Geopoetics News April 2013

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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!

Here are links to a film about Steve Dilworth to go with Georgina Coburn’s essay: <iframe src=”” width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href=”“>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
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 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:

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

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

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 …

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.

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.

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 ( 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:

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.

From 14th-16th June: “Writing the Wild” Creative Writing Course, Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria with Geraldine Green.
Tel: 015394 41396 Email:

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

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

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

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
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
Earth by John Hudson, a new poetry collection from Luath Press available from

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

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

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