Sunday, 17 September 2017

Write on the Farm, Burns Beck Moss Nature Reserve, 16th September 2017

Burns Beck 16.9.2017 photo by Geraldine Green (copyright)

The first workshop of autumn and, after a morning spent giving feedback to poems brought in by the group, plus a couple of writing prompts, we spent part of the afternoon at the peaceful, and geologically diverse nature reserve at Burns Beck Moss. It's run by Cumbria Wildlife Trust and contains a variety of flora and fauna:

Plant names read like a found poem! Bog myrtle, bog rosemary, cranberries, devil's bit scabious, water mint, meadowsweet, reeds, sphagnum moss, thistles, bog asphodel...

Bees fed on the purple blue devil's bit scabious... and I got carried away taking photos of them:

One of the poems we read, discussed and wrote in response to was 'It Should Be Visible' by Denise Levertov.

It Should Be Visible
If from Space not only sapphire continents,

swirling oceans, were visible, but the wars - 

like bonfires, wildfires, forest conflagrations,

flame and smoky smoulder - the Earth would seem 

a bitter pomander ball bristling with poison cloves.

And each war fuelled with weapons: it should be visible

that great sums of money have been exchanged,

great profits made, workers gainfully employed

to construct destruction, national economies distorted

so that these fires, these wars, may burn

and consume the joy of this one planet

which, seen from outside its transparent tender shell,

is so serene, so fortunate, with its water, air

and myriad forms of "life that wants to live."

It should be visible that this bluegreen globe

suffers a canker which is devouring it.

Denise Levertov, p.194 ‘Earth Shattering’ Bloodaxe Books

Writing prompt: starting with the phrase ‘It should be visible” what ten things would you write that you would like to be visible from space? If you use any lines/images from Denise Levertov's poem, please acknowledge poet and poem, thank you.  --  Geraldine Green 1.9.2017

The group produced some strong poetry from this prompt - I'd very much like to read them again once they're typed up. The poem prompted work relating to politics, the environment, empathy, greed,  hunger, power, love.

In a soft wind blowing from the south, in autumn sunshine, closely observing wildlife in its own environment, Burns Beck Moss was the perfect place to wander, reflect, stop, listen and simply to be 'be'.

After time spent at Burns Beck Moss, it was back to the farmhouse for quiet writing time, read back and feedback.

The next 2017 "Write on the Farm" workshops are October 21st and November 25th 2017. I'm delighted that Kerry Darbishire is leading the morning session! Big thanks Kerry!

We'll be "jazzin' it up!" on November 25th looking at jazz, Beat poetry and writing our own - oh, and there might be music ... watch this space!

We were fortunate to spend time in the dwelling place of other animals, birds, insects, plants and water, the breath that connects everything.

Here's something that resonates deeply with me by Linda Hogan, in the preface of her book 'Dwellings':

Dwellings  essays on nature and the living, spiritual world.  by Linda Hogan
from the preface

"People, animals, land -- the alive and conscious world -- populate Dwellings in this exploration of the human place within the world. I write out of respect for the natural world, recognizing that humankind is not separate from nature. Some of this work connects the small world of humans with the larger universe, containing us in the same way that native ceremonies do, showing us both our place and a way of seeing.

These are lessons learned from the land and it is my hope that this work contributes to an expanded vision of the world. Dwellings is both of and about this alive and conscious world. Its pages come from forests, its words spring from the giving earth." 

Geraldine Green 17.9.2017

Photos copyright Geraldine Green 16.9.2017

With thanks to the poets who made yesterday so special

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Pleased to meet you!

On a Limestone Outcrop, Birkrigg, near Bardsea, with Roydog, summer 2017, photo by Geoff Green (copyright)

** Stop Press! Delighted to have a poem in Stone Renga an anthology written, produced and birthed by a love of stones, ed. by Alan Berecka and Tom Murphy **

Stone Renga is published by Tale Feathers Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The first poem in the anthology is by Linda Hogan and the last by Floyd Salas I'm honoured to be in their company and that of 57 other wonderful poets.

UK Cumbrian-born writer Dr. Geraldine Green is an experienced freelance creative writing tutor, mentor, editor of Harestone Press, published poet and associate editor of Poetry Bay

Geraldine became the first Writer-in-Residence at Swarthmoor Hall, Ulverston, Cumbria in 2014. As part of her residency she led a series of four creative writing workshops titled “In Search of the Sacred”, gave a talk on the work of Margaret Fell and George Fox, where she read from her pamphlet collection A Wing and A Prayer written in response to her residency and edited Living Words an anthology of writing by students on her 'In Search of the Sacred' workshops.

In 2015 she became the first writer-in-residence at Brantwood, Coniston, former home of John Ruskin.  Her new collection Passing Through contains work written in response to her Brantwood residency. Geraldine has been co-tutoring residential courses at Brantwood for seven years. Guest tutors include: Penelope Shuttle, George Wallace, Pippa Little and Graham Mort. Geraldine hosts  poetry evenings, open mic and supper in The Terrace cafe, Brantwood. 

She also performed alongside Ulverston Saxophonist Jess Gillam at Brantwood in April 2016 and was instrumental in Steve Coogan appearing there at a fund-raising event in March 2016 for Cumbria Community Foundation Flood Recovery Appeal. Both events were sold out. Watershed, an anthology by Cumbrian writers, was published by Harestone Press to help raise money for the Fund. Co-editors: Nick Pemberton, Ann Wilson and Geraldine Green. 

From Kendal to Kansas, Albany to Albuquerque, Cornwall to Callander, Suffolk to Swansea,  Liverpool to Long Island, New York to Newcastle, Carlisle to California, Oakland to Oklahoma, Orta Italy, Skiathos Greece and many points in between, Geraldine enjoys reading her work across the UK and beyond.  

Her reading style has been described as engaging, lyrical, enthusiastic, Beat-like, jazzy and sensitive. Geraldine is passionate about engaging with an audience and enjoys the grass roots communality of sharing poetry both in live performances and online globally.

She's taught and mentored creative writing undergraduates at the University of Cumbria and also Lancaster University.

She's had the privilege of mentoring the poetry of young African writers through the British Council/Lancaster University "Crossing Borders" scheme; has worked collaboratively on projects alongside musicians, photographers, visual and digital artists, tutored on a variety of creative writing workshops including:

Write on the Farm: a long-running series of monthly workshops on an upland farm near Kirkby Lonsdale. An anthology was printed by Harestone Press titled Write on the Farm celebrating the poetry of the group. Write on the Farm

Cumbria Wildlife Trust; Cumbria NHS Mental Health Trust; Penrith MIND; Society of Medical Writers; National Trust; Word Market, Apples and Snakes Cornwall ...

... Inter-generational workshops in the Eden Valley with ARne Richards and Isabel Knowland of the Oxford Concert Party

International Women's Arts Festival Kendal with US poets Carol Hamilton, Rhonda Ward and  Janine Pommy Vega ...

Other workshops include:... Brantwood; Swarthmoor Hall; Suffolk Poetry Society; Bank Street Writers, Bolton; Walt Whitman Birthplace, Long Island; Cont. Ed. Lancaster; Adult Ed. Dallam Heversham, Cumbria; Cumbria Wildlife Trust; Grizedale Forest "Write in the Forest", Carte Blanche Writers, Newcastle and many more during her 15 years plus of tutoring, mentoring, editing and writing.

enjoying the surf! Long Island, NY, July 2014 (photo by Geoff Green, copyright)

Her collections are: The Skin and Passio {Flarestack}, Poems of a Mole Catcher’s Daughter (Palores); The Land Songs with poets Charles Johnson, Joan Poulson and Geraldine Green (Flarestack Pubs.) She's also contributed to Writing Works - A Resource Handbook for Therapeutic Writing Workshops and Activities (Jessica Kingsley) link here

The Other Side of the Bridge, published in July 2012 by Indigo Dreams, formed part of her PhD in Creative Writing: ‘An Exploration of Identity and Environment through Poetry.’ 

Her second full, collection Salt Road, Salt Road is published by Indigo Dreams

Geraldine's third full collection, Passing Through, will be published in 2018 also by Indigo Dreams.

Recipient of special commendation at the 2005 Poetry on the Lake Festival, Orta, Italy, her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including: Private Photo Review (Italy), The Long Islander and ZAUM (US), Orbis, Tears in the Fence, Southlight, FAL Poetry, Diamond Twig, Smoke, Obsessed with Pipework, Poetry Cornwall, Seventh Quarry, And Other Poets, The Poetry Shed, Qualia, InterlitQ, Jacket2, Citizen 32, Raindog, Neon Highway, Envoi, ORC, Poet's Letter Magazine, The Stare's Nest, Mediterranean Poetry and the Argotist Online (UK) and US online magazines, LitKicks, Mountain Voices, Out of Order and Cezanne’s Carrot. 

Her poetry has been widely anthologised in the UK, US and Italy and translated into German and Romanian. She was invited to a talk at the Lawrence Durrell Centenary Celebrations, Corfu and to present a Paper on ‘Ecopoetics: The Works of John Clare and Aldo Leopold’ in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the South West Popular Culture America

Geraldine reads by the Robert Burns statue, at Poets in the Park, Albany, Upstate New York, July 2015 (photo by Geoff Green)

Geraldine, who frequently performs her poetry in North America, has read at a variety of venues with New York poet George Wallace, including the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma Woody Fest on an extended poetry trip to Oklahoma and Kansas, July 2012; alongside Jack and Adele Foley, Michael McClure and other poets in Oakland, California 2009; the William Carlos Williams Center Rutherford New Jersey; Bright Hill Center Catskills Upstate NY; Gordon Parks Center Fort Scott Kansas; a variety of venues in and around New York City and many more!

Poetry Readings in the US: 2015 saw her celebrate ten years of poetry 'road trips' across America.

You can listen to Californian writer Jack Foley read and discuss her work on  Cover to Cover an interview with UK poet Geraldine Green, with Jack Foley  read more about her Cumbrian dialect poems on Professor Jerome Rothenberg’s website: Poems & Poetics, Jerome Rothenberg

Listen to Geraldine read at Cornucopia Cafe Readings, Long Island, New York

Or visit her blog Salt Road

Friday, 8 September 2017

2017: OCTOBER WRITERS' RETREAT: with Graham Mort and Geraldine Green, 2nd-5th October 2017, Brantwood Coniston Cumbria

View from Monk Coniston, photo by Geraldine Green (copyright)

*Note* Graham Mort will be reading from his new collection, 'Black Shiver Moss' on August 25th,  Waterstones Lancaster

October Writers' Retreat with Co-tutors Graham Mort and Geraldine Green, Brantwood Coniston, Cumbria, Monday-Thursday October 2nd-5th 2017

Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria, former home of John Ruskin is the perfect place whether you have a writing project you’re working on or just need time and space away from the busyness of life to step back and gain some inspiration and quietly reflect.  

The tranquil grounds and gardens of Brantwood, stunning views across Coniston Water to the Old Man and Dow Crag, log fires, wonderful food all provide the ideal writers retreat. There will be time for solitude and also the company and conversation of other writers. 

Co-tutor Graham Mort will give a reading with Geraldine on Tuesday evening. You’re all welcome to share a poem or two, as well on Wednesday evening when the Group give a reading to the tutors.

Mentoring - The Retreat also gives you an opportunity for one-to-one mentoring plus informal discussions with the tutors. 

Course fee: £270 
This includes evening meals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Residential and non-residential options are available. The Lodge at Brantwood accommodates nine people in four double or twin-bedded rooms and one single. There are also local farmhouse Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses and the YHA in 
and around Coniston village.

Residential option:
The Lodge at Brantwood has been newly refurbished to provide accommodation for those attending our courses. It sleeps up to 9 people in 2 double rooms, 2 twin rooms and a single room, located on the ground and upper floors, with a shared kitchen/diner and living room, 1 bathroom, 2 shower rooms and a separate toilet. The Lodge enjoys wonderful views across Coniston Water to the fells. A self-service breakfast is provided in the Lodge as part of the rate.

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in the Lodge at Brantwood:
BandB accommodation is available for those participating in Brantwood's courses. Staying at Brantwood is one of the delights of studying here, spending time in good company and immersing yourself in the whole experience. Brantwood Lodge has been newly refurbished and will sleep up to 9 people, with 2 twin rooms, 2 double rooms and a single room. 

The Lodge enjoys wonderful views across Coniston Water. There is a communal kitchen/diner/living room with a wood burning stove. 

The BandB rate is £50 per person per room/£35 per person shared occupancy/£35 per night single room. Breakfast is provided in the kitchen for guests to help themselves to cereal, toast, fruit, yogurt. Accommodation can also be booked for partners in double/twin rooms at the same BandB rate. The Coachman's Quarters, situated above the cafe, is also available if required.

Booking through Brantwood
Pre-booking is essential. Tel: 015394 41396 

Information on the tutors can be found here:

Graham Mort
and on wikipedia

Some sessions take place outdoors - please bring suitable footwear and clothing

Writers' Retreat: The Lodge, Brantwood, October Course 2015

October Writers' Retreat with Graham Mort and Geraldine Green, 2nd-5th October 2017 Brantwood Coniston Cumbria

Course Outline:

Monday 2nd October 2017

1pm - Gather at The Lodge for refreshments, Geraldine, Graham and Rachel will be there to meet you and show you your rooms.

1.45pm - Meet in The Schoolroom in the Main House where writing workshops will take place. 

This is accessed by steps close the front door of the main house, through the Studio and into the Schoolroom. Please ask at Reception, staff will be available to give you directions.

2pm - The Schoolroom: Welcome and Introduction with Graham and Geraldine. Ask names and also which genres they write in.

2.15pm - 3pm – In the Schoolroom: Graham to lead with writing stimuli

3pm-3.15pm - Break

3.15pm-4pm In the Schoolroom: Geraldine to continue with further writing stimuli 

4pm-5pm – in the Schoolroom: quiet writing time, followed by readback/feedback on ONE piece of writing produced during this session.

5pm-6pm - Free time. 

6.15pm Meet in The Lodge, evening meal in Brantwood Cafe

Tuesday 3rd October

9.30am – 10.45am - writing stimuli in The Schoolroom provided by Geraldine

10.45am-11am - Break

11am -12.15pm - writing stimuli in The Schoolroom provided by Graham

12.15pm-1pm – Readback and feedback of ONE piece of work written during the morning

1-2pm – Lunch in Brantwood Café 

2pm-3.30pm – Meet in The Schoolroom, followed by Outdoor Reflective Walk, writing stimuli given by Graham and Geraldine

3.30pm- 4.15pm  Quiet writing time

4.15pm-5pm – feedback/readback of one piece of writing

5pm-6pm – Free time

6.15pm – Meet in The Lodge, evening meal in Brantwood cafe followed by reading given by Graham and Geraldine

Wednesday 4th October
9.30am-11am – Meet in The Schoolroom, writing stimuli provided by Graham

11am-11.15am - Break

11.15am-12.30pm – writing stimuli provided by  Geraldine

12.30pm-1.30 pm - Lunch

1.30pm-5pm - Free writing and reflective time. Participants are welcome to explore the house and gardens (Free to participants). One to one tutorials will be available between 2pm and 4pm.

2pm-4pm – Parallel one to one tutorials with Geraldine and Graham in The Schoolroom, 15 minutes slots. Please put your name down on the sheet provided. This will be left for you in the Schoolroom kitchen. Further one to ones available during Thursday morning session.

4pm-5pm – Quiet writing time

5pm-6pm – Free time

6.15pm – Meet in the Schoolroom, followed by evening meal in Brantwood cafe followed by Group reading (up to 5 minutes each)

 Thursday 5th October
10am-11.30am - One to one tutorials with Graham and Geraldine, 15 minute slots: Graham 10am-10.45am; Geraldine 11am-11.45am
Additionally, there will be time for close readings of writing produced during the course, or you may wish to share writing from a current project.

Break 10.45am-11am

11.45am-12.45pm - Group readback and feedback, complete Feedback Forms.

1pm-2pm Lunch in Brantwood Café and depart.

Note; Course participants are welcome to explore the House and Grounds during their free time. Brantwood Main House closes at 5pm. The grounds are open 24 hours.

View from Brantwood October Writers Retreat 2015, photo by Geraldine Green

Thursday, 7 September 2017

POETRY AUTUMN: workshops, readings, residential and a festival

Geraldine, 30.8.2017
Autumn News:
Indigo Dreams writer Geraldine Green has a busy autumn schedule! As well as teaching a 10 x week creative writing course for Dallam Adult Ed.  Heversham, Geraldine is also leading a poetry workshop for Bank Street Writers Bolton on September 6th.  With thanks to Rod Riesco for inviting me along and for inviting me to run another workshop for them in 2018! Lovely group, talented and welcoming.

Autumn Dates for Write on the Farm workshops: September 16th, October 21st and November 25th
In October she's co-tutoring once again with the highly respected and talented poet Graham Mort at  Brantwood  2nd-5th October:
November sees Geraldine, former Brantwood poet-in-residence, hosting and reading at Brantwood on Thursday 2nd alongside invited guests IDP poet Kerry Darbishire, plus Graham Mort and Kim Moore. There’s an Open Mic and supper.
Booking through Brantwood
Geraldine is also taking part in Dalton LitFest  the new Literary Festival Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria where she’ll be reading  from hew new collection Passing Through with Seren poet Kim Moore at the launch on Friday 3rd November and co-hosting an Open Mic with Kim on Saturday 4th.
Says Geraldine “I’m very excited to be part of this new festival when I’ll be reading from my new collection Passing Through, to be published by Indigo Dreams in 2018 – thanks Ronnie and Dawn, it’s such a treat to be working with you both again!” IDP poet Kerry Darbishire will also be taking part in the festival.
Visit Geraldine’s blog Salt Road for info on workshops, courses and readings:
Poems from Geraldine’s new collection Passing Through have appeared in various anthologies, including Curlew Calling, The Raspberry and the Rowan, The Bees Knees, My Dear Watson and Stone Renga (Tale Feathers Press, Santa Fe New Mexico)
Here’s what Penelope Shuttle has to say about Geraldine’s new collection:
 “In her ‘love letter to Cumbria’, Geraldine Green weaves together strands of auto-biography, living depictions both of landscape and of inward journeying, moments of revelation always grounded in the actual and the observed, and brings all these qualities together in one sweeping compass to create a volume rich in sensory and meditative experience.  We hear the shining voices of earth, air, fire and water.  This is writing that re-interprets modern pastoral, elemental and contemporary in all its facets.  Using language that is nuanced and open enables this poet to catch, as if on the wing, glimpse after heart-glad glimpse of her part of this beautiful vulnerable planet.” 
- Penelope Shuttle

Write on the Farm October 2016, photo by Geraldine Green (copyright)