Poetry as Prayer – Calgary – Hillhurst United Church – October 18th and 19th, 2019

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Poetry as Prayer – Calgary – Hillhurst United Church – October 18th and 19th, 2019

October 18 @ 7:00 pm - October 19 @ 4:30 pm


The First Sky
Is Within You

A Generative Poetry-as-Prayer Retreat
with Richard Osler
in Calgary

 Hillhurst United Church
1227 Kensington Close NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3J6
October 18th to 19th, 2019

Please register through the Hillhurst United website under Coming Events. Scroll down to the event and click on the Register link! Or click here!

Registration fee: $87.50

Retreat Introduction

 When we address the world with unmixed attention it’s prayer, said the artist, poet and  mystic, William Blake. Another way to address the world prayerfully is through the unmixed attention of poetry.  Nor just poetry you read but the poetry you write. And with this attention, you may discover The first sky is inside you, as the Asian-American poet Li-Young Lee discovers in his poem One Heart:

Look at the birds. Even flying
is born/out of nothing. The first sky
is inside you, open at either end of day.
The work of wings
was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing.

Come and join fellow retreatants for an evening and a day of fellowship and poetry and experience your gift of words, words both your own and seemingly not your own. Because what are words that come to us when we write poems, if not the air from a sky larger than all skies. And discover a truth claimed Li-Young Lee when he talks about poetry as prayer: We pray through a poem… Poetry is a gate to what contains the Thing.  Go to the Thing. In addition to the  writing of a pre-retreat poem you will have the opportunity to write two more poems during the retreat. These poems will be supported by full handouts with example poems and commentary.

Retreat Details

We will start at 7 PM on Friday, Oct. 18th with a brief introduction and then a reading of the poem each of you will bring based on the pre-retreat adventure you will receive on September 20th. Your poem will be a way of introducing yourself to the group. Please Note: Whatever time you can give to your poem (fifteen minutes or days! will be enough. My invitation is that you have fun with the writing adventure and don’t stress over it. I have found that meeting each other through your poems adds so much to the retreat.

The Retreat Leader – Richard Osler

I am so pleased to be returning for this 5th annual Poetry-as-Prayer Retreat at Hillhurst. I am the author of the full-length poetry collection, Hyaena Season (2016), a poetry workshop facilitator and former president of specialty money management company based in Calgary. I have conducted numerous weekend writing retreats in Canada and the U.S. and three ten-day poetry writing retreats In Italy. Also, I lead, on average, about 70  poetry workshops per year of up to three hours at addiction recovery centers and out-patient recovery clinics in Canada.  For more details on Richard and poetry please visit his website at www.recoveringwords.com

The Schedule

Friday, Oct. 18th                   Saturday, Oct. 19th

7 p.m.   to 9:30 p.m.                       9:30 a.m to 4:30p.m.

A light lunch and snacks will be provided. Please being writing material or a device to write on.





October 18 @ 7:00 pm
October 19 @ 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Hillhurst United Church


Hillhurst United Church
1227 Kensington Close NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 3J6 Canada
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