Faith Adiele is author of two memoirs, “The Nigerian-Nordic Girl's Guide to Lady Problems” and “Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun,” which won the PEN Open Book Award. The PBS film “My Journey Home” documents her travels abroad to find her father and siblings. She is also co-editor of “Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology.” Adiele lives in Oakland, California, and teaches memoir, travel writing and international literature at California College of the Arts, VONA: Summer Workshops for Writers of Color, and The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
What was the most unexpected part of your stay?
The winery tours! I like wine as much as the next girl but wasn’t particularly interested in the vineyard tours. But they turned out to be spectacular! Both tour guides; two different, beautiful settings; the behind-the-scenes look at the industry—golden! If I wrote genre fiction or action screenplays, I’d totally set my next work in a winery.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat?
The lovely dinner in the vineyard restaurant! It was so generous and unexpected; we ordered every dessert on the menu!
In what ways did the vineyard setting inspire you and/or your writing?
It was gorgeous. Being in contemplative settings, away from the city and my daily responsibilities, helps me focus on big writing projects and do deep work.
What did you work on during the retreat?
A long essay on multicultural marriage that will appear in The Rumpus this month!
What other activities did you do during the retreat—any napping, hiking, or exploring the local area?
Lots of napping. Two wine-tastings/private winery tours arranged by our hosts. Exploring the cute town of Livermore, including thrift stores and dinners (Afghan food! Fondue!).Trivia Night, at a bar in town. My birthday celebration.They had two cruiser bicycles and a park with trails across the street!
Did you participate in any activities or events arranged by the host winery?
The aforementioned wine-tastings/private tours arranged by the winery, as well as a private dinner in the vineyard restaurant. We were treated graciously and even got the employee discount in the gift shop and club house!
Do you have any advice or tips for future applicants that wish to apply for a co-residency and work together?
Talk about expectations beforehand.
Can you sum up your experience in eight to ten words?
Our writing group lived like food and wine writers!