Geopoetics Day 2018 – Stravaiging along the Water of Leith to Leith Parish Church Hall

The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics was established in Edinburgh on Burns Night in 1995 by Tony McManus and others and is affiliated to the International Institute of Geopoetics founded by Kenneth White in 1989.
The geopoetic project is not one more contribution to the cultural variety show, nor is it a literary school, nor is it concerned with poetry as an art of intimacy. It is a major movement involving the very foundations of human life on earth.
Inaugural text of the International Institute of Geopoetics.

The Scottish Centre for Geopooetics is a network of individuals who share a common interest in developing an understanding of geopoetics as the creative expression of the Earth and applying it in their lives. We organise talks, discussions, day and weekend events, conferences and courses, including field work in interesting places, which are designed to extend our knowledge and experience of geopoetics.

We have members in England, Wales, Ireland, USA, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Canada and Australia as well as throughout Scotland and we welcome new members from all over the world.

You can join us and become a member by using the membership application form on our membership page. You can also come along to any of our events and browse our online publication, Stravaig.

Next Event: A Virtual Conversation about Poetry and Geopoetics with Helen Boden and Elizabeth Rimmer on Thursday 26 May at 17.00 BST – please note change of date – and BOOK NOW!

A lively conversation between two experienced poets, beginning with an outline of their connection with geopoetics, (including poems as illustrations), a discussion of earth-based poetry before Kenneth White, and some suggestions of where geo-poetry and geopoetics are now. Suggested donation £5 or what you can afford, please book at Eventbrite at https://bit.ly/poetry_geopoetics.

Helen Boden            Elizabeth Rimmer

 Helen Boden                                                          Elizabeth Rimmer

Our Activities

We issue regular Newsletters and mailings with news of events which relate to the geopoetic field. We also have a Facebook discussion group for members.  Our activities include field days and weekends which combine talks and discussions with guided walks. We held two successful weekend events on the Isle of Luing in 2005 and 2007 which led to publications about the island, the second of which was part funded by Scottish Natural Heritage.

In 2009 we organised a week-long Atlantic Islands Festival on Luing which brought together ornithologists, botanists, geologists, writers, storytellers, musicians, composers, film-makers and theatre practitioners in a celebration of the Argyll islands. As well as talks, guided walks, ceilidhs and poetry and music performances, children’s workshops in drama and Gaelic were provided. These events and workshops in this and previous years were attended and appreciated by many of the residents of Luing. Further details about the Festival are to be found on our other website www.atlanticislandsfestival.com.

In March 2011 we held a Going Outward conference which was mainly focused on the visual arts and geopoetics at John Ruskin’s former home at Brantwood in the Lake District.

Our Expressing the Earth Conference held in June 2017 in Argyll in conjunction with the University of the Highlands and Islands was a great success and led to many new members joining and closer ongoing links with others with an interest in geopoetics.

In June 2019 our Expressing the Earth in the Year of Indigenous Languages Conference at Wiston Lodge near Biggar had a greater emphasis on workshops as well as talks and discussions and two evening ceilidhs.

Due to Covid-19 regulations, in 2021 we held a series of Virtual Geopoetics Conversations on Zoom which attracted large audiences, stimulated discussion and further increased our membership. The recordings can be viewed at https://bit.ly/GeopoeticsConversations.

We also made a short film to publicise our Crowdfunder to make a full length documentary film about geopoetics. We exceeded our target funding and are currently developing the script. Full details and donations still welcome at https://bit.ly/ExpressEarthfilm.

The Scottish Centre has its own publishing imprint Alba Editions which has published a short introduction to geopoetics by Kenneth White called Geopoetics: place, culture, world; Grounding a World edited by Gavin Bowd, Charles Forsdick and Norman Bissell; and it also distributes Coast to Coast, a book of interviews with Kenneth White. You can read nine issues of our online journal Stravaig on this website. They include essays, poetry, photographs and artwork of high quality.

It should be noted that Kenneth White was Professor of Twentieth Century Poetics at the Sorbonne, Paris from 1983 to 1996, was a Visiting Professor of Literature at the University of the Highlands and Islands, is an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy, and the recipient of several honorary doctorates from Scottish Universities and many literary prizes.