The Unconscious Speaks


  • Bianca Stone
  • Candace Jensen
Monday July 3rd – Sunday July 9th
Holden House – East Calais, Vermont

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The Unconscious Speaks

The thesis: Poetry is closer to the language of the unconscious than other forms of writing, and can create a window, or open up a dialogue, with material that lies outside of and deeper than the realm of our conscious thought and intentional creative process.

This intimate and dynamic witing retreat will be a collaborative group exploration of poetry and consciousness.  Participants are invited to spend a week working on personal writing projects based in (or around) poetry, and practicing and experiencing guided meditation, yoga asana, and the age-old practice of yoga nidra (yogic sleeping). With a focus on dedicated time to read and write, in a private, remote setting that will support curiosity and creative unfolding, our intention is to increase our ability to gain access to more generative, creative flow-states.

Daily yoga and meditation will be an integral part of the retreat content. Time for discussion and workshop will also give way to plenty of time to generate new writing, and to feel, and to rest.  This week will be serious yet playful, while we will be doing the heady work of discussing readings, while working privately on our projects, we will ground back to the body and the experience of ineffable consciousness.

The retreat begins before we convene in Vermont, with two zoom meetings hosted by the faculty, where we will introduce the material and begin to share our work and our perspectives.



  • Applicants are poets and writers with established writing, journaling and/or publishing practices who are writing text exploring poetry and interdisciplinary study. Accredited degrees are not required but candidates should be comfortable and / or interested in academic discussion and writing workshop settings
  • This retreat will require preparatory reading
  • Recommended: some experience with meditation, yoga or committed spiritual practice
  • Two pre-retreat online meetings in June: Sundays (exact dates TBA)

Meeting 1:

  1. Guided meditation with Candace Jensen-CYT, 500 Hours
  2. Discussion of selected readings materials
  3. Proposals for project-outlines & first drafts sent to Class

-explore initial thoughts on some of the required readings together, experience our first guided meditation, and otherwise prepare for our week retreat. In the first online session we will also be sharing a 5-page packet with the group of poetry (or prose if also acceptable if it explores poesis in some way)


Meeting 2

The second online session will be workshopped based around our packets, preparing to edit and explore anew we will bring to the in-person retreat.


What to Submit: 

  • 5 pages of poetry, essay, hybrid work. PDF preferred.
  • Up to 500 word description of your project, focus, or creative research interest
  • 2 references who can attest to your ability to share space and be a respectful community member


Scholarship subsidies will be made available! Share and contribute to our scholarship campaign today! CLICK HERE

About Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is the author of the poetry collections Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, The Möbius Strip Club of Grief, and most recently What is Otherwise Infinite (Tin House, 2022). Stone’s poems, poetry comics, and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines including The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic, Poetry Magazine and Brooklyn Rail. She teaches classes on poetry and consciousness in Vermont.

About Candace Jensen

Candace Jensen (CYT 500hr) is primarily a visual artist, organizer and poet. Cofounder and Programming Director of In Situ Polyculture Commons, she earned her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and her BFA from Tyler School of Art, both in Philadelphia. She has exhibited her work in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Vermont and Belgium. Her poetry, interviews and reviews of her work have appeared in Adroit Journal, eRatio Postmodern Poetry, Iterant Mag, ANTE Mag, the Index Press, and others.

Candace has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years and teaching for 11. She has taught public yoga classes in California, Philadelphia and Vermont, and private classes and series for art institutions such as the Vermont Studio Center, the DeYoung Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Main Street Arts in Saxtons River, VT. This is her third retreat offering yoga and meditation with the Ruth Stone House.

She is a 500-hour Certified teacher of Tantric Hatha Yoga in the Sri Vidya tradition through Sri Yoga Teacher Trainings in San Francisco, and also has a 300 hour certification in Ayurveda coaching and wellness. In addition, Candace has completed over 600 hours of additional training and study through Sri Yoga at the Himalayan Institute, Shakti School Ayurveda Program & ParaYoga. She specializes in Tantric Hatha Flow and Yoga Nidra.

You can learn more about her yoga experience and philosophy as well as read student testimonials at:

About Virtual Classes

Virtual classes are usually based on video conferencing. At the moment we use Zoom. Instructors may utilize email as well as the specific ‘class page’ to share materials.

Class pages are accessible to students through their account page.  CLICK HERE to visit your account.

Each class is different, and Ruth Stone House allows a wide degree of freedom to instructors as to how they run their classes. If you miss a class or have technical problems you can request a video link to the class you missed. 

Technical requirements:

In order to attend a Zoom based class, make sure you meet these technical requirements: Click here

We also require that you have access to email service to use Ruth Stone House Classroom.

Have more questions? CONTACT US.

Financial Aid

FInancial aid is applied for on a class by class basis. Not all classes offer financial aid. There is a limited amount of funding available, and aid is awarded in the order received.

This financial aid form is for:

The Unconscious Speaks

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