University of Minnesota MFAs have been venturing annually up to the northern woods of Minnesota near Bemidji for the official MFA retreat for over 30 years. (This trip actually predates the MFA program, which began in 1997.) Michael Dennis Browne, who, for many many years, was considered the unofficial poet laureate of the U of M, brought young writers up north (near his own cabin) so that they might get a chance to catch the northern lights being pretty, to cause trouble in canoes, and to wander near the Mississippi headwaters. Most important of all, however, Browne wanted them to have the opportunity to chop up all of the wood he would need for the winter for him.
This year was no different. Our robust writers had a fine time drinking by the fire, petting Lexo the cabin dog, and testing their wherewithal by jumping in the autumnal waters of the lake.