Umbria: Poet as Diviner; Umbria: Write Poetry for Nine Days and Make Books on the Final Day; Umbria: Visit a Town or City Most Days – Umbria: Have Fun – June 21st to 22nd, 2020

Recovering Words Retreat Poster June 11 to 21st, 2020


Cut from the green hedge a forked hazel stick
That he held tight by the arms of the V:
Circling the terrain, hunting the pluck
Of water, nervous, but professionally

Unfussed. The pluck came sharp as a sting.
The rod jerked with precise convulsions,
Spring water suddenly broadcasting
Through a green hazel its secret stations.

The bystanders would ask to have a try.
He handed them the rod without a word.
It lay dead in their grasp till nonchalantly
He gripped expectant writs. The hazel stirred.

Seamus Heaney from The Death of a Naturalist, Penguin, Faber, 1973

Huge thanks to Terry Ann Carter and her designer Keeley for this poster promoting our June 2020 Poetry and Book-Making Retreat among the hill-towns and other word-worthy sites of Umbria in a region about 90 miles North of Rome. And I am happy to say our registration book is starting to fill in! Registrants taking advantage of the early-bird special! For more details please click here and read more about the retreat and see pictures from the three previous retreats in 2017, 18 and 19 on my website!

Some of the places we will choose from to visit: Perugia, Assisi, Spoletto, San Gemini, Todi, Narni, Orvieto and others! In many of these places we will gather on-site to read poems and write first drafts of our own poems. This writing on the spot or as painters would say: en plein air, is inspirational. A way to transform from tourist to traveler.

As you are inspired to write your poems in the history-drenched landscapes of Italy the poems we will use to inspire our own will often be authored by some the great writers who have visited or lived here before you and written memorable poems. I am thinking of poets such as James Wright, Charles Wright, Seamus Heaney, Jack Gilbert, Icheon Hutchison and Derk Walcott among others! And poems by Italian writers including, from the 16th century, Vittoria Colonna and Michelangelo and from our time, the Italian poet, Patrizia Cavalli.

I am so grateful there has been such early interest in this retreat! Huge thanks to those of you who have already registered. Registrations are through Tracy Posey in Washington D.C. (see Poster). And feel free to call me (604 836 7875) and or email me any questions you may have. I hope to see you at La Romita in 2020!

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