Announcing a 10 Day Retreat in Umbria, Italy – June 23rd to July 3rd, 2017

Recovering Words

 Writing Retreats
with Richard Osler

The focus of these retreats is to create the opportunity for participants to create substantial new poems through comprehensive writing adventures (assignments) 


La Romita School of Art
Terni, Umbria, Italy

10 Days

June 23rd to July 3rd, 2017

To Discover a Wider Eye

Oh, the world, the world,
What eye is wide enough?
What pupil sufficiently diligent.

 —  Greg Orr


Oh, Italy –  Umbria – La Romita School of Art – What better places to discover how poetry can bust open your eyes, widen them and help you bring something home you couldn’t imagine before you left.  It is one thing to travel in a country, it is quite another to see it the way a poet does – with unmixed attention.

In this ten-day poetry writing retreat you will be inspired in structured writing sessions, through the poems of master poets and other creative prompts, to write unexpected poems that stretch you as a writer. And what better place to be stretched than Italy – its sights, sounds, smells and tastes which are on full view here at the La Romita website.

And what better place, provoked as you will be by Umbria’s beauty and history in numerous out trips, to be further surprised by the mystery at the heart of poetry; the way, as Canadian poet Susan Musgrave says: Poems always seem to know more than I do and to be wiser than I am, as far as I can see. That’s also what’s magical about writing. Where do these things come from? This is where wide-eyed seeing moves into an even wider dimension of being, remembering and knowing. It is this “wider-eye” that will be encouraged and stimulated during our time together.


Open to writers of all levels of experience this retreat will take care to maintain a constructive balance between facilitated writing sessions, lots of quiet times for writing and our out trips to some of the remarkable places near and far-near from La Romita including, Rome, Assisi, Perugia, Spoleto and some of the many towns that dot the hilltops of Umbria, each with their own special features and histories.


To help prepare you for the poetry retreat you will receive a four to six page introduction in May 2017 with poems and thoughts on poetics. In addition, a few weeks later, you will receive a pre-retreat writing  adventure/assignment to be completed and brought with you to the retreat. The poem that comes from this will be at the core of how we introduce ourselves at the beginning of our time together.


There is something special that happens when a poet/retreatant lives in a community of other poets for ten days. Yes, life-long friendships can develop, but even more, a synergy can occur as poems are written together, shared and revised that leads to the retreatant going home with a sheaf of new poems quite unlike any others they have written before. And poems that are keepers!


La Romita School of Art, located in the hills overlooking Terni, Umbria, sixty miles north of Rome and a three hour drive from Florence.


For Double Occupancy including, room, all meals at La Romita and out trips:  $2200.00 U.S. Single Supplement $300.00 U.S. Further discounts are available for spouses/partners; friends, and those coming with retreatants but not participating in the poetry retreat.

A deposit of $500.00 is required to register. The deposit is non-refundable unless the retreat minimum is not reached by March 1st, 2017. Final balance, non-refundable, will be owing April 15th, 2017.


Richard in facilitator Mode

Richard in Facilitator Mode

Richard Osler (65) is an experienced poetry writing facilitator and workshop leader who leads more than one hundred writing retreats and workshops a year in the U.S. and Canada. His poems have been published in the U.S. and Canada. His chapbook, Where the Water Lives, was published by Leaf Press in 2012 and his full-length collection, Hyaena Season, was published by Quattro Books, Toronto in the Fall of 2016. His website, which includes his poetry blog published  about forty times a year, can be seen at


Please Contact Richard Osler at or 250 597 7875.


“The safe space Richard Osler creates in his Recovering Words Poetry Retreats revitalizes and expands the creative spirit. People write beautiful poems and share them with each other. They vow to stay in touch, to continue writing. They leave reluctantly.Heidi Garnett.   Heidi, who lives in Kelowna, is a nationally-recognized Canadian poet through her numerous honours in  poetry contests including: Winner: Winston Collins Prize (Descant – The Journal) for Best Canadian Poem of the Year 2012; Second : Freefall 2012 Poetry Contest; Third: Rattle Poetry Contest 2010 (6000 entries); Shortlisted : Arvon Prize in the U.K. (6000 entries) Adjudicated by Carol Ann Duffy; Runner-up. She has also taught creative writing at The University of British Columbia – Okanagan. Heidi’s recent book published in 2016, Blood Orange, was just cited, in a year-end review in Vallum by Canadian master poet Lorna Crozier, as her poetry discovery of the year!

“Richard Osler makes poetry an integral part of his life. He is exceptionally well-read and brings to a retreat a vast reservoir of poetic knowledge regarding modern and classical poets, their poetry and their craft. These hip-pocket skills from years of practice and reading will make your experience working with him inspirational and productive. From the very first afternoon at a Richard Osler retreat, you will be brought together as a community of poets who through his guidance and your own writing practice will find pathways to possibilities that are rich and valuable.” David Fraser.  David is a much-published Canadian poet and founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in 65 print journals, ezines and anthologies. He founded the Wordstorm poetry series in Nanaimo in 2006. His most recent full length poetry collection, After All the Scissor Work is Done, was published by leaf Press in 2016.


  1. Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What an amazing offering, Richard! As someone who’s had the good fortune to attend one of your workshops, anyone who can make it to Italy for this one, is lucky beyond imagining!

  2. Richard Osler
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much Donnie! Wish you could be there! Working hard to make the minimum!

  3. Nancy Issenman
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Richard,
    I am considering this. Keep me posted!

  4. Richard Osler
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Would love to have you there! We’re getting to the minimum, slowly! Still a couple short. You coming would get us closer!!!

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