Click here for more information!I will be returning to Andros from June 23rd to July 3rd to lead the upcoming writers workshop at the Aegean Arts Circle.
Scroll down to read a report from last year's workshop.
Pokkoli Association, the Centre for North American Studies of Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, DE and for theAegean Arts Circle on the island of Andros, GR, the Converse College Summer Creative Writing Italy Program, the Kenyon Review Italy Program, the Paris Writers Workshop, and Feltrinelli International and is a Geneva Writers Group writing mentor. She has long been involved in research into the soul of place as an inspiration for creative writing projects and has twice been invited to present her work to the European Association of Creative Writing Programs at their creative writing pedagogical conferences. Her craft of writing essays and papers have been published in the Writers’ Chronicle, The Writer Magazine, Tiferet, in the Proceedings of the EACWP published by the University of Jyvaskala Finland. Her craft of writing book entitled The Soul of Place - A Creative Writing Workbook: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci won a gold medal in the Nautilus Book Awards in the category of Creativity. She is associate fiction editor of SERVING HOUSE BOOKSLinda Lappin has taught literary travel writing / memoir/ creative nonfiction for the University Study Abroad Consortium Italy program . She has led Soul of Place Creating Writing Workshops for the
The 14th edition of the Aegean Arts Circle creative writing workshop on the Greek island of Andros, has concluded.For my "Writing and Islands" multigenre place-writing class, I had prepared a booklet of special soul of place exercises focusing on island themes, which we worked with along with basic exercises from The Soul of Place – A Creative Writing Workbook. Participants included creative writing teachers from MFA and undergraduate writing programs as well as two professional journalists, so for me as the workshop leader, it was quite demanding, and I learned a lot. Guests included a cultural anthropologist, an Italian video filmmaker, a San Francisco cartoonist and world traveler, and Diana Farr Louis, renowned food and travel writer formerly of the incomparable ( and alas, defunct) Athens News, and author of many cookbooks.
During our sessions, we explored islands and their meaning. Geographical islands and psychological ones. Islands as setting, protagonist, myth, and metaphor. The enormous gap between the popular image of islands as places of pleasure, escape, the natural life, and utopia and the bleaker,cruder reality they often are. We talked about “islomania” and insularity and what these things have meant in our lives and work.
If you'd like to see sample exercises from our 2016 workshop, please visit Ten Writing Prompts from islands are 4 writers workshop Please check back here or with Pokkoli.org for updates regarding future workshops.
Prize-winning New York writer Dahlma Llanos, who participated in Ms. Lappin’s workshop on “The Spirit of Place,” praises the unique setting that brought the purpose of the workshop alive: “There was certainly the natural and architectural beauty of Tuscia with its winding streets and potted gardens and ancient walls. There were the scattered medieval towns of Tuscia overlooking the lakes and valleys that few American tourists get to see. But beyond that, there was a heavy sense of a different time and people, that made the location of the workshop so special. Linda's lecture on Writing the Spirit of Place was particularly helpful to me since in my journal writing I try to capture the essence of the place as well as its physical beauty. I enthusiastically encourage writers who are considering taking this workshop to do so and to be open to all aspects of the experience, a much richer one than I had anticipated. ”
Anna Duke Reach, assistant to the Kenyon Review, and participant in a “Soul of Place” workshop session held during the Kenyon Review workshop comments on her experience: "Centro Pokkoli is an intimate, creative space that inspired literary discussion and offered one of the most perfectly framed window views of bucolic countryside. Linda Lappin's ‘Soul of Place’ workshop offered us a moment to pause, savor and reflect upon the layers of inspiration the town offered. Many writers created new work set in the town, but imagination transformed time. The place certainly transformed all of us."
California writer, Sandy Sims, former Program Chair of the Bay Area Travel Writers association—who took part in the writing workshop led by Peter Selgin—recalls the location of Centro Pokkoli within the walls of Vitorchiano and the surrounding terrain which invoked its spirit: “ The square window of the main room of Centro Pokkoli overlooks the deep, lush gorge, where swallows glide over hazelnut trees. The view is enchanting. Linda's ‘Soul of Place,’ was fascinating. She talked of place having ‘Indwelling Spirit.’ That is spirit indwelling the land itself, and that people, unknowingly, are always communicating with this spirit. That humans are an expression of their landscape. It's good to know the history of a place to understand this indwelling spirit. I have read several pieces and books of Linda's and she captures place beautifully and deeply with details that bring a place to life. I think a full week working with her would be a major asset to anyone's writing.”
" Linda Lappin's Soul of the Place Workshop allowed me to tap into the mystery of the Etruscan landscape and culture. It was a great way to improve my writing skills in a beautiful and inspiring setting. I hope to have the opportunity to participate in the workshop again." -- --Patricia M. Mendenhall, writer, New York City, participant in the first Soul of Place Writing Workshop
"Mapping the Soul of Place"
Using Deep Maps and Landscape Narratives in teaching creative writing. This article first appeared in the Australian Creative Writing journal Text