Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

A Ten-Day Generative Poetry Writing Retreat in Umbria Italy – June 22 – July 2, 2019

June 22, 2019 @ 8:00 am - July 2, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Arial view of La Romita School of Art, Terni, Umbria


A Ten-Day Generative Poetry Writing Retreat
with Richard Osler –
experienced poetry facilitator
and author of Hyaena Season

La Romita School of Art
Terni, Umbria, Italy
June 22nd to July 2nd, 2019

Click to see how much fun we had in October 2018!

“To Be Fished by Poetry –
Writing En Plein Air”

Poetry fishes us to find a world
part by part, as the photograph interrupts the flux
to give us time to see each thing separate and enough.
The poem chooses part of the endless flowing forward
to know its merit with attention.

— Jack Gilbert (1925 – 2012)

La Romita Courtyard


To be fished by a poem. What a thought! But the longer I write poetry the more the words of Jack Gilbert ring true for me. Poetry fishes us to find a world…Come to Italy and be fished. Or to put it another way in the words of Canadian poet Susan Musgrave, come and discover what she has discovered: it seems to me my poems know more than I do and are wiser than I am. Discover how your poems can bring closer to yourself and your world in a healing and transforming way. Please consider this invitation to join me this June in Umbria for a life-changing poetry-writing experience.

What better place than Italy, at La Romita School of Art in Umbria (click here for the La Romita website) and at many other inspiring locations in Umbria and Tuscany, to write on location in some of the most beautiful places imaginable.

A Perfect Storefront Backdrop – Happy Poets in October 2018 After a Public Poetry Reading

In this ten-day poetry writing retreat we will 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 Assisi, Perugia, Spoleto, Todi and some of the lesser-known towns that dot the hilltops of Umbria, each with their own special features and histories.

The structured writing sessions, many in situ, or as artists say, en plein air, at places we visit will be inspired by handouts based on meditations on craft, specific creative prompts and the poems of master poets such as Ocean Vuong, Patrick Lane, Rosemary Griebel, David Whyte, Mary Oliver, Frank O’Hara, Jan Zwicky, Roger Reeves, Ishion Hutchinson, Derek Walcott, James Wright, Giovanni Pascoli, Jack Gilbert, Seamus Heaney and many others.

The retreat will combine aspects of poetic craft with poetry’s ability to open you to surprising moments of discovery with ourselves and the world around you. This approach will help you write unexpected poems that stretch you as a person and as a writer.

Poets in Carsulae Archeological Site, Umbria, October 2018 – Going to Find a Writing Spot!

Open to writers of all levels of experience.


To help prepare you for the poetry retreat you will receive a six-page introduction in early May 2019 chock full of 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 up to ten new poems quite unlike any others they have written before.

Poets writing “en plein air” in a cafe in Orvieto, Umbria, October 2018


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


Includes room, all meals at La Romita, return ground transportation from Rome to La Romita, all poetry facilitation and all frequent out-trips. The price does not include airfare to Italy.

For Double Occupancy: US $2,700.00. Single Supplement: U.S.$200.00. Please contact Richard Osler or the U.S.-based registrar for discounts that might be available to you. (See below)

A deposit of $500.00 is required to register. The deposit is non-refundable unless the retreat minimum of eight participants is not reached by April 1st, 2019. Final balance, non-refundable, will be owing no later than April 15th, 2019.


Richard Osler (67) is a poet and experienced poetry writing facilitator and workshop leader who leads up to one hundred writing retreats and workshops a year in the U.S. and Canada. 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 fifty times a year, can be seen at recoveringwords.com


Please Contact: Tracy Posey at washington@laromita.org phone # 202-337-3120, and cc Richard Osler at osler@shaw.ca . For further information please contact Richard by email or by phone at 250 597 7875.


You have given me the gift of poetry through patience, grace, humour and ultimately, love. You are a master at holding space for this new voice.
– Christine L., Victoria, October 2018

Being at La Romita, in the hills of olive groves, within the deep history of Umbria and the story of the once-Capuchin monastery itself, was enchanting. I’d worked briefly with Richard Osler once and knew he would bring big energy and a head and heart full of poetry. He did that and more. The more is in his uncanny ability to enable people to find their own poetry. He invites, supports and nourishes the opening of inner channels of communication with the people we’ve been missing in ourselves, who all have so much to say. Richard gives poetry and while we received it and worked hard to learn to hear it, we also had an incredibly good time.
– Tonya L., Calgary, July 2017

Richard enjoying a quiet moment at La Romita, October, 2019


June 22, 2019 @ 8:00 am
July 2, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Tracy Posey and Richard Osler
View Organizer Website


La Romita School of Art
Strada Della Romita N.26
Terni, Umbria 05100 Italy
+ Google Map
(+39) 0744.401365 or (+39) 339.890.4866
Loading Quotes...