Geopoetics News November 2014

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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 and Norman Bissell at 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 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, 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:

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:

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

Geraldine Green
Sunday 16 November ‘Living Words’ 2-5pm Creative Writing Workshop Swarthmoor Hall
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.

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.

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.

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.

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:
News about plans for the publication of his Collected Works can be obtained from Professor Cairns Craig, For further information on White’s work, with commentaries and criticism in English and in French: his bilingual site is at

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.

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

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.

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

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

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
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