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Going to the Well: the vital art of poetry, with Roselle Angwin

Dates: Sat 12 – Sat 19 Oct 2019

Cost: £295 (course) + 580€ (accommodation and meals) *

* discount for booking this week and next - £50 off course fee and 120 euros off accommodation

Adrienne Rich famously said that poetry can save your life. In a dry time, or a time of new love, or grief, in fact in any time, poetry can nurture us; can even be essential. Perhaps we write to remember; perhaps we write to forget. Perhaps we write because we have to, because nothing else will fill that gap. Poetry helps make sense of the world, make meaning from our experiences.

This week will concentrate on inspiring new work, with prompts and tasks for inspiring new poems, as well as providing time for exploring, reading and discussing them.

We’ll also share poems that have been significant to us. There’ll be questions too: what is it that poetry can bring that nothing else can? What are the sources in our own life? How can we tend them?

Of course, there will also be time simply to be in the natural world - including, if you’d like, to immerse yourself in the waterfall pool!

Mornings are given over to a quiet prompted start, followed by writing tasks. In the evenings there are shared activities and events, sometimes round the firepit. Each afternoon there will be an optional reading-back session, with feedback if wanted.

"It isn’t easy to put into words what a haven of peace, quietude and relaxation Gardoussel is. Having never attended a creative writing course before this was a revelation for me and I wrote more in a week with Roselle than I have in my life so far. Her techniques, encouragement and critiques set my creative juices flowing and gave me tools to continue my writing when I get home." (Kerryn Alt)

"Roselle’s deep and thoughtful humanity, her affinity with nature, her skilled handling of material and participants, her inspirational writing and readings created a deeply healing and creative space". (Chloe Balcomb)

"The week was marvellous and truly inspirational, in so many different ways. The exercises in poetry writing fired up my neurons and this improved my prose writing as well. Highlights were the delicious, healthy food, the atmospheric fire pit in the evening, the fun, laughter and the sharing of poetry and prose." (Anja de Jager)

Access to a printer (bring a UBS key) can be arranged and we have a wifi point.

As with our other weeks, massages are available from our on-site therapist, Frances. Walking maps can be provided, hammocks abound, and we’ll show you to the firewood pile in case you'd like to light the outdoor firepit in the evenings.

As part of the informal atmosphere at Gardoussel, guests are asked to participate in tidying up after meals, on a rota basis. This is generally considered to be a plus rather than a chore - as it helps the group to get to know one another better.

Arrival is from 4pm on the first day, departure is after breakfast on the final day.


Course cost is £295
Accommodation (twin room), meals & wine is 580€ (single room supplements 150€)
Camping space, meals & wine is 370 euros (bring your own tent) - see below


UK poet and author Roselle Angwin is a much-loved tutor with a 27-year track record who leads the Fire in the Head creative and reflective writing programme, and The Wild Ways ecosoul project, a path of reconnection with self, other, story and land. She’s passionate about wild places and the natural world, as well as the creative imagination. She’s tutored for many establishments from Oxford University to Arvon, The Poetry Society and The Poetry School to the National Trust and Natural England. Many of Roselle's previous students have gone on to be published.

Well-published in fiction, poetry and non-fiction, she has been described as ‘a poet of the bright moment whose own sources of creative inspiration are her native Westcountry, Brittany, the Scottish islands, and a highly individual blend of Celtic myth and metaphysics, psychology, shamanic and Buddhist thinking’.  Her work has won many awards, including Arts Council England support, and her courses have been featured in The Guardian.

Roselle read Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic with mediaeval French at Cambridge, with a focus on Celtic language and mythology. Later, she trained in Transpersonal Psychology and holds a counselling qualification.

For more info visit www.fire-in-the-head.co.uk or http://thewildways.co.uk or Roselle's blog



Although we are not set up for camping (we have no bespoke camping facilities for example), as an exception we are offering a 'wild camping' option on this retreat only. Pitch your own tent anywhere on our land (45 acres of meadow and woodland) - taking your chances as most of it is not 100% flat - or on a flat grassy terrace we will clear for the purpose - and share rustic bathroom facilities (bath with shower head, wash basin: but the water's hot!) with our resident cook and massage therapist Frances who lives next door. For the loo, you'll need to walk down to the main building to use the 'public' Gardoussel toilet - or pee in the woods, the choice is yours.

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Abri Creative Writing Courses & Holidays in the South of France

Postal Address: Abri Creative Writing, Gardoussel, St Andre de Valborgne,

Tel: 0033 964 283 271 (dialing from UK or international) / 09 64 28 32 71 (dialing within France)

See our sister site: www.gardoussel.com for more events and info about the venue.