2017 Retreat Details


The dates are Thursday, June 29 - Saturday, July 1, 2017:


Thursday, June 29

 5 pm - 8 pm


Friday, June 30

9 am to 5 pm


Saturday, July 1

8:30 am to 11:30 am



Registration Deadline

Monday, May 15


More Details

Who Is Susan Palmer

Who Is Kristen Lindquist

Leadership and Metaphor: A Creative Retreat


with Susan Palmer and Kristen Lindquist


Are you looking for an enlivening opportunity to explore the connections between leadership and creativity?  Are you looking for a “stretch” experience that will help you probe your growth edges in a safe, playful and inspiring setting?

















In this unique 2-day workshop on Maine's Monhegan Island, Susan will help you pose powerful questions to inform your leadership experience throughout the workshop, while Kristen and the island itself will offer guidance and inspiration for exploring your creative side through poetry.


Located 12 miles off the coast of Maine and accessible only by passenger ferry (no cars allowed), Monhegan Island features a fishing village of about 50 year-round residents that grows to a few thousand in the summer months. The stunning landscape of this tiny, 700-acre island has inspired a summer artist colony for over one hundred years that has included such noted American artists as Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, Jamie Wyeth, Lynne Drexler, and many others. In the 1950s, summer resident Ted Edison, son of inventor Thomas Edison, began buying and conserving much of the island. The resulting wildlands, which comprise rugged ocean cliffs, pebble beaches, and mature spruce forest, now cover most of the island outside the village. More than 12 miles of trails offer access to the dramatic beauty of this special place, a true jewel of the Maine coast. Our exploration of the island landscape, as well as its natural and cultural histories, will help inform our personal, more inward exploration of creative expression through writing poetry.


We will be staying at the one of the island's three historic inns, right in the heart of the village. Our writing and coaching sessions will convene inside, in the inn itself, as well as outside, with al fresco exercises and observation sessions "in the field."


Who would benefit from this workshop?


  • For-profit, nonprofit, government and educational leaders;
  • Leaders of churches, community groups, and movements or causes;
  • New or experienced managers seeking inspiration, or to get “unstuck,” or to think in fresh ways about tapping into their own wisdom; and
  • Leadership coaches who want to gain a greater understanding of creativity by taking a “deep dive” into a creative exercise themselves.


What will you get out of it?


  • Three hours of coaching with Susan (leadership coaching for leaders or mentor coaching for coaches): one hour by phone prior to the workshop, one hour in person during the workshop, and one hour by phone after the workshop is over;
  • Three intensive poetry writing sessions with Kristen, including prompted exercises and nonjudgmental group discussion, in addition to several hours outside cultivating observation skills in a breath-taking and inspiring natural and cultural setting;
  • A workshop limit of 6 participants, ensuring that you will receive truly personalized attention in a fun and intimate atmosphere;
  • Networking opportunities with other professionals who are as curious as you are about the intersections between leadership and creativity; and
  • An enlightening summer weekend in a beautiful setting with planned indoor and outdoor writing sessions each day, as well as a visit to the Monhegan Museum of Art & History. You'll also have free time between sessions for your own excursions in the village and beyond.


Details and logistics:


  • Dates and schedule: Thursday, June 29 (gather at Monhegan House at 5 p.m. for island introduction, followed by dinner together), Friday June 30 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Saturday, July 1 (gather at 8:30, take a check-out break from 9:15 to 9:45, and finish by 11:30 a.m.)
  • A registration fee of $995 includes:
    • Three hours of coaching with Susan;
    • A copy of Susan’s book, Seasons of Leadership: A Self-Coaching Guide;
    • Three intensive writing sessions with Kristen, which will also include some natural history instruction while in the field;
    • A copy of Kristen's poetry collection, Tourists in the Known World: New & Selected Poems.
  • Registration, by payment in full, is open on a first-come/first-served basis until May 15, 2017.  Participant cancellations are refundable, minus $100, until June 1.  After that, no refunds are available unless the Retreat itself  is canceled, in which case the entire registration fee will be refunded.  We highly recommend that you make lodging reservations as soon as possible.
  • Transportation to the island:  You are responsible for coordinating your own transportation to the island via one of the three ferries (from Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, and Port Clyde). Once you arrive on the island, all transportation will be on your own two feet.
  • Lodgings: You are responsible for reserving your own room at the Monhegan House, where a block of rooms is being held for workshop participants. The inn's rooms are comfortable and simple, with shared bathrooms and free wireless Internet. A hearty breakfast in the island's dining room is included with your room reservation.
  • Meals: You are responsible for the cost of all your meals except breakfast; a hearty breakfast is included with your Monhegan House room reservation, served from 7:30 to 9 a.m. You will be on your own for lunch each day, during your free time. Available options in the village include soup and sandwiches, pizza, or a finer, sit-down meal at the Island Inn, or you can bring or buy your own lunch fixings and keep them in a shared refrigerator at the inn. We will share dinner together at an island restaurant on Thursday evening and at the Monhegan House on Friday evening.
  • Registration for the workshop itself is on a first come-first served basis. The deadline for registration is May 15th.  Contact Susan to reserve your space and pay the registration fee by check or credit card (via Square) here.





  • A frequent island visitor, Kristen will provide additional assistance with travel logistics and details about the ferries, inn, and the island itself once you have registered.


What else do you need to know?


  • Because vehicles are not allowed on the island (except for those owned by island residents), and because several of our writing exercises will be conducted on the island's many trails, come prepared to walk! Good footwear is a must.
  • Monhegan restaurants are not licensed to serve alcohol; all are bring-your-own. A good selection of wine and beer is available for purchase on the island (which features a small grocery store, a sandwich shop, and a pizza place), in addition to the locally made beer at Monhegan Brewing. No hard alcohol is sold on the island, so if you want to toast the sunset with a glass of whiskey, remember to pack your own.
  • There is no medical assistance available on the island; don't forget to pack all necessary medications and prescriptions you may need.
  • Smoking is not allowed in any of the buildings on the island or outside of the immediate village itself.
  • The Maine coast is notorious for its fog and rain. We will be venturing out regardless of weather, so please remember to bring your rain gear and pack lots of layers. During the summer months, the island can be up to ten degrees cooler than the mainland due to offshore winds.
  • The island is incredibly picturesque and photogenic. Don't forget your camera!


Who is Kristen Lindquist?


Prize-winning poet and freelance writer Kristen received her Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Oregon and was on the administrative staff of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont from 1989 - 1996. Her poems and other writings have appeared in Down East Magazine, Bangor Daily News, and Bangor Metro, as well as in various literary magazines and anthologies. Her books include the chapbook Invocation to the Birds, the poetry collection Transportation, which was a finalist for the 2012 Maine Literary Award, and the forthcoming Tourists in the Known World: New and Selected Poems. Garrison Keillor has read three of her poems on National Public Radio's The Writer's Almanac. An avid birder and naturalist, she writes a monthly natural history column for the local paper, in addition to a daily haiku blog, Book of Days. She serves as a professional birding guide throughout Maine and spends several weeks each year on Monhegan during the spring and fall bird migrations. You can learn more about Kristen - and find a poem or two, as well as her photographs of Monhegan and elsewhere - at her website www.kristenlindquist.com.


Who is Susan Palmer?


Susan is an international leadership coach and consultant who specializes in helping change agents increase the potency of their authentic presence in order to achieve more of the results they seek for themselves, their teams and organizations.  Susan holds a graduate-level certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, and she is the author of Seasons of Leadership: A Self-Coaching Guide, which explores how the cycles of leading and learning mirror the cycle of the seasons.  In addition to her credentialed membership in the International Coach Federation as a Professional Certified Coach, Susan is a member of the Growth Edge Network and an affiliate member of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital.  She is a Registered ICF Mentor Coach, and serves as an Alumni Mentor to students in Georgetown’s Leadership Coaching Program.  You can learn more about Susan and her leadership development practice at www.susanpalmerconsulting.com.