It's been years since my residency at Ragdale, but I still find that prairie creeping into my poems. It was such a wonderful opportunity; I was a graduate student then, working a full time temp job and counting down the days until I could quit and be whisked off to Ragdale to focus on writing poems, not drafting newsletters about lead paint dangers. Of course, that was also before I had a child and really warranted a getaway, but at the time it was just what I needed (even if I spent way too much time sleeping and musing, and not enough time writing).
I remember being a little antisocial. I remember the rooms were twice the size of my apartment at home. I remember this huge sense of history, and feeling very small. I remember a chipmunk running through the living room! I remember going nuts one day being away from the city, and hopping on the METRA and sneaking a getaway from my getaway. Next time I have a residency I will get more done, I promise, and I won't escape (unless I get that itch again). Any other Ragdaleurs out there, or other writers' retreats to mention?