Date: August 24, 2024

Time: 10.30am - 4.30 pm

Duration: 5 Hours

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €80 (€72 Members)

Location: Online

This one-day course will take place online on Saturday 24 August 2024.

Course Summary:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

Deep dive into writing about a landscape or landscapes that matter to you in this full day’s writing retreat online at home.

Course Outline:

We are nature, not separate to it but immersed. Whether we live in the city or the countryside, we are embedded in a landscape, an ecology, physically and emotionally. We’ll discuss, write together and share work about this deep connection, tapping into the instinct we had as children, exploring the many layers of nature, history, human impact, experience, memory in a lived and embodied landscape.

A little preparation if you can: Writers will be asked to choose a landscape to write about that they know well, ideally one that has plenty of nature but it doesn’t have to be all natural – it’s key that it has emotional weight. Do some research on your landscape in advance: look at photos, recall memories, talk to people about experiences of the landscape, research history, ecology and wildlife, land use, resource exploitation etc. How has it changed? What land use is evident? What political, historical or personal context does it hold? Is climate change or environmental degradation having an impact? Take notes. Have some facts to hand. But don’t worry about trying to pre-empt what you might write about. This preparation is recommended but not compulsory, though it will help focus and enrich your writing on the day.

Course Outcomes:

  • Explore a variety of poetic forms and approaches to inspire your own writing about landscape.
  • Broaden your knowledge of landscape poetry. Assess poems with different perspectives on landscapes and explore how this influences what is seen and experienced.
  • Consider landscapes with an environmental lens, in the context of the Anthoropocene.
  • Produce drafts that you can later craft into poems, perhaps a sequence or a longer poem about a landscape that matters to you.
  • There will be plenty of writing exercises and opportunities to share your writing. Breaks will include writing exercises – it’s recommended to stay in creative mode during the day to benefit from this immersive workshop.

Australian Cath Drake is based in London. She was an award-winning environmental journalist and writer in Australia for a decade with a post-graduate qualification in environmental science. Her poetry collection, The Shaking City (Seren Books), longlisted in the international Laurel Prize, highly commended in the UK Forward Prize, followed Sleeping with Rivers, Poetry Book Society choice and winner of the Seren/Mslexia pamphlet prize. Cath has been placed second twice in the Ginkgo eco-poetry prize, published widely in anthologies and literary journals internationally, and is also a mindfulness teacher.


 It was great to work within group of supportive writers on the most pressing issues facing humanity at this time. A kind of magic happened…. I found a joy in writing I didn’t know I’d lost, returning to writing freely with freedom to experiment and play. Anne Enith Cooper

I absolutely loved it and feel I was positively stretched as a writer. Patricia Foster McKenley

I loved your course. Your writing exercises are so interesting and really helped me dig deep. You have so much enthusiasm, and the encouragement makes me feel at home. You have a wonderful depth of perception for the poems we studied. Christina

Thank you so much for last night’s workshop – it was just what I needed.  Unlocking joy and connection with nature.  Your suggestion to do some preparation really helped, and I enjoyed the group – so varied, focused and authentic.  Sarah Mnatzaganian

I loved the group, loved the poems, the ones you shared and the ones read by the group, and terrifically inclusive, encouraging and insightful facilitation. It was truly wonderful. Gayelene Carbis

You’ve inspired me to try out different ways of writing and adopt different subjects that I would never have explored on my own. I’ve surprised myself and also found out a lot about myself. Eleanor, screenwriter & lecturer, Liverpool

Booked out? To be added to the waiting list for this course, please email


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