Writing Workshop with Dr. Robyn Rowland AO

August 4th 2012, 10.00am to 1.00pm
Port Fairy Community House
Railway Place (Off Bank Street)
Presented by Ex Libris Port Fairy Committee

Ocean, river, lake, tear:  water in flood and famine

Toni Morrison wrote: 'All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back where it was.  Writers are like that: remembering where we were, the route back to our original place.  The rush of imagination is our ‘flooding’.’

Often, water and its flow has been used to describe the journey of the spirit:
Uvavnuk (mid 19th - early 20th century. Eskimo Shaman)

The great sea has set me in motion,
set me adrift,
moving me like a weed in a river.

The sky and the strong wind
have moved the spirit inside me
till I am carried away
trembling with joy.

The landscape of Port Fairy is linked powerfully with water. Shipwrecks along the coast abound. Bird life comes and goes across the oceans. This is a poetry/prose workshop on water; its practical and mythical significance. From the smallest droplet to the greatest ocean, water is the building block of life. Inside us – bodies made primarily of water – tears release emotion, water ensures survival. As an image, it flows through the great writings of religious scripts and the poetry of those who connect inner life with nature. Water allows us to travel, live, breath, survive. It inspires fear and awe. It is both destructive and life-giving. This workshop takes the elemental nature of water and encourages its various representations in our writing.

This workshop is appropriate for established and early writers; poets and prose writers. It begins with a talk by Robyn on the topic with examples from her work and the writing of others.  Photographic material relating to water is explored. Each participant is given notes relating to the topic, as well as copies of Robyn’s or other work which exemplify the theme. The talk and discussion is followed by a guided reflective moment, writing on the topic and feedback for each participant.Participants might like to bring an image of water that has meaning for them if they choose.

Dr Robyn Rowland AO has published nine books, six of poetry, most recently Seasons of doubt & burningNew & Selected Poems (2010) representing 40 years of poetry. Her poetry has recently appeared in Being Human, ed. Neil Astley, (Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2011). Silence & its tongues (2006) was shortlisted for the 2007 ACT Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Robyn is winner of, among others, the Writing Spirit Poetry Award, Ireland 2010.  Robyn has created two CD’s: Off the tongue and Silver Leaving - Poems & Harp with Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse.  She has read her poetry in Portugal, Ireland, the UK, the USA, Greece, India, Austria, Bosnia, Serbia, Turkey & Italy, where, along with Canada, Spain and Japan. She is an Honorary Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.


BOOKING ESSENTIAL.  To book please email exlibris@port-fairy.com or ring Margaret on 0429 612523.   
Cost for 3 hour writing workshop - $55