Welcome to 2012

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A Guid New Year to you! What better way to start 2012 than by reading the first issue of our new online journal Stravaig and enjoying a stravaig through the snow with Henry Thoreau?


Henry Thoreau was an important forerunner of geopoetics, a man who had a keen perception of the world around him and who wrote about it extensively in his books and journals. He was quite a walker too (unhappy if he didn’t manage four hours a day) and so it is highly appropriate that this first issue of Stravaig (a Scots word meaning to stroll or wander) should be inspired by his work and feature four essays, many poems and images which clearly demonstrate the creative benefits of getting out of the house and going outwards.

We really would like to get the word out there that Stravaig can be read online and you could help to do this by sharing this link with your contacts and friends on e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ etc., and by reviewing and blogging about it.

Your thoughts and suggestions on any of the contents of this first issue and ideas for a second issue would be greatly appreciated. These can come to me or be posted on the Stravaig pages of our website

Many thanks to all the contributors, to Jim McCarthy and Elizabeth Rimmer who helped me to edit it, and to Steve Pardue www.differentia.co.uk who did the design.

Our next day event will be a continuation of our discussions with the International Futures Forum at The Boathouse in Aberdour on Saturday 21 April 2012. We will meet there at 10am for a walk along the shore followed by lunch at the Boathouse at 12 noon and discussion at 1.30 pm. The areas for discussion are still to be finalised but are likely to include how creative expression of the earth can enhance health and wellbeing.

This is the time of year to renew your membership of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and you can do this by sending a cheque for £10/£5 unwaged payable to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Bill Taylor 7 Wellpark Terrace West, Newport-on-Tay DD6 8HU or online at https://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-store/. We hope you will!

If you haven’t already done so, take a look at these short films of interesting talks at our Brantwood weekend and at the Edinburgh International Radical Book Fair last year at http://vimeo.com/geopoetics.

Council member Steve Pardue has come up with the intriguing idea of a geopoetics roadshow (attached) to take geopoetics to a place or places where some of our members live, and experience that location through their eyes. The Isle of Mull in mid June would be one possibility. Tell us what you think.

An all day meeting of a committee of the International Institute of Geopoetics will take place in Paris on Wednesday 4 April. Council members who would like to attend should let me know ASAP.

Exhibitions & conference

Routine: Lex Braes drawings and paintings with video work by Allan Kaprow and of Shōji Hamada until 26 February Show Room 170 Suffolk Street New York. The first New York solo show in over ten years of Scottish-born, New York-based artist, Lex Braes: http://www.showroom170.com/Lex2.html

How the Land Lies: Alastair Cook’s recent film, analogue photography and glass work 10-24 February at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall Dalmeny Street Edinburgh.

Friday 10 February at 7 pm Opening Event: Alastair will introduce screenings from Filmpoem at 7.30pm, with readings from poets Colin Will, JL Williams and Jane McKie, accompanied by Italian composer Luca Nasciuti. He will also première Animal Charcoal, the first of 7 Films. This event is free and children are most welcome. http://alastaircook.com

The 13th Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas will take place at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia in July 2012. There will be a workshop on Geopoetic and Mnemotopic Dimensions of Literature since Nietzsche chaired by Martina Kolb.

More authors are joining the Scottish Centre all the time and here is some information about some of them and their websites, blogs and publications:

Alyson Hallett is the author of Six Days in Iceland which contains poetry, photographs and scientific text: http://www.thestonelibrary.com/http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/reviews//Unsuspecting_Gem_Six_Days_in_Iceland_0_386117.news.aspx

Laura Hope-Gill is the author of  The Soul Tree: Poems and Photographs of the Southern Appalachians and her website is at http://www.thehealingseed.com/

Christian McEwen is the author of World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down which espouses the need to slow down to nourish our creativity: http://www.christianmcewen.com/index.htm  http://www.bauhanpublishing.com/new-titles-2/world-enough-time.  She is providing a course based on her book with artist Jan Kirkpatrick from 28th July-4th August 2012 on the Summer Isles. See http://www.summer-isles.com/creative-courses.asp#Slow.

Tessa Ransford is the author of Not Just Moonshine, new and selected poems based on 4 decades of work: http://www.wisdomfield.com/index.html.
Review See also: http://www.goldpoetrythread.blogspot.com/.

Elizabeth Rimmer is the author of  the poetry collection Wherever We Live Now which is available from Red Squirrel Press. or from her at

Anne Scott  is the author of 18 Bookshops from Sandstone Press at http://www.sandstonepress.com/title/18_bookshops/. http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/reviews/book_review_18_bookshops_1_1939127

Kenneth White’s latest book is the bilingual poetry collection is Les Archives du littoral from Mercure de France and his website is at http://www.kennethwhite.org.

Amazon gift vouchers for Christmas? Why not try out some of these books? Links to other author and artist members will feature in future mailings.

Members’ pages If you would like a page on our website, send me information about yourself, your interest in geopoetics, examples of your work, links to your website/blog and a photograph. See https://www.geopoetics.org.uk/members-pages/.

Other resources
Here are some links to others who are working in different ways in fields similar to geopoetics:

EarthLines magazine published by Two Ravens Press is seeking submissions of essays, poetry, art: http://www.earthlines.org.uk/About.html and of poems for a new anthology of  ecopoetry : http://www.earthlines.org.uk/News.html.

Ecoartscotland is a new resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It has useful mailings of happenings worldwide : http://ecoartscotland.net/about/.

Ecoartnetwork is a similar American network: http://www.ecoartnetwork.org/wordpress/ .

New Networks for Nature is a broad alliance of creators (including poets, authors, scientists, film makers, visual artists, environmentalists, musicians and composers) whose work draws strongly on the natural environment. http://www.newnetworksfornature.org.uk/

Elements of a new cartography is member Alistair Duncan’s blog  – a world thinking and sensing forward from the earth – which is particularly strong on phenomenology and perception: http://www.alistairduncan.co.uk/

Romantic Natural History is a survey of relationships between literary works and natural history up to 1859:  http://blogs.dickinson.edu/romnat/

The Centre for Human Ecology is an independent academic institute and network based in Glasgow which stimulates and supports fundamental change towards ecological and social justice through education, action and research, drawing on a holistic, multidisciplinary understanding of environmental and social systems: http://www.che.ac.uk/ . Its Kandinsky in Govan DVDs, conference papers etc. are here: http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/Kandinsky.htm.

Tipping Point is dedicated to energising the creative response to climate change http://www.tippingpoint.org.uk/ and its next event is a gathering of artists, scientists and others in Newcastle from 22-24 February: http://www.tippingpoint.org.uk/tippingpoint-newcastle/ .

The Dark Mountain Project is a cultural movement for an age of global disruption, a growing global network of writers, thinkers, artists, craftspeople and workers with practical skills who have stopped believing in the stories our civilisation tells itself. http://www.dark-mountain.net