07. February 2018 · Comments Off on February 2018: A Highland Stravaig and other Geopoetics News · Categories: Uncategorised

Welcome to your Geopoetics newsletter for February with news and information about upcoming events in Scotland and beyond.

Read the full newsletter here

Stravaig: Online Journal

Many thanks to everyone who sent in essays, poems, images and artwork for issue 6 of our online journal Stravaig. We received more submissions than ever before so it will take us some time to complete the editing. There will be more news to follow but in the meantime take a look at previous issues here.

Geopoetics Highland Stravaig: Abriachan, Saturday 26th May


Tickets £25 (including lunch and evening meal)

Tickets available from the Moniack Mhor website here
Facebook event page
Download full information here

Our next event will be a Highland Stravaig on Saturday 26 May 2018 in Abriachan in collaboration with Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre, and the Abriachan Forest Trust. Abriachan is a rural community set high in the hills above the western shores of Loch Ness. We will explore Abriachan both as a rich cultural and literary landscape and as a part of a diverse bio-region, reflecting on different creative, poetic and aesthetic ways of being in this place.

A live theme at last year’s Expressing the Earth’conference on Seil Island in Argyll was the contribution of geopoetics to modern land consciousness. There is a social and poetic link here: 2018 sees the 20th anniversary of the Abriachan Forest Trust’s community land buy-out in 1998, which followed the Isle of Eigg in 1997. This year’s Stravaig event is, in part, a celebration of this milestone in Abriachan’s history. Local writer Katharine Stewart (1914 – 2013), a former member of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, played an important role in this story. Stewart’s writing – including A Croft in the Hills (1979) and Abriachan: The Story of an Upland Community (2000) –  is celebrated this year by Moniack Mhor with a bursary for aspiring nature writers and writers of historical fiction.

Following the inaugural Tony McManus Lecture on ‘Nan Shepherd as an Early Geopoet’ by James McCarthy in November 2017, we will also reflect on the work of local author Jessie Kesson, who, upon a chance meeting with Shepherd, was inspired to pursue her writing.

To introduce the day, we will discover more about the story of Abriachan from leader of the Forest School, Suzann Barr, and Gaelic expert Roddy MacLean will share his deep knowledge of Gaelic place-names, native flora and fauna and local geodiversity on a forest walk in the shadow of hill Carn na Leitire (outdoor wear recommended!). In the afternoon, following a lunch of soup and bread, we will hear from ecologist and international river campaigner Lucio Marcello – who is currently investigating archive materials to chart the impact of dams and other land use changes on the biodiversity of the Ness river system – and from writer and cartographer Raghnaid Sandilands who will share her creative approach to landscape and cultural memory.

Following some free creative time in the afternoon, we will traverse 1.4 miles up the road to the Village Hall. Writer and musician Heather Clyne will introduce us to the work of Jessie Kesson with a selection of readings on a short walking tour through the village. This will be followed by a hearty shared meal in the hall and an evening ceilidh with opportunities for open floor contributions. Music for dancing will be provided by the local ceilidh band.

Download full information here
Email Mairi at geopoetichighland@gmail.com for further information.

 

N E W S  &  E V E N T S

Members’ News: Elizabeth Rimmer launches ‘Haggards’ at SPL

We would like to send very best wishes toElizabeth Rimmer, who launches her third full-length poetry collection at theScottish Poetry Library on Saturday 10 FebruaryHaggards, published by Red Squirrel press, plays off the different meanings of the word ‘haggard’ – wild and untamed, worn by grief and hardship; and the Irish designation for a patch of land, too small to cultivate, granted to peasants to grow their own crops, to create poems about herbs, personal and social upheaval, creativity and regeneration. Free event, free wine. All welcome. Read more

 

Bothy Culture and Beyond: A Live, Lasting Culture

‘Bothy Culture and Beyond,’ the music of Martyn Bennett orchestrated for the stage by conductor Greg Lawson, was a major highlight at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival. Read Mairi McFadyen‘s outstanding essay on the cultural significance of this event, reflecting on the potent link between the politics of land reform and the poetics of a deep culture. Read here (republished on Bella Caledonia here)

Asheville Wordfest, NC, USA: Earth, People and Words

Norman Bissell and Alastair McIntoshwill travel over the Atlantic this April to speak at Asheville Wordfest in North Carolina on the theme of science, soul and art in conversation. The event is organised by Laura Hope-Gill, who attended the Expressing the Earthconference last year. Laura is a writer, poet, architectural historian, film-maker, teacher and directs the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville. Read more.

Geraldine Green: Writing Workshops and Courses

Cumbrian writer Geraldine Green is leading several upcoming workshops and courses details below:

Friday 6 April,  10am – 4pm
Write in Nature at Eycott Hill, Cumbria Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, free workshop details here.

Saturday 16 June, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Write on the Shore at Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s South Walney Nature Reserve, £35 incl. refreshments, booking:geraldinegreen.poetry1@gmail.com

Friday 22 June – Sunday 24 June
Midsummer Poetry residential course at Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria with co-tutor Pippa Little. Booking is through Brantwood Details here.

Geraldine blogs at Salt Road: http://geraldinegreensaltroad.blogspot.co.uk/2018/

Please send information about geopoetics related publications, news and events for our next Newsletter to normanbissell@btinternet.com.

09. January 2018 · Comments Off on Newsletter January 2018: Final Call for submissions to Stravaig · Categories: Uncategorised

Happy New Year! This newsletter is a reminder about upcoming deadlines and contains some new information about events and opportunities in 2018.

Read the full newsletter here

FINAL CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Stravaig is the online journal for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics.

We invite you to submit essays, poems, artwork and images for the next issue on the theme of ‘Expressing the Earth.’ We would especially welcome papers, articles and creative work from those who attended our June Conference. Essays max. 4,000 words, no more than 4 poems/images.

Our editorial group consists of Norman Bissell, Mairi McFadyen, Ullrich Kockel, Elizabeth Rimmer and Caroline Watson.

FINAL CALL
Deadline: 15 January 2018
Please email submissions to normanbissell@btinternet.com

N E W S  &  E V E N T S

Highland Stravaig, Saturday 26 May 2018

Our next event will be a Highland Stravaig in Abriachan above Loch Ness (near Inverness) on Saturday 26 May. The event will be in association with Moniack Mhorand the Abriachan Forest Trust. Following our discussion on Nan Shepherd, we will reflect on the work of Jessie Kesson, explore the local cultural landscape and its biodiversity and celebrate Abriachan’s role in land reform (2018 is the 20th anniversary of Abriachan’s community buy-out). Full details to follow. Email Mairi McFadyen for more info.

 

 

Katharine Stewart Bursary

In celebration of the life and work of Abriachan-based Katharine Stewart, who was a former member of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre Moniack Mhor are offering the prize of a place on either the Nature Writing or Historical Fiction course to a writer in 2018. Open to unpublished/published writers living and working in the Highlands who have or would like to have a piece of work in development. Read more here.

 

Please send information about geopoetics related publications, news and events for our next Newsletter to normanbissell@btinternet.com.

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News October 2017 · Categories: Uncategorised

A warm welcome to all the new members who have joined the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics since June’s Expressing the Earth Conference in Argyll, and to all the new subscribers to this newsletter. A special welcome to new members in Australia and Ireland.

The conference was a watershed event in the development of geopoetics and we have decided to follow it with a Geopoetics Day and an annual Tony McManus Geopoetics Lecture to be held after our AGM on Saturday 18th November. The inaugural lecture will be on Nan Shepherd as Geopoet and will be given by our Chairperson James McCarthy.

Geopoetics Day

Tony McManus Geopoetics Lecture

James McCarthy: Nan Shepherd as Geopoet

Saturday 18 November at 15.15

Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh

Tony McManus founded the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics in 1995 and was its director until his death in 2002. He was a wonderful musician and teacher who wrote many perceptive essays and reviews as well as the book The Radical Field. He worked tirelessly to raise awareness of geopoetics in Scotland and internationally. The Centre has decided to initiate an annual lecture in his memory to recognise his important work. The inaugural lecture will take place this year in Edinburgh, given by Chairperson James McCarthy on the theme of ‘Nan Shepherd as Geopoet.’

Nan Shepherd has been described by Robert McFarlane as “an incredibly inspiring figure, and an unusual one, in the sense of being a woman writing about mountains and the wilderness and nature… she’s so far ahead of us – we’re only starting to catch Nan up. Philosophically and stylistically, she was extraordinary.”

James McCarthy is a writer based in Edinburgh, the author of 11 published books, currently focussed on historic Scottish travellers and explorers, in addition to articles in other publications. He is a former forester and leading conservationist who has travelled extensively in East Africa, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe. He is an engaging speaker who has presented his work at the leading book festivals in Scotland.

S C H E D U L E

Free entry; donations welcome. You can attend for all or part of the day.

Please email Norman Bissell if you are having lunch so we can let The Bridge Inn know numbers – lunch booking is essential. Standard menu can be found here.

Join the Facebook event

10.30 – Assemble at main entrance to Heriot-Watt University (directions; campus map)
10.45 – Walk along the Union Canal to Ratho
12.15 – Lunch at the Bridge Inn, Ratho
13.30 – Transport to Heriot-Watt University
13.45 – AGM (agenda to follow to members and those attending)
15.15 – Tony McManus Geopoetics Lecture
15.45 – Questions and discussion
16.30 – Close

7pm until late – informal ceilidh in Edinburgh (venue to be confirmed). Come all ye and bring your songs and poems.

BLÀTHAN BRISTE
A collaborative exhibition by Alec Finlay and Hannah Imlach exploring energy independence, localism, and technology, from the Neolithic quernstones (hand-mills) of the islands, to the MoD rocket range on Uist and St Kilda, and the renewable energy arrays of the future. Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, North Uist until 28 October. Read more

MAIRI CAMPBELL | PULSE
Mairi Campbell takes her acclaimed one woman show Pulse to Paisley, Stirling, Aberdeen and Cromarty from 5 – 14 October 2017. Follow her journey of discovery in her music and life from London to Mexico, Cape Breton to Lismore.
Video | Tickets | Read more

SOMHAIRLE MACDONALD | EXHIBITION

Somhairle MacDonald is an artist, photographer and musician from the Scottish Highlands. His recent work inspired by the landscapes of Lochaber will be on display at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool from 16 October – 4 January.
On Landscape | Instagram | Read more

KARINE POLWART | WIND RESISTANCE

Karine Polwart returns with her hit show Wind Resistance to the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh from 3 – 11 November 2017. A compelling combination of story and song set at Fala Flow, south-east of Edinburgh.
Video | Read more

SCOTLAND’S GEOHERITAGE FESTIVAL

A host of guided walks, talks, short courses and other interesting events from Shetland to Glasgow, Eigg to Edinburgh will take place throughout October for Scotland’s Geoheritage Festival. It includes the launch of ’51 Best Places to see Scotland’s Geology’ by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on Saturday 14 October from 10 – 4pm. Read more

THE SHIELING PROJECT | AWARD
The Shieling Project has won ‘Best Social Enterprise’ at the Highland Business Awards. The project is a community enterprise, working with schools, teachers and local community exploring our landscape’s past to help shape a more resilient future – a microcosm of a lived philosophy of placemaking. Visit on Wednesday 11th October for family fun as part of the Highland Archaeology Festival. Read more

ELIZABETH RIMMER | POETRY
Poetry reading on Thursday 30 November and workshop on ‘Herbs Habitat and Ways of Knowing’ on Friday 1 December at Taigh Chearsabhaigh Museum and Arts Centre, North Uist. Elizabeth’s new poetry collection, Haggards, based on her work on herbs, from Red Squirrel Press will be launched at the Scottish Poetry Library on 10 February 2018. Read more

NEW BOOK: KENNETH WHITE
A new book from Kenneth White is now available from Aberdeen University Press. Collected Works, Volume 1: Underground to Otherground contains 3 early books, Incandescent Limbo, Letters from Gourgounel and Travels in the Drifting Dawn. Read more. There are also some of his essays available in English here. An appreciation of his work and a retracing of his Blue Road journey to Labrador can be read here. More information can be found on his personal website here.

NEW BOOK: MOHAMMED HASHAS
Intercultural Geopoetics in Kenneth White’s Open World by Mohammed Hashas introduces geopoetics as a radical, postmodern interdisciplinary and intercultural project.
Read more

Please send information about geopoetics related publications, news and events for future newsletters to Norman Bissell.

Stravaig is the online journal of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, published on our website. We invite you to submit essays, poems, artwork and images for the next issue on the theme Expressing the Earth to Norman Bissell by 15 January 2018. Email: normanbissell@btinternet.com

You can read the latest issue of Stravaig by clicking below:
Stravaig Issue 5

The keynote talks by Michael Russell and Norman Bissell at the Expressing the Earth Conference are available to read on our website www.geopoetics.org.uk.

“Sweet the Cuckoo’s Sound” Argyll: Place, People and Neighbours

Expressing the Earth: Geopoetics and George Orwell

The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics is a membership organisation which relies on members’ subscriptions to fund its activities which are carried out by volunteers. Its purpose is to raise awareness of geopoetics as a crucial way to approach and respond creatively to the natural world of which we are part.

Its network of individuals includes visual artists, writers, musicians, ornithologists, geologists, botanists, teachers and lecturers who all share a common interest in developing an understanding of geopoetics and applying it creatively in their lives.

Membership for the year is £10 waged / £5 unwaged. Thank you!

Read more about membership here

Download membership form here

Please feel free to circulate this newsletter to friends who may be interested.

Norman Bissell
Director, Scottish Centre for Geopoetics
Mo Dhachaidh
51 Cullipool
Isle of Luing
Argyll
PA34 4UB
tel. 01852 314322
e-mail normanbissell@btinternet.com
twitter @nbissell
www.geopoetics.org.uk
www.atlanticislandsfestival.com

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News August 2017 · Categories: Uncategorised

Our recent Expressing the Earth Geopoetics Conference in Argyll was a huge success and exceeded all expectations. Over 70 positive, passionate people from Brazil, USA, Switzerland, Italy, England, Wales and Scotland who care about the planet and its creative expression took part, including speakers from Argyll College and SAMS (both UHI). As well as fascinating talks and excellent discussions there were interesting visits to Kilmartin Glen, Easdale and Luing, top quality locally sourced and prepared meals and two ceilidhs which local people attended as well.

The Conference aimed to encourage everyone to be creative in expressing the Earth in diverse ways and there were 7 workshops to choose from, such as Walking & Writing, the Sea as Time Machine, Writing Haiku, Visual Arts, Mindfulness and Creative Ethnology. Some of the creative work that emerges from these sessions will feature in the online journal Stravaig. We hope there will be enough work submitted for at least two issues (see below).

The keynote talks by Michael Russell and Norrie Bissell are available to read on our website www.geopoetics.org.uk.

“Sweet the Cuckoo’s Sound” Argyll: Place, People and Neighbours

Expressing the Earth: Geopoetics and George Orwell

The feedback from those attending was that it was an inspiring and life-affirming event because of the wide-ranging inputs people made and the generosity of spirit shown by all. You can read more of the responses and contribute to them on our Facebook Page here.

O n l i n e J o u r n a l : S t r a v a i g

Stravaig is the online journal for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, published on our website. We invite you to submit essays, poems, artwork and images for the next issue on the theme of Expressing the Earth to Norrie by 15 January 2018. Email: normanbissell@btinternet.com

You can read the latest issue of Stravaig by clicking below:
Stravaig Issue 5

M e m b e r s h i p

Many of those who attended the conference have joined the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and we hope you will do so too. We’re very grateful to those of you who’ve already done so. You can download the membership form below. Membership for the year is £10 waged / £5 unwaged. Thank you!

Read more about membership here

Download membership form here

N e w s & E v e n t s

Geopoetics Council
Our editorial group of Elizabeth Rimmer, David Francis, Norrie Bissell (SCG) and Mark Sheridan (UHI) has been joined by Rachel Clive, Mairi McFadyen and Ullrich Kockel whom we are delighted to welcome.

New Group in USA
Another important development from the Conference is that Laura Hope-Gill is setting up an American Geopoetics Centre based in Asheville, North Carolina and the theme of the WordFest event there in April 2018 will be geopoetics.

Upcoming Events: AGM
Our AGM will take place at Heriot Watt University on Saturday 18 or 25 November 2017 and will be preceded by a walk along the Union Canal to Ratho and followed by a talk by an invited speaker. Full details to follow in September.

New Book: Kenneth White
A new book from Kenneth White is now available from Aberdeen University Press. Collected Works, Volume 1: Underground to Otherground contains 3 early books, Incandescent Limbo, Letters from Gourgounel and Travels in the Drifting Dawn. Read more.
There are also some of his essays available in English here. An appreciation of his work and a retracing of his Blue Road journey to Labrador can be read here. More information can be found on his personal website here.

New Book: Mohammed Hashas
Intercultural Geopoetics in Kenneth White’s Open World by Mohammed Hashas introduces geopoetics as a radical, postmodern interdisciplinary and intercultural project.
Read more

Land Alliance Northeast (USA) Call for Submissions
Land Alliance Northeast is a partially crowdfunded project based in USA dedicated to protecting forests, wildlife, farmland, and green spaces. They are looking for submissions on the themes of science, arts and environment.
Read more

Please send information about geopoetics related publications, news and events for future newsletters to Norrie.

Please feel free to circulate this newsletter to friends who may be interested. Thank you.

With all best wishes,

Norman Bissell

Director, Scottish Centre for Geopoetics
Mo Dhachaidh, 51 Cullipool
Isle of Luing, Argyll
PA34 4UB

tel. 01852 314322
e-mail normanbissell@btinternet.com
twitter @nbissell

www.geopoetics.org.uk

www.atlanticislandsfestival.com

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News May 2017 · Categories: Uncategorised

Expressing the Earth Conference
Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 June 2017
Seil Island Hall Argyll

It’s only 5 weeks until our biggest ever trans-disciplinary Geopoetics Conference in Argyll with a wide range of creative workshops, presentations, field visits, films, network sessions and performances.

The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and the University of the Highlands and Islands are hosting Expressing the Earth in Argyll 2017 to bring together creative artists, musicians, poets and film makers along with local people, academics, researchers, students and teachers to explore, create and debate the earth and the environment in this spectacular area of Scotland.

We’ve had a great response to our Call for Engagement and, as you’ll see from the draft programme on our website home page www.geopoetics.org.uk, we have about 50 contributors to the event from different parts of Scotland, England, Switzerland and USA.

It promises to be a very stimulating and inspiring event which should lead to lots of new creative work for possible inclusion in Stravaig.

Themes and activities include literature, history, visual arts, film making, archaeology, geology, geography and theology – with active engagement and creative outcomes as central to the conference as academic papers and presentations. Speakers include Michael Russell MSP, Neil Simco (UHI), Mairead Nic Craith, Norman Bissell, Anna-Wendy Stevenson, Kenny Taylor, Elizabeth Rimmer and Alastair McIntosh. Workshops are from Mandy Haggith, Andrew Phillips, Helen Boden, Julie Ann Thomason, Susanne Olbrich, Mairi McFadyen and Susannah Rosenfeld-King. Performances include Mark Sheridan, Helen Moore, Finlay Wells.


Aerial image by Birgit Whitmore of Ellenabeich with Seil Island Hall next to the largest quarry pool on the right.

The Conference will take place at the Seil Island Hall in Argyll with field visits to create new work on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 June to Kilmartin Glen, Easdale Island and the Isle of Luing. There will be poetry readings, musical performances and social gatherings on the Thursday and Friday evenings.

Cost £120 for 3 days, £45 per day, £5 for Friday night ceilidh only. The 3 day cost of £120 includes all sessions, 3 lunches, 2 evening meals and 2 ceilidhs, all teas/coffees and return transport to Isle of Luing, Easdale Island and Kilmartin Glen (and Kilmartin Museum entry).

Places are limited, so please send a cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics ASAP to Dave Francis 214 Portobello High Street Edinburgh EH15 2AU to avoid Eventbrite transaction deductions, or book here: http://bit.ly/2nOUyng.
It really is an event that’s not to be missed, and your support and input at it would be greatly appreciated. Hoping to hear from you soon.Free Wifi available in the hall.

All participants will receive a free copy of Grounding a World: Essays on the Work of Kenneth White, Alba Editions rrp £9.95. Participants with relevant books to sell at the Geopoetics bookstall in the Hall should contact us in advance.

Accommodation links: B&B & Self-catering: www.seil.oban.ws

http://www.easdale.org/links/accommodation.htm

Caravans: www.oban-holiday.co.uk

Camping: Argyll Kayaker Cove, North Cuan, Seil 01852 300366

Camping & Camper vans: Highland Arts, Ellenabeich : 01852 300273.

I may also be able to advise you about accommodation if you can’t find any using the online links.


Stravaig Online Journal

The latest issue of our online journal Stravaig is still available to read here: http://bit.ly/2hWgzdI.

There are essays from Jane Verburg and Antonia Thomas, the first and second place prize winners in the Hugh Miller Writing Competition, + James McCarthy on Nan Shepherd, Lisa Macdonald on the Coigach Conundrum and Bill Eddie on an Encounter with a Wall Creeper. There are also poems by Lisa Macdonald, David Francis, LesleyMay Miller, Mike Roman, Clare Diprose and Helen Moore.

Geopoetics Membership
If you join or renew your membership of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics you will receive:

A free copy of Grounding a World; Essays on the Work of Kenneth White: ed. G Bowd, C Forsdick & N Bissell rrp £9.95

Twice yearly Newsletters by e-mail.

Advance news of and discounts on books relating to geopoetics.

Advance news of Kenneth White and geopoetics events.

Invitations to all our meetings and field visits.

The satisfaction of assisting the development of our geopoetics work and publications.

Encouragement to develop your own understanding of and creative response to geopoetics.

Please send this completed form with a cheque for £10 waged/£5 unwaged, payable to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, to David Francis, 214 Portobello High Street Edinburgh EH15 2AU.

Name …………………………………………………………….

Address ………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………

Postcode ……………………………………………………….

E-mail address …………………………………………………

Please circulate this Newsletter to friends who may be interested. Thank you.

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News March 2017 · Categories: Uncategorised

Expressing the Earth Conference
Thursday 22 – Friday 24 June 2017
Seil Island Hall Argyll

You are cordially invited to take part in a trans-disciplinary Conference with creative workshops, presentations, field visits, films, seminars and performances.

‘Geopoetics is concerned, fundamentally, with a relationship to the earth and the opening of a world’.

The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and the University of the Highlands and Islands are hosting Expressing the Earth in Argyll 2017 to bring together creative artists, musicians, poets and film makers along with local people, academics, researchers, students and teachers to explore, create and debate the earth and the environment in this spectacular area of Scotland.

Expressing the Earth will address the ways in which people are influenced and brought together by island and rural environments from the Neolithic and Bronze Age, early Celtic Christian heritage and seafaring history to more recent industrial exploitation of the Slate Islands.

Themes and activities include literature, history, visual arts, film making, archaeology, geology, geography and theology – with active engagement and creative outcomes as central to the conference as academic papers and presentations. Speakers include Michael Russell MSP, Neil Simco (UHI), Mairead Nic Craith, Norman Bissell, Mairi McFadyen, Kenny Taylor, Elizabeth Rimmer. Workshops include Mandy Haggith, Andrew Phillips, Helen Boden. Performances include Mark Sheridan, Helen Moore, Finlay Wells.

The Conference will take place at the Seil Island Hall in Argyll with field visits to create new work on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 June to Kilmartin Glen, Easdale Island and the Isle of Luing. There will be poetry readings, musical performances and social gatherings on the Thursday and Friday evenings. It is intended that the work created by the conference will feature in publications, travelling exhibitions and workshops in 2018.

Ellenabeich with Seil Island Hall beside the largest quarry pool on right: Birgit Whitmore

Booking
Cost £120 for 3 days, £45 per day. Places are limited, so book early at Eventbrite here: http://bit.ly/ExpressingEarth.
First preference will be given to those who can attend all 3 days.

The 3 day cost includes all sessions, 3 lunches, 2 evening meals and 2 ceilidhs, all teas/coffees and return transport to Isle of Luing, Easdale Island and Kilmartin Glen (and Kilmartin Museum entry).

Free Wifi available in the hall.

All participants will receive a free copy of Grounding a World: Essays on the Work of Kenneth White, Alba Editions rrp £9.95. Participants with relevant books to sell at the Geopoetics bookstall in the Hall should contact us in advance.

The conference programme will be available soon.

Accommodation links: B&B & Self-catering: www.seil.oban.ws

http://www.easdale.org/links/accommodation.htm

Caravans: www.oban-holiday.co.uk

Camping: Argyll Kayaker Cove, North Cuan, Seil 01852 300366

Camping & Camper vans: Highland Arts, Ellenabeich : 01852 300273.

The latest issue of our online journal Stravaig is now available to read here:  http://bit.ly/2hWgzdI

There are essays from Jane Verburg and Antonia Thomas, the first and second place prize winners in the Hugh Miller Writing Competition, + James McCarthy on Nan Shepherd, Lisa Macdonald on The Coigach Conundrum and Bill Eddie on an Encounter with a Wall Creeper. There are also poems by Lisa Macdonald, David Francis, LesleyMay Miller, Mike Roman, Clare Diprose and Helen Moore.

Many thanks to all the contributors and to Bill Taylor who designed the new look Stravaig. Your feedback on its content and form would be most welcome.


Wall Creeper at Neuschwanstein; Bill Eddie
Connecting with a Low-Carbon Future – the Challenges for the Arts and Humanities Conference University of Stirling Wednesday 19 – Thursday 20 April 2017

This conference is part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network in the Arts and Humanities ‘Connecting with a Low-carbon Scotland’, and is hosted by the University of Stirling Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy. It includes panels for literature and theatre, law and politics, visual arts and media, and history and philosophy. Poet and Scottish Centre for Geopoetics Council member Elizabeth Rimmer will be speaking at the conference.

Further information:
https://www.stir.ac.uk/cehp/projects/connectingwithalow-carbonscotland/.
Register and pay here:
http://shop.stir.ac.uk/conferences-and-events.

Geopoetics Membership
If you join or renew your membership of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics you will receive:

A free copy of Grounding a World; Essays on the Work of Kenneth White: ed. G Bowd, C Forsdick & N Bissell rrp £9.95.

Twice yearly Newsletters by e-mail.

Advance news of and discounts on books relating to geopoetics.

Advance news of Kenneth White and geopoetics events.

Invitations to all our meetings and field visits.

The satisfaction of assisting the development of our geopoetics work and publications.

Encouragement to develop your own understanding of and creative response to geopoetics.

Please send this completed form with a cheque for £10 waged/£5 unwaged, payable to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, to David Francis, 214 Portobello High Street Edinburgh EH15 2AU or to arrange to make a bank transfer tel. 07825 788861.

Name …………………………………………………………….

Address ………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………

 

……………………………………………………………………

Postcode ……………………………………………………….

E-mail address …………………………………………………

Please circulate this Newsletter to friends who may be interested. Thank you.

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News December 2016 · Categories: Uncategorised

The latest issue of our online journal Stravaig is now available to read here: http://bit.ly/2hWgzdI

It’s been a long time in the making but its poems and essays are well worth reading. The essays include the first and second place prize winners in the Hugh Miller Writing Competition.

Many thanks to all the contributors and to Bill Taylor who designed the new look Stravaig. Your feedback on its content and form would be most welcome.

2017 promises to be a big year for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics with our Expressing the Earth conference in collaboration with the University of the Highlands and Islands taking place from 22-24 June 2017 in Argyll. Full details will follow in January but right now we’re looking for proposals for engagement in the event:

Expressing the Earth

A Trans-disciplinary Conference
the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics
in collaboration with the
University of the Highlands and Islands
Seil, Easdale, Kilmartin and Luing, Argyll
22-24 June 2017
Call for Engagement:
Creative workshops, presentations, papers and performances

‘Geopoetics is concerned, fundamentally, with a relationship to the earth and the opening of a world’.

The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and the University of the Highlands and Islands will host Expressing the Earth in Argyll 2017 to bring together creative artists, musicians, poets and film makers along with academics, researchers, students and teachers to explore, create and debate the earth and the environment in this spectacular area of Scotland.

‘Atlantic space, the west coast of Europe, is characterised in the first instance by fragmentation … a multitude, a proliferation of islands and peninsulas separated by difficult waters. It is a territory of dispersion and precariousness – but each fragment is exact in itself, there is no confusion in this plurality. In a word, unity is not something given, to be taken for granted, it has to be composed.’ (Kenneth White, 2004)

Expressing the Earth will look to the multitude and proliferation of the islands and peninsulas and address the ways in which people are influenced and brought together by these features from the Neolithic and Bronze Age, early Celtic Christian heritage and seafaring history to more recent industrial exploitation of the Slate Islands.

Themes and activities, rooted in Geopoetics, include literature, history, visual arts, film making, archaeology, geology, geography and theology – with active engagement and creative outcomes as central to the conference as academic papers and presentations.

The conference will take place at the Seil Island Hall in Argyll with field activities also in Kilmartin Glen, Easdale Island and the Isle of Luing. Poetry readings, musical performances and social gatherings will play a key part in the conference programme and it is intended that publications and exhibitions will follow.

Please send a 200 word proposal, title, short bio and supporting images, if appropriate, to Mark Sheridan, Reader in Music and Creativity at the University of The Highlands and Islands, by 15 January 2017 – mark.sheridan@uhi.ac.uk.

Further information on the programme, key speakers and content will be published in due course.

Membership

Please join or renew your annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged)
by sending your name, postal and e-mail address & a cheque
made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to our Treasurer,
David Francis 214 Portobello Road, Portobello EH15 2AU.

Please spread the word by sharing this Newsletter with others.

Season’s Greetings to you all! We hope to hear from you in 2017.

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News October 2015 · Categories: Uncategorised
 

If you’d like to know more about what geopoetics is, the best place to start is our website at www.geopoetics.org.uk where you will find an overview of geopoetics and 4 issues of our online journal Stravaig. Issue 4 contains essays on intellectual nomadism by Kenneth White, Martina Kolb, Bill Stephens and Norman Bissell, and on Rimbaud by Karen Strang and Mike Roman. It also has new poems and images by Morelle Smith, Alyson Hallett, Andrew McCallum and also by Gordon Meade and Douglas Robertson from their new book Les Animots: A Human Bestiary.

The International Institute of Geopoetics website is now available in English and contains many essays by Kenneth White including one on Alexander von Humboldt and An Outline of Geopoetics. http://www.institut-geopoetique.org/en/the-geopoetics-review.

Our AGM in Portobello in August decided to produce this Newsletter twice a year and to continue to publish Stravaig annually in the Spring. It also agreed to make plans for a major conference on geopoetics in 2017 and we have already had fruitful discussions with representatives from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and the University of Glasgow about this. Watch this space!

Stravaig Issue 5 Call for Submissions
We are looking for submissions of essays, poems, short stories and images on the general theme of geopoetics to be sent to nbissell@btinternet.com no later than Tuesday 23 February 2016. Prose should be a maximum of 3,500 words and no more than 4 poems should be submitted. Relevance to the wide field of geopoetics will be one of the main criteria for selection.

To keep up to date with the latest geopoetics news, why not Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ScottishGeopoetics?fref=ts and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/@SCGeopoetics?


Photograph by Mike Knowles

We were very sad to learn of the death of Tessa Ransford in September. She made an outstanding contribution to poetry in Scotland as a poet, founder of the Scottish Poetry Library and promoter of poetry pamphlets; and to culture in general, both here and internationally, which will live on and be her legacy to the world. She was passionate about many causes and in recent years joined the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and came with us on some of our walks. Her latest poetry collection A Good Cause from Luath Press was well named. Further information and reviews of her other books and much more are at http://www.wisdomfield.com/.

A Memorial event for Tessa Ransford will be held on Monday 7th Decemberat 7.30pm in St Andrew’s and St George’s Church , George St , Edinburgh .

We are delighted to partner the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and The Friends of Hugh Miller in supporting and promoting Testimonies of the Rocks: the Hugh Miller Writing Competition. Poems, non-fiction and fiction inspired by the geological and landscape writings of Hugh Miller, Scotland ’s celebrated self-taught geologist, are invited by Friday 18 March 2016. Miller was a poet and prolific writer and this competition, open to all ages, will encourage a renewed interest in his work, a catalogue of new writings inspired by him and greater awareness and appreciation of Scotland ’s geodiversity. See more at: http://bit.ly/1Gv1CdG.

Upcoming Events

Thursday 29 October at 6.30pm Les Animots: A Human Bestiary at Books and Beans 22 Belmont Street, AB10 1JH Aberdeen . Gordon Meade will read from his eighth collection of poems, a collaboration with the artist Douglas Robertson, published by Cultured Llama Publishing. http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/ http://on.fb.me/1ic9V2n

Saturday 14 November 10am-4pm Traditions in Place Perth and Kinross
A day event at Perth Concert Hall, for musicians, dancers, storytellers, promoters, teachers, community activists etc interested in the traditional arts and oral and local history: a chance to share knowledge and find out about resources for the traditional arts in Perth and Kinross. Speakers include musicians Pete Clark, Steve Byrne and Kath Campbell, storyteller Jess Smith and Local History Officer Nicola Cowmeadow.  Further information and booking here: http://bit.ly/1Mg6IXj

Monday 23 November 2015 at 6.30pm The Last Man in Europe Oban Phoenix Cinema A talk and readings from the novel in progress The Last Man in Europe by Norman Bissell about the last years in the life of George Orwell on Jura and elsewhere. He will outline Orwell’s love of nature and tell the dramatic story of his near drowning in the Corryvreckan Whirlpool and his desperate struggle to finish ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ on Jura before his health failed him. This will be followed by a showing of the film ‘1984’ starring John Hurt and Richard Burton. http://bit.ly/1LZjVrC

Wednesday 25 November 2015 Scottish Geodiversity Forum Conference at Battleby near Perth . A world-class visitor attraction – Scotland ’s Landscape, fashioned by geology: this Sharing Good Practice event, organised by the Forum and Scottish Natural Heritage, will explore what’s currently on offer, and how the sector might develop and expand. http://scottishgeodiversityforum.org/

Friday 27 November at 7.45 pm Atlantic Islands Centre, Isle of Luing A Talk and Reading by Carla Lamont, author of The Ninth Wave: Love and Food on the Isle of Mull as part of Scottish Book Week, supported by the Scottish Book Trust. Full details at http://on.fb.me/1H6rWpf.

Tuesday 1 December Book launch of Disko Bay by Nancy Campbell Enitharmon Press, London . The poems in Nancy Campbell’s first collection transport the reader to the frozen shores of Greenland and relate the struggle for existence in the harsh polar environment to modern life and traditional ways of subsistence. http://www.nancycampbell.co.uk


Wednesday 27 January at 8pm Pulse Mairi Campbell Tron Theatre Glasgow
Drawing on her combined fluency in Celtic tradition, free improvisation and classical idioms, as well as her personal artistic journey, the award-winning Scottish singer and fiddler/viola player Mairi Campbell performs a new one-woman show that blends live and recorded music with animation, dance, movement and storytelling. http://bit.ly/1k6EIi8

Saturday 5 March 10.30am-4.30pm Geopoetics in the National Galleries of Scotland Collections: Bill Taylor. A guided tour of the Collections in the National Galleries of Scotland , Edinburgh led by artist Bill Taylor, a Geopoetics Council member. A date for your diary – full details to follow in the next Newsletter.

Members’ Books
Thinking of Christmas gifts? Why not choose books written by our members?

Kenneth White Guido’s Map: A European Pilgrimage A new narrative prose book in which Kenneth White moves over spaces and among places, ranging from Ireland to the Balkans via Spain , from Glasgow to Trieste via Bilbao . This and his Ideas of Order at Cape Wrath: a collection of essays on cultural politics, Latitudes & Longitudes: a new collection of poetry, and The Winds of Vancouver which charts his travels in British Columbia and Alaska are available from http://bit.ly/1MQp3ea

James McCarthy A Short Call to Arms, a military memoir can be obtained from mccarthy-james4@sky.com for a modest donation to the Askari Appeal.

Martina Kolb Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria, University of Toronto Press, about the influence of the Ligurian coastal area of Italy on three seminal German writing modernists – Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Gottfried Benn. Available from http://bit.ly/1icdpSs.

Mavis Gulliver Slate Voices: Cwmorthin & Islands of Netherlorn, a poetry collection set in Scotland ’s slate islands and the slate mines of North Wales with Jan Fortune. Also Cry at Midnight, a children’s adventure story. www.cinnamonpress.com

Christian McEwen Sparks from the Anvil The Smith College Poetry Interviews with 16 poets by the author of World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down http://bit.ly/1Mg9sE6.

Norman Bissell Slate, Sea and Sky Luath Press. A new paperback edition of my poetry collection which contains an Introduction and some new poems as well as photographs by Oscar Marzaroli is out now. A signed and dedicated copy can be obtained from me at this e-mail address. You can also Like my book page on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1OUthHB.

Membership

Please join or renew your annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged) by sending your name, postal and e-mail address & a cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to our Treasurer, David Francis 214 Portobello Road, Portobello EH15 2AU.


To unsubscribe, just send an e-mail to Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com.

Please share this Newsletter with others.

 

 

 

29. October 2017 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News July 2015 · Categories: Uncategorised
Geopoetics News July 2015                        
Stravaig Issue 4: Intellectual Nomads
Issue 4 of our online journal Stravaig is now live and contains essays on intellectual nomadism by Kenneth White, Martina Kolb, Bill Stephens and Norman Bissell, and on Rimbaud by Karen Strang and Mike Roman. It also has new poems and images by Gordon Meade, Doug Robertson, Morelle Smith, Alyson Hallett, Andrew McCallum and many more. Many thanks to Nancy Campbell for all her great work editing it and to Steve Pardue for creating it online. Sorry that issue 4 and this Newsletter are late due to illness, but they are well worth reading.
Stravaig Issue 3 is still available at http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-journal-stravaig/stravaig-3/.  It has 8 essays and 14 poems on the theme Geopoetics in Practice ranging from Aberlady Bay to Saudi Arabia, from Illinois to Iona.
Upcoming Events
 
Our SCFG AGM will take place on Saturday 8 August at 12 noon at the Dalriada, 77 the Promenade, Portobello. We would like to see more people taking an active part in the SCfG and will be discussing how best to take it forward e.g. what should we be offering members? Would crowdfunding enable us to pay someone to carry out admin, develop our website, plan and lead activities etc? Contact me if you would like to attend and you will receive an agenda etc.
 
Living Well on Luing Events at the Atlantic Islands Centre
Thursday 23 July: Seafood cookery & Words and Music night
Friday 24 July Geology Talk and Walk
Saturday 25 July Botany and Poetry Walks 
 
Thursday 16 July The Oxford launch of The Interpreter’s House No.59 by Nancy Campbell at The Albion Beatnik at 7.30 pm. There’ll be kayak poems and more.
 
Scottish Geodiversity Forum
A world-class visitor attraction – Scotland’s Landscape, fashioned by geology: Wednesday 25 November 2015 at Battleby near Perth. This Sharing Good Practice event, organised by the Forum and Scottish Natural Heritage, will explore what’s currently on offer, and how the sector might develop and expand. http://scottishgeodiversityforum.org/
 
 
To unsubscribe, just send an e-mail to Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com.
 
Please share this Newsletter with others.
 
23. November 2014 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News November 2014 · Categories: Uncategorised

Stravaig Issue 4: Intellectual Nomads
Submissions of essays, poems and images for Stravaig Issue 4 on the theme of Intellectual Nomads are invited by Monday 12 January 2015 to Nancy Campbell at Nancy Campbell nancy@nancycampbell.co.uk and Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com. We would like to express our thanks to Elizabeth Rimmer, who gave such sterling service as both Stravaig editor and our secretary, who has had to withdraw for health reasons from her work for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics.

Stravaig Issue 3 is still available online at http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-journal-stravaig/stravaig-3/. It has 8 essays and 14 poems on the theme Geopoetics in Practice ranging from Aberlady Bay to Saudi Arabia, from Illinois to Iona. If you like the journal and want it to continue please join us: £10/£5 unwaged: see how under Membership below.

Upcoming Events
Writing for Life Day Saturday 6 December 2014
Award-winning author Mandy Haggith will lead an Isle of Luing Community Trust Writing Workshop at 10.30 am-12.30 pm at Cullipool Hall on the Isle of Luing on Saturday 6 December 2014. She will be joined in an evening performance at 7.30 pm by music from Kirsty MacLachlan and Fiona Cruickshanks and other writers from the workshop. To book your place, £8 (under 16s £4) for the day, £4 (under 16s free) for the evening only, contact me at 01852 314322, normanbissell@btinternet.com. Let me know if you will need accommodation. Ferries run every half hour until 10.30 pm.

Sharpening your writing skills is useful, whether you want to write a blog, send someone a persuasive letter, win a poetry competition or post something that goes viral on Facebook or Twitter. This friendly and relaxed workshop will explore how to use close observation of the world to get the words flowing and how to chip away the dross and polish your writing. It will show that sparkling text is something that we all can create, by expressing ourselves as we are and by borrowing and taking inspiration from other writers. If the weather is good it will include a short walk.

Mandy Haggith is a writer based in Assynt, in the northwest Highlands, whose publications include two volumes of poetry, an anthology of tree poems, a non-fiction book about paper and two novels, one of which, a historical novel called The Last Bear, won the Robin Jenkins Literary Award. She has turned her writing skills to a wide range of uses, from blogging for archaeologists to writing funding applications for environmental organisations. Her interests include forests, rocks, history, sailing and bears. Blog: http://cybercrofter.blogspot.co.uk/.

Nancy Campbell Seven Words for Winter: Arctic Poems
Monday 17 November 7pm at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
In this free reading Nancy Campbell will evoke the atmosphere of ‘the most northern museum in the world’ on the remote island of Upernavik in Greenland. These poems describe the disappearing Arctic language and environment and retell the colourful myths of the Inuit coastal community. The evening will open with readings of new work from writers who participated in the Ice and the Imagination workshop. Numbers are limited so booking is advised for both these events. Please contact The Lit & Phil Tel: 0191 232 0192 Email: library@litandphil.org.uk

Alyson Hallett
Saturday 15 November. 2pm–4pm Poetry Workshop tickets £10.
4.30pm – 5.30pm Poetry Reading with David Woolley, tickets £5. Both at Bosco Books, Looe, Cornwall www.looeliteraryfestival.co.uk

Geraldine Green
Sunday 16 November ‘Living Words’ 2-5pm Creative Writing Workshop Swarthmoor Hall
info@swarthmoorhall.co.uk
Saturday 22 November Write to Roam creative writing workshop at Jane’s farm near Kirkby Lonsdale 10.30am-4.30pm £30 incl. refreshments – all welcome!

Scottish Geodiversity Forum
The Write Right Conference Saturday 22 November at 09:30–16:00 at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh.
This conference is for anyone interested in writing about geodiversity. It will encourage sharing of experiences, inspire new insights and work towards top-quality writing that informs, interprets and inspires. It will create and publish best practice guidance and appropriate examples to aid anyone writing about Scotland’s geodiversity in the future.
Free, but places are limited – advance booking essential. https://www.facebook.com/events/298740080320794/

Susan Richardson
Sunday 30th November 2014, time tbc – poetry performance as part of residency with the Marine Conservation Society, the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, Hay-on-Wye.

Books
Looking for Christmas presents for family, friends and yourself? Here are some recommendations:

Mavis Gulliver has two books out:
Slate Voices: Cwmorthin & Islands of Netherlorn, a new poetry collection about Scotland’s slate islands and the slate mines of North Wales with Jan Fortune, and Cry at Midnight, a children’s adventure story. www.cinnamonpresss.com

Tessa Ransford Made in Edinburgh, Luath Press, is a collection of poems inspired by Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park in Edinburgh enhanced by photographs by Michael Knowles. http://www.luath.co.uk/made-in-edinburgh.html

Kenneth White Ideas of Order at Cape Wrath: a collection of essays on cultural politics, Latitudes & Longitude: a new collection of poetry, and The Winds of Vancouver which charts his travels in British Columbia and Alaska, from the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at Aberdeen University RIISS at: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/publications.shtml.
News about plans for the publication of his Collected Works can be obtained from Professor Cairns Craig, cairns.craig@abdn.ac.uk. For further information on White’s work, with commentaries and criticism in English and in French: his bilingual site is at http://www.kennethwhite.org/accueil/index.php.

James McCarthy The Diplomat of Kashgar: A Very Special Agent – Sir George Macartney Proverse Publishing, joint winner of the Proverse International Prize and From the Cree to California, J&B PrintLtd. http://www.waterstones.com

Martina Kolb Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria, University of Toronto Press, about the influence of the Ligurian coastal area of Italy on three seminal German-writing modernists – Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Gottfried Benn from http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/author/MARTINA-KOLB?cm_sp=brcr-_-bdp-_-author.

Gerrie Fellows The Body in Space (Shearsman), which is concerned with the living presence of place, in particular the landscapes of Scotland and what is written over them by people and history.

Christian McEwen The Tortoise Diaries: Daily Meditations on Creativity and Slowing Down. Just out: a mini (4″x5″) treasure-house of poems and quotations based on the twelve chapters of Christian McEwen’s 2011 book World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down. http://www.bauhanpublishing.com/tortoise-diaries/

Dark Mountain Issue 6 The Rising of the Waters book launch Wednesday 3 December 2014 at 6.45 pm at Free Word Centre, London. Book at https://freewordcentre.com

Our SCFG AGM has been postponed until Spring 2015. Further details to follow next year. For more information, please contact Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com.

Membership
Please join or renew your annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged) by sending a completed application form from our website & cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to our Treasurer, David Francis 214 Portobello Road, Portobello EH15 2AU. You can also pay online by PayPal at http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-store/.
This Newsletter can also be read on our website. Please subscribe there to receive future Geopoetics Newsletters direct.

To unsubscribe, just send an e-mail to Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com.

Please share this Newsletter with others.