Friday, July 02, 2010

Jul 15-18: Richard Osler poetry workshop

Upcoming Poetry Writing Retreat at the Honeymoon Bay Lodge with Richard Osler

Thursday July 15th to Sunday July 18th, 2010

All-in cost: Double Occupancy $360, Single Occupancy $510

“Poems are not . . . simply emotions . . . they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and things . . . and know the gestures which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you have long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained . . .; to childhood illnesses . . . to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel . . . and it is still not enough.”

From The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke .

For the sake of poetry we are asked to go beyond ourselves, beyond what we know and often, beyond how we see the world. At its best poetry changes us - both when we read it and when we write it. Come and experience this first hand with Richard Osler in the spectacular setting of the Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat Centre on Vancouver Island.

Experience your own surprising words as they appear through "poetic experiments" as the poet Jane Hirschfield calls them. During the retreat there will be five writing sessions. In these sessions you will be encouraged to relax into the sounds and musical language of noted contemporary poets. Then, through carefully chosen "experiments" (assignments) that use powerful examples chosen from poets writing at the top of their craft, you will be invited, and guided, to write your own poems in response. Between sessions there will be ample time for quiet and reflection. Retreatants will be offered also the chance to experience the transforming power of a guided walk through the lodge's labyrinth.

Weekend Structure. We will check in at 2 PM and start with a one and a half hour poetry writing session on Thursday afternoon followed by another one-and-a-quarter-hour session Thursday evening. We will have a two-and-a-half hour writing session on Friday and Saturday morning and a shorter-wrap up session on Sunday morning. On Friday and Saturday evening there will be time to share favorite poems and some of your own writing.

Retreat facilitator. Richard Osler, 59. Poet, workshop facilitator and specialty money manager.

Retreat Centre. The Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat Centre near Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island (90 minutes from either Victoria or Nanaimo) This centre, owned and operated by a charitable foundation, is a five star facility with an executive chef. All meals are provided ( high quality!) and each room has two queen-sized beds and a three-piece bathroom. Please check out this link for a virtual tour.

Cost. Reasonable! Thanks to the great package offered by Honeymoon Bay the all-in cost including all meals prepared by staff at the lodge and selected by the participants (dinners) from a menu selection is reasonable! See above. A non-refundable deposit of $100.00 is required to secure a place. WIth the deposit should be a post-dated cheque dated May 31st, 2010 for the balance owing. The amount of the post dated cheque will be refundable if the cancelled space is filled by another retreatant. Cheques should be made payable to Richard Osler and sent to 1584 Stamps Rd.,Duncan, B.C. V9L 5W2.

Who should come? Anyone who wants a weekend of reflection and unexpected words.

Who to Contact: Email or phone Richard Osler ( or 250 597 7875.

A Tao of Poetry

Each word carefully

tied to the next, the poem

is a net, and no

single knot is strong enough

to bear the burden alone.

Some nets are small, cast

for shrimp or herring. Some nets

are meant to hold whales.

In the ecology of

the poem, the fish is not

prey, but the surprise

catch of the day, a diamond

in the coal, a way

of awakening to something

just beyond what words can say.

Sam Hamill

"Most people…think that writing means writing down ideas, insights, visions. They feel that they must first have something to say before they can put it on paper. For them writing is little more than recording a pre-existent thought. But with this approach true writing is impossible. Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals what is alive…The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves, ‘I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.’ Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare “to give” away on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath…and gradually come in touch with our own riches.” Henri Noewen

No comments: