‘Although I’ve had the privilege of learning under some truly great teachers, some of them academics, some spiritual guides, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more rewarding learning experience…’ (Participant on a poetry course and my Iona retreat)
Whether you are one of the ‘regulars’ who joins us each year, or are considering joining us for the first time, I’m delighted to welcome you to the programme, now in its 26th year.
You’ll find here courses for novices and experienced writers; for poets and novelists; for people interested in land, in relationship with other humans and other species, in reflection, in renewal, in personal history and personal development, and in creative ‘time out’. Be warned – people tend to come back, over and over. (See here for a few of many 100s of testimonials.)
One of the joys of my working life is the groupwork. I feel eternally privileged to do what I love and to do it with people who bring so much inspiration, heartfulness and courage to the writing process. I never fail to be moved by the breadth and depth of your stories, poems, imagination and willingness to explore.
In 2018 I’m offering a few residential retreats (these often fill quite fast, so early booking is advised), and several one-day workshops.
I offer mentoring, and also online courses, such as STORYMAKING: a unique approach to writing the novel, drawing on myth and archetype [with the support of Arts Council England, and featured in The Guardian]. This has proved to be both popular and successful; you can join at any time.
I also teach a poetry online course (ditto), and occasionally offer The Poetry Lab, intensive online workshopping with small groups. Then there is an eco-soul face-to-face programme as in The Wellkeepers, in 2018 a residential, coming soon as an online intensive, with the aim of creating strong ‘felt’ and imaginative connections between the land and our inner life. (I’ve been offering this in day/weekend-long retreats as ‘Ground of Being’ on Dartmoor and elsewhere for a little while: see The Wild Ways.)
Many of my students are published.
At this turbulent time in our world history, things that nurture the imagination may seem scarce or even irrelevant; but I passionately believe that the act of nourishing the creative process, with the accompanying sense of increased self-awareness, wellbeing and empowerment that brings, might be one of the small candles that are at times all we can light against the dark – not least because they also nurture the inner compassionate nature. How would the world look if we could, as a species, turn that outwards? Novelist Lindsay Clarke said that without imagination it’s not possible to be empathic. It’s that simple.
These ideas are at the core of my work. (I am a member of LAPIDUS, the association for the literary arts in personal development, and was opening keynote speaker at their conference WILD in September 07.)
For the Fire in the Head spirit in print, check out my Books page.