12. February 2015 · Comments Off on · Categories: Uncategorised

 

 

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.

12. June 2014 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News May 2014: Stravaig Issue 3 · Categories: Uncategorised

Stravaig Issue 3 is now online at http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-journal-stravaig/stravaig-3/. It’s bigger and better than ever with 8 essays and 14 poems on the theme Geopoetics in Practice ranging from Aberlady Bay to Saudi Arabia, from Illinois to Iona. Many thanks to Steve Pardue and all the contributors for making it such a fine issue. We were going to charge non-members for it but have decided on this occasion to make it free to all again. If you like the journal and want it to continue please join us: £10/£5 unwaged: see how under Membership below.
Submissions for Stravaig Issue 4, especially images to go with essays and poems, on the theme of Intellectual Nomads are invited by 1 October 2014 to Elizabeth Rimmer at burnedthumb@gmail.com and Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com.

International Geopoetics Conference, Paris 12-13 June 2014
L’Archipel, the co-ordinating body of international geopoetics groups is organising an international conference on the theme of The Town and Geopoetics at the Centre culturel canadien, at 5, rue de Constantine, Paris 7e on 12-13 June 2014. If you would like to take part and wish more information, contact Rachel Bouvet at bouvet.rachel@uqam.ca or Norman Bissell at the above e-mail address.

Kenneth White Books
Three books by 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 are still available from the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at Aberdeen University RIISS at: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/publications.shtml.
Further information about plans for the publication of his Collected Works can be obtained from Professor Cairns Craig, cairns.craig@abdn.ac.uk. For fuller information on White’s work, with commentaries and criticism both in English and in French, see his bilingual site: http://www.kennethwhite.org/accueil/index.php.

Tessa Ransford’s new book – 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.wisdomfield.com/

James McCarthy’s The Diplomat of Kashgar: A Very Special Agent – Sir George Macartney to be published by Proverse Publishing is the joint winner of the Proverse International Prize.

Martina Kolb’s 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 – is still available from http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/author/MARTINA-KOLB?cm_sp=brcr-_-bdp-_-author.

Gerrie Fellows has just launched her fourth collection, 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 history. The poems bring together people and places – family relationships enacted through webs of intimacy or distance, the dead remembered in interleaved images of art and medicine.

Members’ Events

Nancy Campbell

Vantar/Missing Exhibition of new work by visual and performing artist in residence 2013-2014 Nancy Campbell at Lady Margaret Hall, Norham Gardens Oxford OX2 6QA from 6-17 May. www.nancycampbell.co.uk

Alyson Hallett
Alyson will be reading from her new poetry collection Suddenly Everything with Victoria Field at the Charles Causley Festival on Friday 13 June at 4.00pm in the Launceston Guildhall Tickets: £4. More details at: www.charlescausleyfestival.co.uk.

Mavis Gulliver
Mavis Gulliver & Jan Fortune launch their new poetry collection Slate Voices: Cwmorthin & Islands of Netherlorn:
Monday May 19th The Clapton Laundry, London
Wednesday 21 May 7 pm Hen Bost, Bleanau Ffestiniog
Thursday 22 May 6 for 6.30 pm Penrallt Books & Gallery, Powys
Friday 23 May 7 pm Palas Print Bookshop, 170 High St, Bangor
Saturday 14 June 7.30 pm Poetry, slides, songs & refreshments Cullipool Hall, Isle of Luing
Sunday 15 June 11 am poetry workshop and 3 pm poetry safari, Cullipool, Isle of Luing
Tuesday 17 June 7pm Seil Island Hall 7.30pm
Thursday 19 June 11am & 2.30pm Poetry Walks on Seil and Easdale
Further details: http://bit.ly/1kMmw6K.

Richard Meyers: PICNIC for RICH: Remembering Richard at Islington Ecology Centre 191 Drayton Park London N5 1PH on Saturday 26 July, 2014.
Richard was a self-taught naturalist who was instrumental in initiating and managing for periods the wild part of Alexandra Park and Railway Fields in Haringey and Gillespie Park with its Ecology Centre in Islington. He contributed much to so many through conducted walks, his vast knowledge and enthusiasm for the flora and fauna of our urban world, and awareness of how people can be in this world. He worked with Gordon Peters to develop a geopoetics network in southern England and ably led some of our walks in the area. He died last October and his life will be celebrated at this event.
11 am Poems by Richard Meyers + readings and hints on living with the natural world in the city from Ruth Meyers and Gordon Peters.
12.30 pm Lunch inside or picnic outside in the Park (£5 per head).

Christian McEwen: Summer Isles Retreat on Tanera Mor 30 August – 6 September 2014 A Week in Paradise of art making, writing, poetry and reflection. Full details and booking: http://www.wildtiles.co.uk/world_enough_and_time.php.

Susan Richardson: Writing Root & Claw 17-19 October 2014
A Weekend Workshop with Susan Richardson & Em Strang in the Haybergill Centre, Cumbria. A stimulating weekend of writing and discussion around ecological themes. Further details at http://bit.ly/1mCNgZK.

Atlantic Islands Writing Day and Geopoetics AGM 18-19 October 2014
Mandy Haggith will lead a writing workshop & evening performance on the Isle of Luing on Saturday 18 October 2014.

Our SCFG AGM will take place on the Isle of Luing on Sunday 19 October 2014 at 12 noon. The venue will be the Atlantic Islands Centre if it has opened by then or Cullipool Hall if not.
If you would like to come to these events please contact Norman Bissell at normanbissell@btinternet.com for more information.

Other Events

Mary Morrison Exhibition Fonn – “A song of land, held in mind” 10 May -24 June An Lanntair Gallery, Stornoway, Lewis.

The gaelic word Fonn has various definitions relating to ‘land, music, state of mind, longing’. Writer Jay Griffiths describes the rich meanings of the word as suggesting, ‘a song of land, held in mind’ which echo the lines of enquiry in Mary’s practice. Mary Morrison’s work is largely informed by the Atlantic archipelago.

Membership
Please join or renew your annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged) by sending a completed application form from our website and cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Elizabeth Rimmer 18 North Street, Cambuskenneth, Stirling FK9 5NB. 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.

22. October 2013 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News October 2013 · Categories: Uncategorised
Stravaig: Call for Submissions
Issue 3 of Stravaig will be published in April 2014. Submissions – poetry, prose, essays, artwork – on the theme of geopoetics in practice should be sent to burnedthumb@gmail.com, cc to Norman Bissell normanbissell@btinternet.com by 1st December 2013.
Images to accompany essays and poems are particularly welcome. We would like this to be a bumper issue since free access to the journal will only be available to members. Extracts will be available on our website but the full issue will cost £5 to non-members. Stravaig#2 can be read here:http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-journal-stravaig/stravaig-issue-2/
 
The Film We Are Northern Lights vividly reveals our intimate relationship with the earth that is Scotland in all its wonderful diversity of people and place. Watching it is an immensely uplifting and inspiring glass half-full experience that makes you feel proud of who we are and can be. If you haven’t seen it in any of its previous 200 screenings you can now watch it online here: http://muvi.es/w3598/202995.
 
Please vote for it for the BAFTA Scotland Audience Award. Voting is underway and ends on Tuesday 29 October. It’s a very close contest and every vote counts. It’s not every day 121 co-directors (including me) get a chance to win a BAFTA! Vote here: http://www.cineworld.co.uk/baftascotland. It only takes a moment.
 
An Aberlady Lunch and Stravaig on Saturday 23 November 2013
Gather for lunch at 12 noon at the Old Aberlady Inn and enjoy an informal discussion about geopoetics and its relationship to communities and networks of individuals. Join us for a guided walk at 2pm round Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve in the company of birder Bill Eddie and other informed naturalists. Thousands of Pink-footed Geese and other wildlife are to be seen. RSVP to me if you’re coming.
 
Kenneth White Books
The Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at Aberdeen University has published three new works by Kenneth White. 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. They can be obtained from the RIISS at: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/publications.shtml
Many of his works, including his introduction to Geopoetics Le Plateau de l’albatros have appeared only in French, but all of them will now be made available in English in a new Collected Works to be published by the RIISS. Each volume will have a new introduction by the author. Further information can be obtained from Professor Cairns Craig, cairns.craig@abdn.ac.uk.
 
Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria by member Martina Kolb, University of Toronto Press shows how this coastal area of Italy influenced  three seminal German-writing modernists – Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Gottfried Benn – whose encounters with Ligurian lands and seas led to an innovative geopoetic fusion of word and world. It is available from http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/author/MARTINA-KOLB?cm_sp=brcr-_-bdp-_-author.
 
I was pleased to welcome Martina to Luing this summer and to have interesting geopoetics conversations and walks with her and Christian McEwen.
 
Christian McEwen: Summer Isles Retreat on Tanera Mor 30 August – 6 September 2014 A Week in Paradise of art making, writing, poetry and reflection. Full details and booking: http://www.wildtiles.co.uk/world_enough_and_time.php.  
 
Working the Tweed Project Room Exhibition at Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre, Ancrum, Jedburgh TD8 6UQ until 31 October. Open Every Day 10am – 5pm. Free. A collaboration between artists and river specialists for the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 including member Claire Pencak. See www.workingthetweed.co.uk  
 
Membership
Please join or renew your annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged) by sending a completed application form from our website and cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Elizabeth Rimmer 18 North Street, Cambuskenneth, Stirling FK9 5NB. 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 me an e-mail.  Please share this Newsletter with others.
Best wishes
Norman Bissell
director
normanbissell@btinternet.com
 
18. June 2013 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News – 17 June 2013 · Categories: Uncategorised

Greetings to all new subscribers and members. Here’s the latest news about our forthcoming events and resources.

On Friday 28 June at 6.30 pm at the Scottish Poetry Library Christian McEwen will give a reading and lead a discussion on Creativity and Slowing Down.

Her World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, was first published in September 2011, and has already gone into its fourth printing. Carla Carlisle: “Her prose is poetry, as clear as snow melt. If you think you’re too busy to read this book, this is the book for you.” The American poet Edward Hirsch described it as “a quiet feast, a daydreamer’s manual… which teaches us to slow down and see the world anew.”
Book £7/£5 concessions & SPL friends at www.cmcewen.eventbrite.co.uk/# or tel. 0131 557 2876.

More »

02. May 2013 · Comments Off on As I Roved Out: a folk musician and geopoetics, a talk by David Francis · Categories: Uncategorised

I

This talk is in nine short sections and my hope is that each will illuminate the other in some way and that together they might give an indication of how geopoetics might link with my artistic practice as a musician, songwriter and advocate of what have come to be known as the traditional arts.

I’ve always loved this from Paolo Freire, the great Brazilian philosopher of education, who championed the cause of critical pedagogy and education as the practice of freedom, of de-colonisation of the mind as a first stage to liberation of the individual. Freire was the inspiration and guiding light of the Adult Learning Project here in Edinburgh.  Freire said ‘It is the ontological vocation of humankind to become more fully human.’

A key feature of human existence is the connection, desired and actual, to something outside and beyond our own individual, corporeal existence.  ‘We are the cosmos made conscious,’ as Brian Cox put it recently (and on prime time telly too). For me, human consciousness is part of a continuum with a wider reality – the human extends into nature, is in relationship with it and is not separate from it.

The desire for connection has a corollary, the desire for unity.  Scientist David Bohm expresses it well when he says we wish ‘to find in the reality in which [we live] a certain oneness and totality, or wholeness, constituting a kind of harmony that is felt to be beautiful’; as does Kenneth White (2001) with his concept of the Beautiful Thing: ‘contact between subject and object in a context of non-separation.  What emerges from that contact is the Beautiful Thing’, the interpenetration of the body-mind and the cosmos, and not just the starry void at that, but a universal field transcending the seeming division between matter, psyche and spirit, what John MacMurray called ‘the infinite ground of all finite phenomena.’

II

What do we mean by Geo-poetics?  Kenneth White, paraphrase 1.

Just as each human culture has had a principal motif and a poetics at its centre – be it myth, religion, metaphysics or history – the context today calls for a central motif and a new poetics for a new world-culture, a deep-going, out-looking movement leading to an open and freely evolving world.

That motif, that radiant centre which can reach out in an infinite number of ways to things related or dependent, is the Earth on which we try to live.  The new poetics is concerned with a relationship to the Earth, presence in the world and the cosmos, and the opening of a new world.

Poetics – the nous poetikos – applies not only to poetry as a literary form, but also to art and music, and can be extended into science and social practice.  Art needs that poetic intelligence, that active intellect, to form a new discourse, a logos, behind art.

Geopoetics is the means to break into a larger space, and to illuminate that penetration.  This, for me, is the telling phrase.

Culture, in the individual context, implies a conception of the human being.  It is the way human beings conceive of, work at, and direct themselves.

The geopoetic conception is ‘poetic inhabitant of the Earth’.

Culture (cultivation) implies work and a work-field.  The root of all culture is the relationship between the human mind and the Earth.

III

We are poetic inhabitants of the Earth, our immediate, grounded connection to the cosmos. Norman McCaig once described the senses as ‘the five ports of knowledge, into which come many cargoes’ – and, he said, ‘we should unship the lot.’

Not long ago I was flying over Baffin Island, and looking out the window this is what I wrote:

A few minutes ago there were mountain tops, hollows filled with the whitest snow.  The sky is deep blue, small clouds suspended below us.  In one of the hollows was a crescent of water, a perfect crescent, the water turquoise.  Snow spirals across the land like the Crab Nebula, dense clouds of stars in space.  No two shapes the same, order and chaos at one and the same time.  The thought rises – cosmic events, the elements of the cosmos replicated at every level, stars, snow on the tundra, snow-flakes, atoms.  They say quantum events are uncaused.  Maybe the universe itself is a quantum event, random, uncaused, beautiful, chaotic, deeply ordered.  Earlier we passed over the Davis Strait, ice floes and water reflecting a golden sun.  Not a hint of symmetry, but a glimpse of… something.

IV

Standing at the corner of Linlithgow Palace looking out and over, a meditation, my mind moving across time.

On the ridge in the distance a phone-mast.

On the loch two fishermen in a fibre-glass boat.

The parkland round the loch, recently laid out, mowed, planted with young trees.  Over there a Victorian lodge in its grounds.

The farmland shaped in the last three hundred years or so, corn, mature trees.

The 500 year old palace.  The loch, probably formed as the ice melted.

Rooks and gulls.

I was meditating on all of these when a blast of wind came up from the loch and, like a Zen master striking a questioning novice, hit me full on the face.  The wind – what could be more ancient?  Bringing me right back to the here and now!

V

For all I think of myself as a folk musician, I take pleasure in the Great American Song Book, and not just for the tunes, the chords, the often witty lyrics, or the opportunity it offers for improvisation and thus some of the 20th century’s greatest music.   It’s also that I can occasionally find what seems to be a critique of the way we live, that I can project on to the otherwise oblivious lyricist’s work a concern or a preoccupation of my own.  There will be a line or an image that hints at something beyond the stock-in-trade of love relationships, something going beyond sentiment to, let’s call it sensation.

One example would be Rodgers and Hart’s Little girl blue, where Nina Simone sings with ineffable sadness ‘All that you can ever count on are the rain drops’ – a banality at first sight.  Sure, the song itself is sentimental.  How many times in these old show tunes have ‘rain drops’ been a component of slush?   With its ironic Christmas carol counterpoint, and its crowd-pleasing pay-off line (‘why won’t somebody send a tender blue boy to cheer up little girl blue’), the song is redeemed by a beautiful melody, and in Simone’s version by the sympathy in her voice, and an edge glinting through the smoky softness, a determination not to be defeated.

It may be that it’s the seriousness and portent of Simone’s voice and delivery that allows me to give the song, or at least that one line, more weight than it really wants to bear.  Yet I fancy that it’s possible to propose that the song could be saying that, at a difficult time, when human relationships seem to have let you down, the only solace is to turn up your face to the sky and rely only on the sensation of natural things as a guide to what is real.  The human world, the world of culture, is not to be relied on.  Only in nature will we find truth.

Up until recently, and even now, in some powerful strands of Western thought, turning to nature, counting only on the rain drops if you like, might be seen as unwise counsel indeed.  Nature is not to be trusted.  It is to be subjected to human will and brought to heel.  But it might be that in these times, trusting to nature is the only chance we’ve got.   In fact we have to go beyond trust, and start seeing ourselves again as indivisible from nature.  How to begin?  By opening our senses to what nature is, to the reality of the world.   And any of us who lay claim to the term ‘artist’ have an urgent duty to explore that contact and express it.  We have to become naturalists, not with a safari suit, a sample jar, and a magnifying glass, but with the creative tools at our disposal, in order to encourage others to re-examine their relationship with nature.

Here’s an example of writing that’s a long way from Lorenz Hart’s world, the second stanza of Kenneth White’s Ludaig Jetty.

now here at Ludaig jetty
there is only
the wind and the light
the cry of a peewit
and the lip-lip-lipping
of grey water on white sand

Camille Pissarro, the painter, said: ‘You have to have sensations in order to have ideas.’

VI

Kenneth White: Paraphrase 2.

A local context, for example a country like Scotland, is a microcosm, or a bio-region, which begins with a ground, a geology – the archaic ground.  Contact with and consciousness of that ground – thinking-in-the-territory – is fundamental for a reconstitution of the full mind, for the renewal of culture.

The question of and obsession with local, regional, national identity arises when a field of energy, deriving from contact with a ground, is lost.  There is no point in talking about roots unless you also talk about ground.   However, once you have regained a significant centre, you can map out the rest, re-set the co-ordinates after wide-ranging reconnaissance has opened up new perspectives, delineated new space.  By opening out we do not lose roots and identity, but extend and enlarge them, recovering scope and energies.

Geopoetics is out to speak, play, or graph the ground-tone (‘the pure music of the landscape which announces nothing’) which can be heard all over the Earth, to get on to its wavelength.  Geopoetics aims at a new mental geography and a new language of communication.  The geopoetician goes for direct perception moving up, via description, into graphic thought, a language of earth and sea dynamics; as writer tracks and traces, practises writing as itinerary and as cartography, out to delineate new space, thereby enlarging mental categories and increasing the sense of world.   Writing is a power, a fundamental activity, and that activity is linked to the phenomena of nature.  The line made by a mountain-range or a sea-tide, and a line of writing are analogous, in terms of the forces at work which have brought about these similar forms.

(Compare this from poet Robert Bringhurst: ‘Reading, like speech, is an ancient, preliterate craft.  We read the tracks and scat of the animals…We read the horns of sheep, the teeth of horses.  We read the weights and measures of the wind, the flight of birds, the surface of the sea, snow, fossils, broken rocks, the growth of shrubs and trees and lichens…This is a serious kind of reading, and it antedates all but the earliest, most involuntary form of writing, which is the leaving of prints and traces, the making of tracks.’)

This writing works on a threefold process of eros (energy in movement), logos (gathering together what’s there, finding adequate language) and cosmos (the composition of unities).  What counts in a poet is what he gets back to, and what he goes out to.  Between these poles is generated a complex field.

VII

People in Scotland today are born into a cultural ecology in which the stories that were told, songs that were sung, music that was played and dances that were danced find contexts where they are still told, sung, danced and played.  Those contexts may have altered and look different to those in which the original material was made and shared, but they still have meaning for many today, although for many more they are hidden and obscure.

You may have been fortunate enough to have been born into a family or a community where the traditional arts are valued and practised, where the benefits of sharing them in fellowship and conviviality are known; where a deep connectedness to the social life and world-view of our forebears is felt as a shared identity with the dead and the living.

You may not have been born into such a family or community, but nonetheless feel the resonances.  You want to find out more.  You may not have been born into such a family or community and are glad of it, seeing in those traditional arts an unwelcome reminder of a past you are trying to forget as you make your way in a globalised world of modernity and progress.  You might even be a bit embarrassed by it.  You may not have been born into such a family or community, know nothing of any traditional culture, and feel no resonances from it.

VII

From Alexander Smith, ‘A summer in Skye’:

“There was a huge dresser near the small dusty window; in a dark corner stood a great cupboard in which crockery was stowed away.  The walls and rafters were black with peat smoke.  Dogs were continually sleeping on the floor with their heads resting on their outstretched paws.  The door was almost continually open, for by the door light mainly entered.

“When Peter came in with his violin the kitchen was cleared after nightfall; the forms were taken away, candles stuck into the battered tin sconces, the dogs unceremoniously kicked out and a somewhat ample ballroom was the result.  Then in came the girls, with black shoes and white stockings, newly-washed faces and nicely smoothed hair; and with them came the shepherds and men-servants, more carefully attired than usual.  Peter took his seat near the fire; McIan gave the signal by clapping his hands; up went the the inspiring notes of the fiddle and away went the dancers, man and maid facing each other, the girl’s feet twinkling beneath her petticoat, not like two mice but rather like a dozen; her kilted partner pounding the flag floor unmercifully; then man and maid changed step, and followed each other through loops and chains; then they faced each other again, the man whooping, the girl’s hair coming down with her exertions, and with a cry the dancers rushed at each other, each pair getting linked arm in arm, and away the whole floor dashed into the whirlwind of the reel of Hullichan.  It was dancing with a will – lyrical, impassioned; the strength of a dozen fiddlers dwelt in Peter’s elbow; McIan clapped his hands and shouted, and the stranger was forced to mount the dresser to get out of the way of whirling kilt and tempestuous petticoat.”

Contact with the earth, conviviality, an erotic charge – it’s all there!

VII

The Lewis bard, Murdo MacFarlane:

It wasn’t the snow and frost from the north,
it wasn’t the sharp withering cold from the east,
it wasn’t the rain and the storms from the west
but the disease from the south that blighted
the blossoms, foliage, trunk and roots
of the language of my people…

What links geopoetics and the folk arts is the figure of the bard.  Timothy Neat, the film maker, writer and biographer of Hamish Henderson, has made a particular study of the bard in Scottish culture:  ‘The childhood familiarity of the bards…- with wild nature, with chosen words, with traditional song and story, with religious values – has obviously been crucial to their lives and their development as poets, as has the relative poverty, the work, and the elemental grandeur of the environments within which they grew up.’

The bard articulates the concerns of the community, crystallises its aspirations and hopes, expresses its feelings, re-affirms its identity.

And then there’s The Bard…

The pairtrick loes the fruitful fells,
the plover loes the mountains
The woodcock haunts the lanely dells
The soarin hern the fountains.
Thro lofty groves, the cushat roves,
the path o man to shun it
The hazel bush oerhangs the thrush
the spreading thorn the linnet.

From the bard we’re not so far from the shaman, breaking through to another realm in order to bring back knowledge, but always returning to reconnect with the earth beneath his or her feet.

Hamish Henderson said: Artists must try to reach completeness again – though, in our age, they are unlikely to achieve it…Gradually the poet and the community must be threaded together again – and we must start here, where we stand – we can do no other.

VIII

So here is a kind of personal manifesto, guiding my practice.

We live on Earth.  We stand on the ground, our place, our Locus.

therefore

Begin with that ground – its morphology and its surface detail, its distinctiveness.  Map it out, write it, sound it.

therefore

Make art

This is an individual project, but humans are also social beings, dependent on each other for the fulfilment of our existential needs.  Moreover art needs perceivers who can share in the possibilities it offers.

therefore

Make community

therefore

The artist works with the community to open a new world.

The artist: the describer, the pointer towards truth, the shaper, the maker of myths, the opener of space, the cartographer.

The artist who feels allied to a community has a role not unlike the bard, or shaman.

Members of the community: the individual with a stake in their place, a stake in communal relations; the store of memory; perhaps the migrant who needs to establish a relationship with a place.

The teacher introduces the relevant skills, explores possibilities, brings out potentialities for expression.

Explore idea of living well, recognise the dialectic between individual and collective aims and desires in the community.  The dialectic between artist and community would be part of this discourse.

therefore

Make community by making art in, with and for the community

by

Focusing communal energy towards relationship with the Earth, sustainability, harmony, justice.  (A kind of politics)

Challenge alienation and a sense of meaninglessness.

therefore

Map the community by going to the store of memory (re-investigating the past), bringing out the layering of place (natural and cultural) (recovering resources), and by expressing it creatively (deploying energies)

therefore

engage with indigenous energy, the folk tradition, as  part of the exploration of that layering – some current, some latent – as expressed in music, dance, story, food, custom.

therefore

foster, sustain and renew aspects of that indigenous energy as part of that engagement.

IX

I’d like to finish with a line or two from one of my own songs ‘There is a Light’, which maybe sums up what I’m aiming for.

Play the river’s sound
speak the falcon’s cry
write the touch of moss and bark and stone.
Hear the skylark’s song
falling through the air
touching the earth, its home.

REFERENCES

Bohm, David. (2004). On creativity. Abingdon: Routledge.
Bringhurst, Robert (1999).  A Story as Sharp as a Knife: the classical Haida Myth tellers and their World. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Freire, Paolo (1972).  Pedagogy of the oppressed. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
McNeill, Marjory (1996).  Norman MacCaig: a study of his life and work.  Edinburgh: Mercat Press
MacMurray, John (1965/ 1995). The search for reality in religion.  London: Quaker Home Service.
Neat, Timothy, with John MacInnes. (1999). The voice of the bard: living poets and ancient tradition in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  Edinburgh: Canongate.
Neat, Timothy (2007). Hamish Henderson: a biography.  Vol 1: The making of the poet. Edinburgh: Polygon.
Smith, Alexander (1865/ 1998). A summer in Skye. Edinburgh: Birlinn.

Music
The Cast (2007).  There is a light. From Greengold.  Culburnie Records.
Simone, Nina (1958).  Little girl blue from Little girl blue.  Bethlehem Records.

25. April 2013 · Comments Off on Geopoetics News April 2013 · Categories: Uncategorised

A warm welcome to all our new subscribers and members. You’ll find lots of news here about our forthcoming events and resources.

First up, Stravaig issue 2 on the theme Coast to Coast is now online with essays by Georgina Coburn on island artists Steve Dilworth and Mhairi Killin, Gordon Peters on Stevenson in Samoa, Elizabeth Rimmer on Dark Mountain and Bill Stephens on kayaking in the Scilly Isles and Shetland, poems by Mavis Gulliver, Nancy Campbell, Susan Richardson, Michael McKimm, Bridget Khursheed and Tessa Ransford, images by Nat Hall and Douglas Robertson – it’s a bumper issue! http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-journal-stravaig/stravaig-issue-2/

Here are links to a film about Steve Dilworth to go with Georgina Coburn’s essay: <iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/40810322” width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/40810322“>Steve Dilworth- A Portrait</a> from <a hre

Your feedback on any of its contents would be appreciated.

On Saturday 27 April at 10.30 am in the Out of the Blue Drill Hall Cutting Room, Dalmeny Street Edinburgh our Annual General Meeting will discuss ideas for fund-raising and plans for our future activities.
At 12 noon a much anticipated talk by David Francis: As I Roved Out: a folk musician and geopoetics.
David plays guitar and writes songs with Mairi Campbell as The Cast whose shows The Red Earth and Revival! combine storytelling, music and song. He is an influential figure in the revival of traditional Scottish social dancing, a co-founder of Distil, a creative development project for traditional musicians, and is Executive Officer of the Traditional Music Forum and Treasurer of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics.
Minimum donation £3. RSVP if you’re coming since space is limited.

On Friday 10 May at 4 pm in the Linklater Room, University of Aberdeen, as part of its May Festival, Kenneth White will give a lecture on ‘What is World Literature?’
On Saturday 11 May at 1.30 pm in the Multimedia Room, King’s Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen, he will also give a poetry reading ‘Latitudes and Longitudes.’
This is a rare opportunity to hear the founder of geopoetics – book tickets at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival/events/2493/.
The University of Aberdeen Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies will also be publishing three new books of his: a book of essays, a book of narrative prose and a book of poems.

On Sunday 19 May at 10.30 am the London and south geopoetics network is organising a half day walk in the Lea Valley, round Tottenham Marshes.
This will start from Tottenham Hale Underground station and walk a few hundred yards up the towpath to Stonebridge Lock then meander in the Marsh area, and take a look at the work and growing community of Living Under One Sun. Expected finish by 1 pm, with a chance of some al fresco lunch and coffee.
There will, of course, be some discussion and informed observation on the natural and occupied environment on the way, and a sense of appreciating the space and the place for what it is.

On Sunday 2 June there will also be a walk for southern geopoetics members and friends in the South Downs. The walk is circular from Hassocks Railway Station on the London to Brighton line. Gather in the car park on the east side of the station at 10.36 am to meet the First Capital Connect train (from St. Pancras, Blackfriars, London Bridge, East Croydon) and be back at the station around 15.30.
Wolstonbury Hill is a site of Special Scientific Interest with a rich flora, a fine bronze age fort and 360 degree views that take in a long sweep of the Downs, the sea and views across the Weald reaching to the North Downs. In true geopoetic style, we will develop our poetic knowledge of the geology, natural history and human history of the rich human / natural landscape and explore some relaxed practices as we journey to deepen our experience of the landscape through our senses and our body-mind.
The walk will be led by Alistair Duncan who has a keen interest in our psychological and sensory connection to the land and has lived all his life in Brighton between the Downs and the sea. Bring outdoor clothing and a packed lunch. Free: contact Gordon Peters at gordonpeters18@hotmail.co.uk to book either or both events.

On Friday 28 June at 6.30 pm at the Scottish Poetry Library Christian McEwen will give a reading and lead a discussion on Creativity and Slowing Down.
Her World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, was first published in September 2011, and has already gone into its fourth printing. Carla Carlisle: “Her prose is poetry, as clear as snow melt. If you think you’re too busy to read this book, this is the book for you.” The American poet Edward Hirsch described it as “a quiet feast, a daydreamer’s manual… which teaches us to slow down and see the world anew.”
Tel. 0131 557 2876 to book.  The SPL Spring Programme is here: http://issuu.com/scottishpoetrylibrary/docs/spl_springprogramme/3.

On Saturday 29 June from 10 am to 4 pm Christian McEwen In Praise of Walking: Centre for Stewardship, Falkland, Fife
She was someone who could not be rushed. This seems like a small thing. But it is actually a very amazing quality, a very ancient one…  She went about her business as if she could live forever, and forever was very very long. Alice Walker
Almost everything we care deeply about, we do with some nimbus of slowness around it, whether that be writing a poem, digging a garden, or baking a birthday cake for a beloved child. “The greatest assassin of life is haste,” said the poet Theodore Roethke. And yet more than a third of us say we “always feel rushed.”  This day-long session is intended as an antidote to that frantic sense of urgency. Over the course of our time together, we will focus on very ordinary, everyday activities — walking, talking, writing, drawing, telling stories — exploring them both as a source of pleasure in themselves, and as a pathway to our own creative work.
In Praise of Walking is intended as a hands-on workshop, combining stories and discussion with a special focus on reading, writing, walking, and drawing. Come dressed for the weather and wear walking boots. Bring a packed lunch. Booking: £12/£10 unwaged/ Friday night attenders at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/6156348805?ref=elink#.

Other Resources:

Geopoetics on the Atlantic Edge: a full account by Graham Leicester, Director of the International Futures Forum, of the March talk by Norman Bissell and discussion at Ramsay Garden, Edinburgh. It features Patrick Geddes, Kenneth White, biophilia and how the Atlantic Islands Centre can showcase Luing and the other Argyll islands and encourage us to attune our minds to the elements.

On The Atlantic Edge: Scotland’s islands and the opening of a world  http://www.internationalfuturesforum.com/s/424

The Fife Psychogeographical Collective
Occasional despatches from the Fife Psychogeographical Collective.  Field trips and wanderings in liminal spaces … mapping the interstices of past, present and possible …
From the Kingdom and beyond … http://fifepsychogeography.com/about/.

Other events

Ongoing: Imagining Natural Scotland is a new interdisciplinary project for the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 from Creative Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the University of St Andrews which will explore the interplay between the natural world and its representation, and promote deep collaboration and knowledge exchange between the creative and scientific sectors. http://imaginingnaturalscotland.org.uk/.

Ongoing: We Are Northern Lights feature documentary screenings about life past, present and future in Scotland. A hilarious, moving, beautiful kaleidoscope of life drawn from all parts of Scotland.
http://community.wearenorthernlights.com/screenings.

Thursday 18 April at 7 pm John Hudson Workshop on creating a character in a poem at Walthamstow Library London E17.

Friday 19 April at 7pm  John Hudson reading his poetry at Leytonstone Library, London E11.

19-21 April Dark Mountain Writing – a weekend poetry workshop at Wiston Lodege in the Scottish Borders, co-facilitated by Em Strang and Susan Richardson. The emphasis is on what the Dark Mountain Project (http://dark-mountain.net/) calls ‘uncivilised’ writing -what does it mean to write nature poetry in the 21st century? How do we express wildness? Is it possible to speak for non-human species?
Cost for the weekend is £200, including 2 nights full board.  Further details: susan@susanrichardsonwriter.co.uk.

April 22 to May 25 Exhibition     Eden3: Trees are the Language of Landscape in the Tent Gallery, in Art Space and Nature, Edinburgh College of Art

Monday 27 May at 7 pm in Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Dalziel+Scullion will give a lecture on Ecology of Place. http://edinburghlectures.wordpress.com/programme-2013/.

From 14th-16th June: “Writing the Wild” Creative Writing Course, Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria with Geraldine Green.
Tel: 015394 41396 Email: enquiries@brantwood.org.uk http://www.brantwood.org.uk/courses.htm

From 14 – 16 June at Wiston Lodge near Biggar, Carrying the Fire, a weekend of talks, workshops and performances exploring the connections between the arts, ecology and cultural resilience. Organised by the Dark Mountain project.
Speakers will include Jay Griffiths, author of ‘Wild’ and ‘Kith’, Sara Maitland, author of ‘Gossip From the Forest’ and Chris Fremantle of EcoArt Scotland. There will also be performances from the likes of Mairi Campbell and Metaforestry – Storiau o’r Gogledd.
For more information check out https://sites.google.com/a/carryingthefire.co.uk/carrying-the-fire/

The Filmpoem Festival 2013 will take place on the 3rd and 4th August 2013 in Dunbar Town House, Dunbar, Scotland. The call out is available for submissions by 1 June at http://filmpoem.com/Filmpoem2013.pdf

From 10th-17th August: International Poetry Week – a week of poetry workshops & discussions with Geraldine Green on the Isle of Arran. Contact http://geraldinegreensaltroad.blogspot.co.uk/

From 23rd-25th August: “Sense and Place” Poetry Course with tutors: Dr. Geraldine Green and New York Poet and Writer-in-Residence at Walt Whitman Birthplace, Prof. George Wallace – contact through Brantwood (contact details above).

More Books from Members
Six Days in Iceland by Alyson Hallett and Chris Caseldine. Poetry, images and scientific text, £7.00 available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Six-Days-Iceland-Alyson-Hallett/dp/0956994008.
The Lost Language of the Stars by Heather Connie Martin. A fascinating exploration of the links between Pictish stones and the constellations of stars. Available from heatherconnie@hotmail.fr.
Earth by John Hudson, a new poetry collection from Luath Press available from j.hudson@btinternet.com.

Suggestions for other events and resources that may be relevant to geopoetics are most welcome, as are your thoughts on any of this Newsletter.

Membership
Please join or renew your annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged) by sending a completed application form from our website and cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Bill Taylor 7 Wellpark Terrace West, Newport-on-Tay DD6 8HU. You can also pay online by PayPal at http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-store/

Please share this Newsletter with others and subscribe here to receive future Geopoetics Newsletters direct.

17. January 2013 · Comments Off on 2012 was a good year for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics · Categories: Uncategorised

2012 was a good year for the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and 2013 promises to be just as good. In the last part of the year our website www.geopoetics.org.uk received 7,900 views from 68 different countries, new subscribers are coming in all the time and 2 new members have joined already this year.

The second issue of our online journal Stravaig will be available in the coming weeks and will contain 6 essays, lots of poems, 2 reviews and many images. We would like to thank everyone who submitted work for it. Meanwhile, check out Stravaig#1 here: online-journal-stravaig/stravaig-1-contents/.
Here are our initial plans for the coming year. Full details to follow.

On Thursday 7th February 2013 I will be speaking about Geopoetics on the Atlantic Edge: Expanding Our Sense of Scotland at an International Futures Forum Ramsay Garden Seminar at 4 Ramsay Garden, Edinburgh 13.00 – 14.15 with buffet lunch from 12.30. I will be outlining Atlantic poetics and explaining how the Isle of Luing Community Trust Atlantic Islands Centre, for which the Trust has raised £1.2m funding, could contribute to an expansive sense of world and cultural renewal.

Places at the seminar are limited to encourage a quality discussion.  Reserve a place by emailing Mairi Heneghan or phoning IFF at 01383 861300.

On Saturday 28 April our AGM will take place in the Edinburgh area preceded by a talk about geopoetics.

On 5 May at 2 pm Christian McEwen will give a talk and reading about Creativity and Slowing Down in the Islington Ecology Centre off Gillespie Road near Finsbury Park, London, This will be followed by a walk around the nature reserve putting these ideas into practice.

At the end of May or in June there will also be a walk for geopoetics members and friends in the South Downs and possibly more walks and conversation in the Lea Valley of London.

Contact Gordon Peters at gordonpeters18@hotmail.co.uk if you’d like information about future events in southern England.

On Friday 28 June Christian McEwen will give a reading and lead a discussion on Creativity and Slowing Down in Edinburgh followed by an outdoors workshop on Saturday 20 June. Her marvellous book World Enough & Time is now available from through UPNE (University Press of New England) Order Dept. which is represented in the UK by the Eurospan Group (info@eurospangroup.com, or www.eurospanbookstore.com).

August/September – we are looking into the possibility of a visual arts/poetry exhibition and walk in Hexham near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

New Books from Members

From Shore to Shoormal / D’un rivage à l’autre by Nat Hall and Donna Allard Broken Jaw Press @ £10.

John Richardson: Naturalist of the North by James McCarthy GC books @£4.99.

By Leaves Entwined by Gordon Peters with illustrations by Sandra de Matos @ £5.

Wherever We Live Now by Elizabeth Rimmer Red Squirrel Press @ £6.99.

The Proprietry of Weeding by Colin Will Red Squirrel Press @ £6.99.

Other Resources:

Entanglements, a new anthology of environmental poetry ed. By David Knowles and Sharon Blackie, cover design by Douglas Robertson.

The Dark Mountain Project third book is now out and will be reviewed in Stravaig#2.

Scotland’s Landscapes: The National Collection of Aerial Photography by James Crawford from the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland.

The fourth issue of EarthLines Magazine is now out and is packed with articles, images and poems including an interview with Robert Macfarlane. It’s well worth a subscription.

GEORGE WYLLIE RETROSPECTIVE: IN PURSUIT OF THE QUESTION MARK. The Mitchell, North St, Glasgow, G3 7DN. Until 2 February 2013. Mon-Sat, 10-5. FREE ENTRY. The largest exhibition ever of his work and definitely not to be missed. I laughed out loud at some of his scul?tures.

Infinite Scotland exploring natural and cultural connections tours Scotland late January early February.

2013 has been designated the Year of Natural Scotland and you can find out more about how to get involved and what’s happening here:

Suggestions for other resources that may be relevant to geopoetics are most welcome, as are your thoughts on any of this Newsletter.

Membership

To develop our work of raising awareness of geopoetics we need new members and existing members to renew their annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged). If you value what we do, please send a completed application form from our website and cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Bill Taylor 7 Wellpark Terrace West, Newport-on-Tay DD6 8HU. You can also pay online by PayPal at here.

05. October 2012 · Comments Off on Autumn Geopoetics News · Categories: Uncategorised

‘An oasis of calm in the midst of Festival mayhem.’ ‘A joyful presence who offered real insight into how to overcome being drawn into frantic living and become truly creative.’ ‘A primer on geopoetics as a way of perceiving and living creatively in the world.’

These are just some of the reactions to Christian McEwen’s recent packed out reading and conversation in Edinburgh based on her book World Enough & Time: on Creativity and Slowing Down. We hope to host a further event with her next June.

The Wild Walk through Two London Boroughs in September was London as I’d never seen it before. From Highgate Old Wood to the Islington Ecology Centre it was a vivid experience of trees, paths and rivers, tales of crocodile and shark fossils, soprano pipistrelles and ring-necked parakeets, a spriggan whose cobweb beard grew out of graffiti which proclaimed ‘this is for all the lost loved ones’, and, afterwards, a fruitful discussion about how to respect and express this otherness.

It was good to be part of the launch of a geopoetics network in southern England. Many thanks to Richard Meyers and Gordon Peters for organising and hosting it.

A fuller account is available here: writtenintherocks.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/a-walk-in-the-woods
Contact Gordon at gordon_peters18@hotmail.co.uk if you’d like information about future events in southern England.

Reminder: Stravaig issue 2
Submissions of essays, poems, artwork, reviews and films on the theme Coast to Coast (which can be freely interpreted) should be sent to Elizabeth Rimmer at burnedthumb@gmail.com not later than Thursday 1 November 2012.

To give you a flavour of what we’re looking for, Issue 1 on the legacy of HD Thoreau can still be read here.

Tuesday 16 October at 6 pm in the McDonald Road Library, Leith Walk, Edinburgh The launch of Gordon Peters’ poetry collection By Leaves Entwined.

This new collection with illustrations by Sandra de Matos contains lyric poems, haikus, and performance poems set in Scotland, London, Europe and Asia always with a sense of ‘poetry crosses boundaries’. Copies £5 available from Gordon at the above e-mail address.  gordonpeterspoetry.blogspot.co.uk

Friday – Sunday 28 October Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick, Scottish Borders
Alchemy screens work that in some way relates to the natural world, to landscape and to mankind’s relationship with natural forces. The Festival has a focus on high quality artistic projects and experimental short film, but also aims to mix this with thematically related feature length screenings. Creative Director Richard Ashrowan has assembled an innovative programme that includes work by Ben Rivers, Andrew Kotting and Robert Cahen, projects by Pat Law and Claire Pençak, and themes like Traversing the Wild and Wilder Moves.

Full details: www.alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk

Throughout October: River Crossings: An Exploration of River Ecology & The River Inside exhibition at the Peter Potter Gallery, Haddington.
This project focuses on the ecology of the River Tyne and includes performances by Colin Will, Rafael Torrubia and Wounded Knee. Colin Will’s collaboration with a ceramic artist involves writing and shaping haiku from a river walk, and laser-etching the results on to stones and ceramics for geo-caching.

See the gallery website here or the gallery’s own Facebook page here.

Thursday 15 November at 7.30pm at Toynbee Studios 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6AB Adrift:
Join David Buckland, Tom Chivers, Rachel Lichtenstein and Michael McKimm to consider climate change, the environment and the city in a special evening of readings and discussion. writtenintherocks.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/event-in-london-adrift/

Monday 19th November at 7pm in the Rutherford/McCowan Building, Crichton University Campus, Dumfries
The launch of Entanglements, a new anthology of environmental poetry.

The anthology includes new poems by many outstanding poets and a cover design by Douglas Robertson:  www.gla.ac.uk/media and earthlinesmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/ecopoetry-anthology-lineup-to-date/.

Friday 30 November is the deadline for the EarthLines essay competition for a piece of creative prose writing that explores the relationship between people and the natural world. www.earthlines.org.uk

Other Resources:
The Dark Mountain Project third book is now out.

arcadiaproject.net/the-woods-the-technology/ The Arcadia is a nearly 600-page North American Postmodern Pastoral Anthology bringing together seminal work in the genre of the pastoral as it has evolved into the 21st century.

Foundation for Deep Ecology is a voice for wild nature which supports efforts to protect wilderness and wildlife, promote ecological agriculture, and oppose destructive mega-technologies that are accelerating the extinction crisis.

Crossing the Threshold: explorations into our relationship with the natural world including reflections on Buddhism, eco-psychology etc.

Suggestions for other resources that may be relevant to geopoetics are most welcome, as are your thoughts on any of this Newsletter.

Membership
To develop our work of raising awareness of geopoetics we need new members and existing members to renew their annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged). If you value what we do, please send a cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Bill Taylor 7 Wellpark Terrace West, Newport-on-Tay DD6 8HU. You can also pay online by PayPal here

18. July 2012 · Comments Off on Summer Geopoetics News · Categories: Uncategorised

Our Spring Gathering with the International Futures Forum went well and has led to ongoing discussions about Nature, Creativity and Well-being. This summer is proving equally fruitful with the great news that the Big Lottery is to award £754,910 to build an Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing in which we hope to rent a work space, and my growing feeling that there is a widening community of like minds out there who are active in their own ways in the field of geopoetics. More »