Croeso/Welcome to my new project, ‘Eye of the Storm’. I have long been interested in running courses and days that sets writing in a ‘depth’ context. Those of you who come along to events I run at the Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead – Rhwng: the Point Between events especially – will already know my interest in this area. I am currently in training as a poetry therapy practitioner with iaPoetry (International Academy for Poetry Therapy). My mentor is Jill Teague.
‘Poetry Therapy/Bibliotherapy’ is described on the iaPoetry website as ‘the interactive use of literature – poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction – to stimulate writing and other creative responses with a view to promoting self-expression, self-awareness and wellbeing’ – www.iapoetry.org
With this in mind, I have decided to set up some courses and days, both locally and online, which will explore themes and topics relating to interconnection, personal development and
creative empowerment. As a writer, as well as a tutor, I’m well aware that the writing process and the act of poesis can bring us into relationship with ourselves, others and the worlds of inner/outer. I work with the belief that everyone can add their voice to what my friend, poet Paul Matthews, calls ‘singing the creation’.
As many of you know, I have been teaching creating writing since the early 1990s, first at community level (WEA) and then at university undergraduate and postgraduate levels, for the Open University and Bangor University’s Department of Lifelong Learning. My current work continues with the OU, along with running creative writing workshops locally, but ‘Eye of the Storm’ aims to work thematically and will offer topics that I care about, in the hope that some of these will chime with you, too. I am very much working with the notion that, to get the most out of life, we need to integrate mind, body, soul, spirit – all the parts of ourselves that contribute to being a whole human being, alive to life and its processes, complexities and challenges.
Eye of the Storm. This is the name that pushed its way forward in my imagination quite a while ago, so I have decided to go with it as an ‘umbrella name’ for these courses and days. The ‘eye’ obviously carries with it meanings of ‘seeing’, and paying attention, of vision, of regard. I love what poet Mark Doty says in his wonderful book Still Life with Oysters and Lemon – meditations on Dutch still life paintings, also part memoir – that ‘what we are is attention, a quick physical presence in the world, a bright point of consciousness in a wide field from which we are not really separate. That, in a field of light, we are intensifications of that light’. What helps us to ‘intensify’? That is what I am interested in exploring. The ‘eye’ is also a homophone – it sounds like ‘I’. The ‘I’ of the storm creates, to me, a touching image of each of us as unique centres, as bright points of consciousness in that ‘wide field’ that Doty mentions. A life is rarely experienced without some stormier aspects. Yet, in our weathering, perhaps we can come to see ourselves as ‘wrought’, brought more fully into being ourselves. We hope! Life isn’t always ‘stormy’, of course – thank heavens – just as the weather isn’t, but all living systems shift between periods of darkness and light, shadow and bright sunshine, the seasons serving as useful metaphors for this. I am interested in the journeying self that is each of us, so will be offering retreat days, workshops and courses that offer space at the ‘eye’ of the ordinary storm of busy-ness and ado.
• Poetry Therapy Practitioner in training (iaPoetry)
• Focusing Practitioner (BFA Recognised)
• MA in Writing
• Certificate of Education
• BA (Hons) Literature, philosophy and music
Please see my website for more about me, including my publishing/recording history: www.rhwng.com
Incidentally, I will, of course, be continuing to run the Literary Society and Rhwng: the Point Between events at Ucheldre – no change there.
The first course I am offering is: ‘Anima/l’ on Sat 28th April 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm
Where: Llanfaelog Community Hub/Hwb Cymuned Llanfaelog (formerly known as Llanfaelog Village Hall), Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Môn
More about this soon.
If you have any questions, do ask! If you are interested, please ‘like’ this page and click on ‘Follow: see first’, to ensure you see the posts – thanks.
Diolch am ddarllen/Thanks for reading.
Warm wishes/Cofion Cynnes,