Registrations Open! – A Ten-Day Generative Poetry Writing Retreat in Umbria, Italy – June 11 to June 21, 2020

La  Romita poet, Liz, reading her poem at the La Romita Spoken Word event, Terni, June, 2019

Poet as Diviner: Hunting the Pluck of Poetry

A Ten-Day Generative Poetry Writing Retreat
June 11th to June 21st, 2020
Writing “En Plein Air”
with Richard Osler
at the La Romita School of Art
Terni, Umbria, Italy


Richard, just want to say again how amazing La Romita was. You are an extraordinary facilitator and made the whole time there so wonderful and poetically rich – Thank you. Liz M –  July 2019. (For more endorsements please see below.)

La Romita


Please consider this invitation to join me, Richard Osler, poet and highly regarded poetry retreat and workshop leader, this June, 2020 in Umbria for my fourth retreat at the  La Romita School of Art in Umbria (click here for the La Romita website) where you will read and write your poems in some of the most beautiful places imaginable.

A poet’s room at La Romita, June 2019

During the retreat I hope you will become a diviner, not one hunting the pluck of water as Seamus Heaney says in his poem The Diviner but one hunting the pluck of poetry. Discover how, as Heaney claims, both a diviner and poet make contact with what lies hidden, and…make palpable what was sensed or raised.

Through writing sessions, many en plein air on site where we visit, you will be inspired by written meditations on craft and by creative prompts. And on our last full day, guided by the celebrated book-maker Terry-Ann Carter, enjoy a day of making magic out of paper and words.

Nancy writing “en plein air” at Villa Lante, June 2019

This ten-day poetry writing retreat is designed to find a constructive balance between 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 places visited in previous retreats such as Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto, Todi and some of the lesser-known towns that dot the hilltops of Umbria, each with their own special features and histories.

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.

Richard at the La Romita, 2018 Spoken Word event!


Open to writers of all levels of experience.


To help prepare you for the poetry retreat you will receive an  introduction in early May 2020 with poems and thoughts on poetics as well as 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.

Courtyard of the Fountain and Well, La Romita


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.


La Romita Sunset, June 2019

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 (Up to Nov. 30th, 2019): US $2,880.00. Single Supplement: U.S.$300.00. Please contact Richard Osler or the U.S.-based registrar for discounts that might be available to you. For example, La Romita returnees receive a US$300 discount. A deposit of US$500.00 is required to register. To register see details below.


Richard in a relaxed moment, La Romita 2018

Richard Osler (68) is a poet and experienced poetry writing facilitator and workshop leader who, during the past five years, has led between fifty 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

Lunch in Assisi, 2017



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


I had a great time in Italy.  Thanks for your passion, your skill and your sensitivity.  You have such a broad range of knowledge about poetry and put so much into it.  Thanks so much!!  Donna F.  – July 2019

I don’t know how you do it  – how you anchor the circle while letting us spin within it. Your preparation for the retreat – all the adventures, all the poems selected to be shared and then your sharing of them – incredible work that I know falls outside of any accounting. And then your energy through the days and heat and all our quirks and falters and joys and strangeness. Another incredible experience. Thank you. – Tonya L., July 2019

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

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