● Register online to pay by credit card
   ● Mail your check or purchase order with this registration form

Please note: If you have trouble registering online, or if you don't receive an email confirming your online registration within 24 hours, call us at 609-626-3594 or email us at

The Fine Print

   ● "Early Bard" Discount ($15 off) if you pay in full on or before March 20
   ● "re-PETER" Discount ($15 off) if you've attended any of our other programs
   ● 50% deposit due upon registration
   ● Balance due by April 1
   ● Change Fee ($25) will be charged to make changes to your registration after April 1

Cancellation Policy

   ● By March 1 — 100% refund minus a $50 processing fee
   ● By April 1 — 50% credit toward one of our upcoming programs
   ● After April 1 — Sorry, no refund will be issued

Workshop space is strictly limited.
     Our programs fill quickly.
          Register today so you're not disappointed!

"As a first-timer, I arrived disoriented. Within a day, I felt comfortable and happily immersed myself in work. I appreciate all you did–and it was clearly a lot of work!–to facilitate such a thoughtful, effective and gracefully balanced weekend of learning."
   ~ Sue, Poughkeepsie, NY

-+- Register now -+-


We are offering a $300 scholarship to a first-time participant of River View Poetry Getaway. A panel of judges will review the submissions and make their selection based on a combination of merit and need. Application Deadline: March 8, 2018, and the recipient will be announced on this page by March 28, 2018.

Apply for a scholarship.


Garrison Institute
Route 9D at Glenclyffe
Garrison, NY 10524

Garrison Institute is located on Route 9D in Garrison, New York, approximately 50 miles north of New York City. Major highways nearby include Interstate 84, Route 9, the Palisades Parkway and the Taconic State Parkway. Free parking is available and Garrison is easily accessible via public transportation.

Friday, May 4. Arrive between 3:00-6:00 p.m. to settle in. Dinner will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Arriving via Public Transportation
From New York City—via train
   ● Take the Metro North Railroad’s Hudson Line
        ● From: Grand Central Station
        ● To: Garrison Train Station
   ● Then take the Garrison shuttle (details below) to the retreat center
   ● Schedules and fares
        ● The trip lasts just over an hour; trains generally arrive once an hour
        ● Select a train that arrives between 3:00 and 5:30 p.m.
        ● Schedules for May will not be posted until approximately 2 months prior
        ● Train tickets can be purchased in person on the day of your trip at Grand Central Station

From the North—via train
● Take Amtrak to Poughkeepsie, New York
   ● Transfer to the Metro North train in Poughkeepsie and travel south to Garrison Station

Note: Other public transportation options may be available, but these routes are the most direct to get to the program without driving.

Shuttle service for Garrison Train Station
   ● Friday: Arrive at the station between 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. to use the shuttle
   ● Sunday: Select a train that departs after 1:30 p.m. to use the shuttle
   ● Free, no reservation required

Flying to Garrison
See Garrison’s recommended airports and transfers

Sunday, May 6. Plan to vacate your room after lunch and depart by 2:00 p.m.

Departing via Public Transportation

Lunch ends at 1:00 p.m. Allow yourself enough time to check out of your room and take the shuttle to the train station. Buy your ticket for a train that leaves after 1:30 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How big will the workshop be?
A: This writing retreat can accommodate up to 24 participants, with feedback sessions divided into two groups of 12. Several writers also typically bring non-participating guests.

Q: Which workshop leader will I work with?
A: Good news: you will work with both Peter and Emari. Peter will lead the workshop, but you will have the opportunity to participate in a feedback session with each leader.

Q: I'm new to writing workshops. Will I fit in?
A: Absolutely! Our experienced workshop leaders plan their sessions to benefit both beginning and experienced writers. We pride ourselves on building an encouraging community of writers where all feel welcome.

Q: I've been to dozens of workshops. What will I get out of this one?
A: Our faculty challenge experienced writers to push beyond their usual limits. If you have been writing for decades, they will compel you to go deeper, take more risks and experiment with form and content. We know that experienced writers benefit from our programs based on the fact that hundreds of "re-PETERs" have attended three or more of our writing getaways. Try one of Peter's prompts from Challenges for the Delusional.

"The retreat was time well-spent reconnecting with my poet-self, giving her a chance to breathe and discover."
   ~ Ann, Medford, NJ

Photo Gallery

View our full collection of Writing Getaway photos.

Testimonials about our Writing Getaways & Retreats

"I just wanted to say that it was really fabulous and wonderful. I was a first-timer and it’s really true—everyone was welcoming, the writing and feedback were both challenging and fun and the caliber of work was amazing. Thanks for a great event! And please put me on any mailing lists for Murphy Writing and the Getaway—I definitely would like to stay updated."
   ~ Liz, Plainview, NY

"Thank you once again for your lively, challenging workshop. You provided a great program in a cozy environment with wonderful people. I thoroughly enjoyed the retreat and my wife enjoyed the R&R. We look forward to another Murphy escape in New England."
   ~ Jim, Providence, RI

"From the moment we arrived, the tone you set established an extremely supportive environment—enough structure and focus to keep us invested in our work, yet flexible enough to foster creativity and enjoyment. Thank you!"
   ~ Susan, River Edge, NJ

"I could not be happier with this program. Professionally executed, but with a familial, casual tone. Friendly and welcoming, but still serious in its drive to do important, focused work on the craft of writing."
   ~ Joe, Marmora, NJ

More testimonials

Professional Development Credits

Participants will receive a professional development certificate of participation. Stockton University is recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education to provide Professional Development credit hours, which many other states are willing to accept. You may check with your employer to see if it will work for you.


Call 609-626-3594 or email

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