The Kimbilio Retreat

The annual retreat is held each July on the Taos campus of Southern Methodist University.  Kimbilio’s signature program facilitates writers finding their voices and honing their craft through culturally responsive teaching, and through the nurturing support and mentorship of established writers. Previous Fellows have published over a dozen novels and short story collections and have been nominated for and have been awarded major literary prizes.

Support to Attend the Kimbilio Retreat

The annual Kimbilio Retreat is partially funded through the generous support of our partners at SMU and through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Fellows pay for their travel to and from New Mexico and contribute a small portion of the cost to cover their room and board on campus.  For more about scholarships and fellowships, visit the BECOME A FELLOW page.  


“Kimbilio was the first time I felt whole as a person and writer. No explanation needed, just accepted as a writer, my work and words appreciated in a way I’ve never experienced. Describing this experience to family and friends, I see them immediately open up to a new way of thinking because as black people we’re hungry to have our stories told and retold. ” 

“The Kimbilio retreat was such an energizing experience.  During the retreat I had several private moments when I would look up at the expanse of beautiful brown faces of varying shades coming from different locations in the diaspora, and I felt so at peace. We are so lucky to have such a place.” 

“Kimbilio is a safe place for African American writers to ask hard questions of their art and of the cannon itself. It is a safe place to experiment and evolve, engage and argue, explore and discover. Kimbilio is as necessary as fire.”