West Kootenay writers to gather and focus on social issues
Disputed oil pipelines, the Occupy movement, threats to Canada’s pension system: in a time of expanding public attention to social issues, a writers’ retreat in New Denver May 11 to 13 will consider writing that focuses on social justice.
The Convergence Writers’ Retreat will offer three talks/discussions on aspects of social change writing, three writing workshops on a variety of themes, and a Sunday, May 13 afternoon public reading and musical performance. The retreat will happen at New Denver’s Heart’s Rest Retreat Centre.
Registration for the retreat is now open; cost is $236, which includes meals throughout the event. Five scholarships are available for attendees between 18 and 30. Registration, scholarship application, accommodation information and directions to Heart’s Rest are available at heartsrest.com/convergence/convergence-writers-retreat
“Every social movement needs writers to articulate its ideas, whether through songs, poems, stories or other means of conveying the message,” said New Denver writer and journalist Art Joyce, a member of the Convergence Writers’ Retreat organizing committee.
Joyce will speak and lead a discussion From Rant to Slant: the Political in Poetry. Other speakers/discussion leaders at the retreat are Heart’s Rest co-founder Therese DesCamp whose subject is The Mind’s Alchemy: Understanding Metaphor, and Heart’s Rest co-founder George Meier who with DesCamp will offer What Sustains Us: The Work of the Heart, on techniques for overcoming despair in the long struggle for beneficial social change.
On the Saturday and Sunday morning, retreat participants can attend a workshop at which their own writing will be the subject of attention. Although submitted writing by participants can be on any subject, each of the three offered workshops will have a nominal focus. Workshop facilitators are Nelson editor and educator Verna Relkoff, who will consider audience in writing, New Denver writer and visual artist Judy Wapp, who will zero in on the rant as an effective literary form, and Winlaw author and educator Tom Wayman, who will look at the use of humour in social change writing.
The Convergence Retreat coffeehouse on Sunday at 2 p.m., open to the public, will showcase local singer-songwriter Dominique Fraissard as well as readings by Retreat participants.