Hi! I’m Phyllis Cole-Dai, author, poet, musical dabbler, and host of this online community. I’m so glad you’ve stepped aboard The Raft! Ready to head downstream?

On The Raft, we’re all about trying to live from our “true spot,” buoyed by the arts and spiritual practice. Many of us are also into making stuff, whether casually or professionally.

What’s our “true spot”? Imagine it as an inner place of deep integrity, confidence, compassion, and joy.

Get just what you want from The Raft community

Don’t miss out! We have oodles of resources and opportunities, and The Raft is always evolving.

Read on to learn about . . .

Newsletters (free)

When you join The Raft you’re automatically subscribed to every newsletter (or “section”) that I publish except Rafter Digest:

After you’ve sampled everything, you can adjust your settings to receive just the mailings you’re interested in.

Change your settings

Feeling “inbox overwhelm”? I recommend subscribing only to the Rafter Digest.

Regular Groups (Free)

Interested but can’t make it to these groups? Watch for the video replays in either “Events & News” or “Rafter Digest.”

  • Poetry Pick-Me-Up (Thursdays, 12-1PM Central). A casual poetry-sharing and discussion group. Bring a poem written by someone other than yourself to read to the group. Or, just come to listen to the poems offered by other Rafters and to participate in informal but wholehearted conversation about them. Hop on the Zoom at this link.

  • Creatives’ Coffee (every other Wednesday, 4-5:30PM Central). Casual conversation among Rafters who like to “make stuff,” whether for fun or as a profession. Need companionship and support? Creative inspiration? Cross-fertilization of ideas? You’ll find oodles of all this and more. Hop on the Zoom at this link.

Special Groups (Paid)

To participate in these groups, you must be a paying subscriber on The Raft. Scholarships are available if you contact me. These gatherings are not recorded.

  • Poets on the Raft (opening September 6, 2023). Hosts: Annette Grunseth, Gloria Heffernan, Tom Shostak. Starting on October 4, members meet on Zoom every other Wednesday at 7PM Central. Currently limited to twelve participants, with waiting list. Questions? Learn more here, or email Annette Grunseth using the button and she’ll be glad to help you. (Watch your spam in case her reply gets routed there.)

    Email Annette

  • Rafters Writing Fiction. Host: Ferwa Jaffery. Members meet on Zoom every other Tuesday at 1PM Central. To join, first subscribe to The Raft (if you haven’t already), then email Ferwa. Questions? Learn more here, or email Ferwa using the button and she’ll be glad to help you. (Watch your spam in case her reply gets routed there.)

Email Ferwa

The Dig (Paid perk)

With monthly “digs,” I encourage you to write from your true spot. I’ll email you a writing prompt, usually on the last Sunday of the month. You may respond to it in whatever written form tickles your fancy.

The Dig is available to all paying subscribers. (Scholarships are available if you contact me.) You can opt out of this mailing list at any time by updating your subscription preferences.

Update preferences

Deep Dives (Paid perk)

With month-long “deep dives,” I invite you to immerse yourself in particular “life themes,” using poetry reading, contemplation, journaling, creative work, and/or other practices.

Every deep dive is available to all paying subscribers. (Scholarships are available.) Watch for an announcements about our next dive. If you sign up, you’ll automatically be enrolled in succeeding ones, too. You can opt out at any time by updating your subscription preferences.

Rafter Discount (for everybody)

Woohoo! As a member of The Raft, you get a “forever” 15% discount in my website store. Just enter the code “rafter15” at checkout.

Rafter Bazaar (for everybody)

Here you can browse beautiful creative works (or projects-in-progress) by folks in our awesome Raft community!

What counts as “creative”? Almost anything! Writing, cooking, quilting, painting, gardening, raising a family, rearing animals, taking photographs, making music . . . you name it.

Visit the Bazaar and add your own work to the mix.

Whew, that’s a lot! Still with me?

One last thing . . .

I offer The Raft as a gift. However, if you can help support this community with a voluntary contribution, I’d be grateful. Consider your contribution a tangible expression of the value you find here.

You’ll get a few modest perks in return:

  • a personal email expressing my gratitude

  • bonus content (e.g., participation in digs, deep dives, paid groups)

  • a private online celebration with me, together with other supporters

  • most of all, the delight of knowing that you’re helping to keep The Raft fully accessible to absolutely everybody. (Yes, just like public broadcasting!)

Become a supporting subscriber of The Raft at one of these levels:

  • $5 per month

  • $50 per year (less than a dollar per week).

  • Raft Keeper: $150 per year

All contributions are collected via Substack, which receives a share of the proceeds. This enables the Substack platform to flourish as an alternative to other less user-friendly and less ethical social media platforms.

Grateful, grateful.

☀️ Want the full Raft experience but can’t swing the $5/month subscription? Just email me and I’ll provide a gift subscription. While The Raft stays afloat thanks to generous donor/subscribers, I want everyone who wishes to participate in its offerings to have access.

Again, I’m so glad you’re here. Always feel free to drop me a line.

Subscribe to The Raft

Riding the river of life, buoyed by the arts and spiritual practice. Climb aboard with author and curator Phyllis Cole-Dai!


Phyllis Cole-Dai 

I began pecking away on an old manual typewriter in childhood and never stopped. An author in multiple genres, I live with my scientist-husband and two cats in a 130-year-old house in Brookings, SD.