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What’s so compelling about Kaptaruni that we chose to do our Write Fresh retreat there? A few years ago Belorussian social activists began purchasing abandoned rural houses with land. Their goal was to create an artistic community. Soon what was a nearly desolate settlement turned into an art-village with annual literary festivals, international open-air art and cinema forums and other events, all on this

Art-village Kaptaruny is uniquely located at the intersection of four cultures: Belorussian, Lithuanian, Polish and Jewish. The abundance of cultural heritage and enigmatic nature have fostered a concentration of special energy in the area. No wonder Prosper Merimee’s character “Lokys” was born in these forest!

Every May-June you may be woken up with a singing of a million of birds. What a song! Even the lake here is a mystery. It has both “alive” water and the dead water zone. Not sure if that’s a positive thing, but I’m pretty intrigued. And just eighteen kilometres away there is a complex of glacial lakes in the national reserve – a nature’s monument, pristine like your muse.

“Literature unites different cultures by helping us discover the other and by eliminating the distance.”


A well-known pagan monument, Leaky Kaptarunsky Stone, guards the village at the north end of the village. It also guards the dreams of village residents and guests who come here for informal art and literature festivals, bizarre contests and Belorussian sauna purification adventures. Why did we choose this place for our writer’s residency?

  • Here it is natural to create new paths through the thickets of writing
  • Authentic Slavic hospitality
  • This is a place where you step beyond yourself out of the dead water

Stepping out of your comfort zone and reconnecting with your inner guidance may become a key to unlocking your creative process. Join us in Kaptaruny where nature grounds and collaboration settles you in a creative routine. We will start with a cup of what they call here a balsam coffee. And who knows where we will end up. You might purchase a rural house with land to start a snarky youtube channel. The way to your author’s marketing could be laid underneath a rainbow after a morning of rain.