Summer Writing Workshops in GreeceImagine an island awash in a turquoise sea -- and your own writing room with a balcony overlooking the blue. Yes, sort of like Lawrence Durrell, when he wrote Prospero's Cell. Imagine working intensely for a few hours at your desk, then plunging into the sea to revitalize your brain and body. Imagine workshopping your new fiction and essays together with writers from all over the world and sharing exquisite meals of fresh produce, fish, and cheese, accompanied by the robust reds and tangy white wines of this sunbaked soil. These and other impressions are all yours at the Aegean Arts Circle where I had the pleasure of leading workshops for a couple of years. This year's group is taught by Kitsi Watterson. Previous teachers include Thomas E. Kennedy, David Lazar, and Robert Owen Butler. There may be a place or two left. Contact Amalia Melis at the website linked above for information.
If you can't join the fun this year -- try your hand at these exercises from my 2016 workshop Ten Writing Prompts on the Theme of Islands
If you're heading for Greece for this workshop or just for fun, check out this free guide to the 100 best things to do in Greece assembled by Jen Miller.
Thanks to all of you who have attended our courses or just visited our site to find out about our activities - creative writing workshops & retreats, video-making, theater workshops, art shows, glottodrama experiences, and more in Italy, Paris, and Greece. Over the last few years, our members have partnered with US and EU institutions and writing groups, teaching, hosting, and participating in writing workshops and language teaching seminars throughout Europe, including the American Library in Paris, the Aegean Arts Circle of Andros Greece, and the North American Studies program of Christian Albrects University of Kiel. No major activities are planned for summer 2018, but we hope to see you back in the fall, when we will be hosting an online Soul of Place workshop.
Please also visit Linda Lappin's blog for updates on her events, books, workshops, and writing prompts
Writers and artists who have visited us here at Centro Pokkoli for retreats, workshops, or other events include David Lynn, Peter Selgin, Cecilia Woloch, John Domini, Jeffrey Greene, Susan Tekulve, Carolyn Florek, Pamela Leavy, Mary Jane Cryan, Gigi Pandian, Leah Cano, Miriam Polli, Randall Watson, Sandra Sims, Dhalma Llanos, Theresa Cutler Broyles, Thea K. Scott, Deborah Woodard, J.J. Townsend, Rick Mulkey, Karen Tolui, Paulette Licitra, and Sandra Binion. We would like to thank them all for contributing to a unique literary experience in our rough little corner of Italy.
As coordinator of writing workshops and retreats, Linda has interviewed A.E. Stallings, Thomas E. Kennedy, Miriam Polli, Sari Gilbert, John Domini, and Sandra Binion for this website. These interviews and her many reviews have also appeared in the Literary Review, Rain Taxi, Gently Read Literature, the Kansas City Star, Alimentum Literary Journal, Tiferet, Writers Chronicle, the Kenyon Review, and many other periodicals.
"A Workbook for all Creatives" Wewanted2bwriters.com
"A great new resource for writers" Dr. Jessie Voigts, Wandering Educators
"A conscious way to explore the power of place" WanderLit
"Lappin's book feels like a life guide" Candice Ransom
"This book will change your writing" Wandering Educators
"Invaluable advice for the writer and traveler" Lavinia Spalding
"Deeply intelligent & Inspiring" Susan Tekulve, Serving House Journal
Try this WRITING EXERCISE: Discovering the soul of a place
Gazing at green hills and golden wheat fields from the ramparts of an old Etruscan town, D.H. Lawrence remarked that the view not only was beautiful, but had meaning. This English writer, often considered the founder of the modern novel, was a keen believer in the soul of place and thought it derived from biological, chemical, and cosmic influences operating in a site, affecting the psychology and behavior of individual human beings and entire populations living there. In Lawrence’s view, our well-being and creativity depend on the life-force manifested in our habitat, but centuries of technical progress have separated us from that force and shattered our wholeness, resulting in the aridity of modern life. One theme of Lawrence’s fiction is the sacred link between identity and place and the devastation that follows when that link is broken.
Still, he believed it is possible to reconnect to that power and absorb it into ourselves, if we can just find our spot on the planet. Much of Lawrence’s writing career, which he once defined as a "savage pilgrimage," was a search for the fountainhead of the life-force: Italy and New Mexico were among the places where he found it.
Are there places that give you a sense of wholeness and empowerment, or where you feel really you? Others where you feel depleted, sad, or even anonymous? Make a list for both categories then choose one from each category to work with. Reflect on the essential qualities of each place and the origins of those qualities, then write a short text of 200 words for each place you have chosen. Describe the atmosphere, narrate an episode that happened there, describe your feelings, or simply make a list of impressions, people, or things you associate with it. Put your texts aside for a few days, if possible, revisit the sites you described, then go back and re-read what you wrote. Have you learned something new about yourself?