Welcome to Roselle Angwin’s website
poetry, novels, creative non-fiction books
holistic creative writing courses & retreats
The spirit of Fire in the Head
words, images, land & the creative process
Please refresh these pages when you visit, as I’m constantly updating and adding to them. If you would like to be informed of new events, please use the Contact form to send your email address.
For 26 years now I’ve been leading this international holistic course programme, and I’ve been privileged to work with many hundreds – probably thousands – of fine people in this work that I find so continuously creative and inspiring. I believe my approach is unique, and the workshops are about so much more than ‘just’ writing. (You can see what participants have said here – almost all of this feedback is unsolicited. ‘Transformative’ is a common adjective.)
As a writing tutor, although I’m primarily known for inspiring creative and imaginal expression, I no longer choose to differentiate between creative, reflective and therapeutic writing, except in specific courses.
However, I also have a keen editorial eye, and bring this to my work with course participants. I want your work to be the best it can be, and part of my overall approach teaches you to better appraise your own work. I’m proud to say that many of my students have been published after working with me.
In these pages, alongside details of my books, you’ll find a variety of courses, retreats and mentoring options in creative, reflective, therapeutic and eco-writing for 2016. These include my annual weeklong writing retreats:
- the two spring ISLAND ones, on magical Iona in the Hebrides (‘Islands of the Heart’);
- an early summer COASTAL one, ‘The Land’s Wild Magic’ in West Cornwall;
- two late summer MOUNTAIN ones in the wild French Cévennes (‘Writing the Bright Moment’ and ‘Seize the Week’ work-in-progress);
- and an autumn FOREST ‘Tongues in Trees’ in Brittany.
If you’d prefer distance learning, there are my popular and long-running online advanced ‘Elements of Poetry’, or ‘Storymaking’ (novel-writing rooted in myth and archetype) intensive courses. (Many of my students are now published.) I shall be adding an ‘Introduction to Poetry’ course, and there are other exciting projects in the making.
For an overview, click on the Calendar.
My poetry, novels & other books
You can scroll through the list of my books here. The re-issue (with a lovely new cover) of my first poetry collection, Looking For Icarus, came out in July 2015.
And you can now listen to my long Dartmoor poem River Suite here (approx. 12 minutes. Switch off the lights, close your eyes, and let the moor take you.).
The more than ‘just writing’ aspects
Almost all of the courses I offer have a holistic focus, but if you would like something that is more overtly ecological, psychospiritual and mythic, therapeutic or land-based, head on over to my other website, The Wild Ways, where you will find a complementary range of what I call eco-soul courses, many of which take place in beautiful wildish places and often primarily outdoors.
These courses combine writing and other expressive arts with an exploration of our native British mystery, bardic and druidic tradition (for instance the Tongues in Trees course, and others with a soulwork, animal, plant/tree or place focus). My training in archetypal psychology is very much stirred into the cauldron. (I’m working on a distance-learning option here too.) Below is an example.
The Wellkeepers is a year-long closed-group course that combines storymaking, wisdom and archetypal teachings from Grail mythology with exploration of our inner and relational world, and the book of your life, all deeply rooted in our relationship to the land and, more specifically, to the role of the feminine principle in men and women alike as symbolic guardian of the inner but also outer waters which feed the land.
Grail mythology and the associated tales from the Welsh Mabinogi and the psychology behind it all is something I’ve been studying and writing about since my degree course at Cambridge in the 1970s (where I limped through the original stories in Middle French and Middle Welsh), and the main focus of my later training in Transpersonal Psychotherapy (1987–1991), and in which I’ve been leading workshops and retreats since 1991. Gradually, the focus has become more and more strongly interwoven with deep ecology.
My first book Riding the Dragon – myth & the inner journey was commissioned by Element Books in 1993 out of these ongoing courses. I consider this work, which appears in this and also various of my other books and writings and which centres on the restoration of the lost feminine, and soul, to the world, to be of continuing and urgent relevance to the Wasteland of our times; the necessary and resulting shift in consciousness may be a significant way to reverse our terrible rush towards ecocide. Intertwined with this in this book is my work on the Grail quest as a Heroic Journey to wholeness (cf Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey) – these themes are central to The Wellkeepers course.
This is all underpinned by what’s known as the ‘personal growth’ movement. It could also be called a form of subtle activism, where an increase in personal and collective consciousness and a transformation of our lives into positive contributions to the web of the natural world are deeply interconnected.
All of my work includes and reflects, overtly or more subtly, my passionate commitment to this revisioning of our relationships to the land and the other-than-human, and questions around how we might live differently, more lightly and more rooted, on our beautiful planet.
There is inevitably much overlap between the two programmes: my courses all include writing, to greater or lesser extents, and all my work is rooted in my passion for and awareness of place, soul and the earth.
In 2009, I first began to include outdoor work (‘Ground of Being’) combining writing with overt direct hands-on experience of listening to and learning from wild places, trees, and later from horses.
Since 1991 I’ve been leading creative, therapeutic and reflective writing, poetry, novel and story, personal mythology, ecopsychology and psychospiritual courses and retreats for many other organisations here and abroad, from Oxford and Bern universities to Arvon, the Open College of the Arts, the Poetry School and the Poetry Society, and other groups, of all ages, in addition to my own programme. I’ve offered outdoor workshops and/or been poet-in-residence for the National Trust, Dartmoor National Park, Natural England, Hestercombe Gardens, Transition Town Totnes and the Cotswold Water Park, as well as for several schools.
I’m very happy to tailor-make a course for you if you can host one: one-day, weekend, week-long or regular meetings are all possible. If you have an idea, do contact me.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY MY BLOG.
‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination.’ ~ John Keats