RETREAT AND Explore your creativity 2024!

Want to meet and work with other writers? What better way than a  intimate setting than a writing retreat. Vertikal Creative Ventures presents one of many retreats for creatives. This year it’s in the beautiful and mysterious country of Ireland. Sign up now!


“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

 —William Butler (WB) Yeats

Discover Unlimited Beauty

We invite you to take time out to experience the landscape, art, people, and story that has captivated so many. Retreat with a small group of writers & poets in Athlone,  a town in central Ireland. The medieval Athlone Castle offers views from its battlements plus displays of local history. South of town, along the River Shannon, the early Christian ruins of Clonmacnoise include a cathedral and seven churches. To the north, the vast Lough Ree is dotted with islands and housing monastic ruins. Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park has a ring fort, a forge, and rich birdlife.  This retreat is about more than sitting in a classroom…it’s being among people seeking space, rest, challenge, and clarity for the next steps in your writing life.  This retreat will be facilitated by North Carolina, U.S.A. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green. Embrace this magical journey that will last a lifetime


Retreat facilitator

Jaki Shelton-Green, Poet Laureate of North Carolina

Jaki Shelton Green is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate.  Governor Copper stated that “Jaki Shelton Green brings a deep appreciation of our state’s diverse communities to her role as an ambassador of North Carolina literature. Jaki’s appointment is a wonderful new chapter in North Carolina’s rich literary history.”


 Her collegiate and professional experiences include currently teaching Documentary Poetry at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Visiting Professor for the Carlow University MFA Program, Lenoir-Rhyne University Writer-in-Residence, Duke University Teaching for Equity Fellow, Taller Portobelo Artist Colony in Portobelo Panama, University of Panama, Department of Cultural Resources for Brazil, North Carolina Turkish Association, Alhambra Cultural Center in Marrakech Morocco, NC Symphony,  NC African America Cultural Heritage Commission.

She is the owner of SistaWRITE and co-partner with Dream Yourself Awake and Vertikal Creative Ventures providing writing retreats and travel excursions for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Ocracoke North Carolina, Agadir Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland.

Awards include Orange County Baha’i 2019 Light of Unity Award, 2019 NC Humanities Council Caldwell Award, 2019 American Academy of Poets Laureate Fellowship, 2018 Tar Heel of the Year Finalist2018 Indies Arts Award, 2018 NC Literary and Historical Association R. Hunt Parker Award, 2018 Phi Beta Kappa Award, 2017-2018 Duke University Faculty Travel Grants, 2017 Certification of Teacher Excellence presented by the Kingdom of Morocco Ministry of National Education, 2016 Kathryn H. Wallace Award for Artists in Community Service2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2014 Pushcart Prize Nominee, 2010 Fine Arts Emerald Award (Raleigh LINKS), 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2007 Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature (the highest award the state can bestow for significant contributions in science, literature, fine arts, and public service), 2003 North Caroliniana Society induction. Jaki Shelton Green is the recipient of two NC Emerging Artist Grants, the African American Writer’s Collective Distinction Award, NC Writers Network Blumenthal Award2002 Omega Iota Finer Womanhood Award (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority) Delta Arts Award (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority)

Jaki Shelton Green is the author of eight collections of poetry: Dead on Arrival, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Masks, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, published by Carolina Wren Press and Blair Publishers. Her other publications; Feeding the Light, I Want to Undie You are published by Jacar Press. Her poetry has been published in over eighty national and international anthologies and featured in magazines such as Essence and Ms. Magazine.


Exclusive Offer at $2699.99




JUNE 3, 2024 – JUNE 11, 2024




Our stunning 4-star Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone has a fantastic waterfront location, with scenic views over the river and town. Our County Westmeath hotel’s central position is less than 5 minutes’ walk from the train station, making travel further afield quick and easy – Dublin is under 1.5 hours away.  Our hotel is within walking distance of many of Athlone’s attractions, including the town’s modern marina. Watch the river cruises go by from the comfort of the hotel bar, or join one yourself by simply booking at reception. Travel back in time with a visit to the 12th-century Athlone Castle, just a 5-minute walk away. A 10-minute drive and you’ll be at Glendeer Pet Farm, where kids and adults alike can enjoy interacting with a variety of animals, from llamas to monkeys. Our hotel’s prime location in Athlone makes it the perfect base for all kinds of exploration.






Welcome to Dublin, a city that's as intimate as a village and as friendly as an Irish pub. Framed by mountains, centered on a river and edged by a beautiful bay, the city's streets and alleys are filled with vibrant art and historic buildings, hip cafés and traditional "old man" pubs, as Dubliners call them.  READ MORE


Located in County Offaly, in the Midlands of Ireland, and bordering the town of Tullamore near the Shannon River, Charleville Castle is situated in Ireland's most ancient primordial oak woods, once the haunting grounds of Ireland's druids.  READ MORE


The Connemara region with the counties of Clare and Galway are the most scenic and least spoilt regions of Ireland. I have close family members living in Galway and have returned over the years to explore these ancient places that are steeped in culture and history. This part of Ireland is my most favourite place to tour and visit. READ MORE


The Award-Winning Gardens of Birr Castle Demesne in Ireland are both rich in amazing feats of science and engineering, as well as rare trees and flowers, wonderful wildlife, walks along peaceful rivers and the lake. Celebrating 400 years in 2021, this remarkable family have resided at the romantic and inspirational setting of Birr Castle Demesne, that is now home to the 7th Earl of Rosse.  READ MORE

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