Singing Over the Bones: Women Writing the Wild
with Sharon Blackie & Roselle Angwin
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire; Sunday April 21 – Saturday April 27 2013
‘The Wild Woman … lives in the green poking through snow, she lives in the rustling stalks of dying autumn corn, she lives where the dead come to be kissed and the living send their prayers. She lives in the place where language is made. She lives on poetry and percussion and singing … She is the moment just before inspiration bursts upon us.’ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
In most western traditions of ‘nature writing’, women are vastly underrepresented. This is especially so in the UK. During this course we will explore the ways in which we might redress that balance. For this one week in the hills of the beautiful Highlands of Scotland, we plan to bring together a community of women writers who will participate in a re-visioning of our relationship with the natural world, & an exploration of the ways in which we can communicate it. Our approach will be deeply grounded, and rooted in the active experience and storying of place. We aim to create a warm, supportive but creatively challenging and transformative atmosphere in which we’ll spend time indoors and outdoors, exploring a unique combination of practices – story, myth, nonfiction prose, and poetry, as well as meditative, creative imagination & artwork techniques – to stimulate our senses & deepen our connectedness.
This course/retreat will suit writers at all levels of experience, and tuition/feedback will be provided for those who’d like it. There’ll be plenty of free time for private writing, walking, & relaxation. Generally, we’ll work together in the mornings, the afternoons will mostly be free (but you can book a one-to-one session with Sharon or Roselle if you’d like), & the evenings after dinner will be devoted to readings & myth- and storytelling by the fire.
‘Singing Over the Bones: Women Writing the Wild’ will take place at the Arvon-affiliated Moniack Mhor Centre, just outside of Inverness (www.moniackmhor.org.uk). Moniack Mhor is a cosy converted stone steading which overlooks the dramatic mountain ranges of Strathfarrar & Wyvis, & is three miles from Loch Ness. Nearby are the hill & forest paths of the Abriachan Forest Trust. Travel to & from Inverness is easy by road, rail & air, & for those using public transport to arrive in the city, transport to & from Moniack Mhor will be organised.
Accommodation will be in single rooms, & the week (inc. tuition, full board for 6 nights – all attendees help with cooking meals) will cost £495. The course will run from the Sunday evening (arrival by 6pm) to the following Saturday morning (departure after breakfast). Sharon can provide advice on travel arrangements (see contact details below).
Early booking is advisable, as there are only 12 available places and several places are already reserved. For booking info please see below; if you have any other queries about the course please contact Sharon: sharon[at]earthlines[dot]org[dot]uk or Roselle: roselle[at]fire-in-the-head[dot]co[dot]uk.
Sharon Blackie has qualifications in psychology and creative writing. She was formerly a therapist, specialising in narrative psychology, myth- and storytelling. In 2006 Sharon and her husband David Knowles founded literary publisher Two Ravens Press (http://www.tworavenspress.com) and in 2012 she founded and now edits EarthLines magazine (http://www.earthlines.org.uk), a full-colour quarterly print publication for writing about nature, place and the environment. Sharon’s first novel The Long Delirious Burning Blue was described by The Independent on Sunday as ‘Hugely potent. A tribute to the art of storytelling that is itself an affecting and inspiring story’. Her second novel, The Bee Dancer (written with the support of a bursary from the Scottish Arts Council) will be published in 2013 and is a contemporary ecological retelling of the myth of Psyche and Eros. She now lives on and works a croft sandwiched between mountains and sea on the far south-western coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. For more information, see http://reenchantingtheearth.com.
Roselle Angwin is a freelance poet, author, painter, and workshop facilitator who leads courses throughout Europe, from rural primary schools to Oxford University, as well as in arts and retreat centres. Her Fire in the Head creative and reflective writing programme has earned her an international reputation. Ground of Being is the ‘eco’ arm of her work, incorporating archetypal psychology and mindfulness as well as writing, focusing on reconnecting human and land via retreat days and weeks on Dartmoor near her home, in the Hebrides and in France. Roselle’s latest books are a novel, Imago (IDP) and a poetry collection, Bardo (Shearsman Books). All the Missing Names of Love was published in May 2012 (IDP). For more information, see http://www.fire-in-the-head.co.uk, http://roselle-angwin.blogspot.com.
BOOKING & PAYMENT
On booking, we ask for a deposit of £125, and the remaining £370 is payable by 31 January 2013.
To book a space on the course, please contact Sharon Blackie as soon as possible, as places are limited: sharon[at]earthlines[dot]org[dot]uk. Sharon will then send you a booking form to fill in, and you’ll need to return it with a cheque for £125 made payable to ‘ Sharon Blackie’ to the address below (if you don’t have a UK bank account, please let Sharon know & we can look at alternative methods of payment e.g. by direct bank transfer, or by PayPal, using a credit card – but please note that you will need to be prepared to pay the PayPal fees for this method, and bank charges for any payment in a foreign currency).
Taigh nam Fitheach
Isle of Lewis
If you cancel before December 31st 2012, your deposit is refundable, minus a £25 admin fee. After that refunds are not possible unless we can find someone to take your reserved place, as we will then be committed to paying the venue fees in full. (You might want to consider travel insurance.)