embodied poetry workshops

I loved that your workshop took me out of my head, where I seem to have been stuck recently, and back into my body. It was a wonderfully different approach to writing and gave me the chance to play. Thank you so much! 

Participant, 2018

I offer full-day workshops in Embodied Poetry for a maximum of 10 participants. These are introductory days, stepping-stones to a deeper immersion in 3-day residential workshops on the Isle of Lismore.

You must not imagine that your intellect is all it takes to be able to understand. In its true sense, understanding is not the work of a few brain cells; it occurs throughout the whole body, even in the feet, the arms, the belly, the liver and so on. Every cell in one’s entire body must understand. Understanding is a feeling. You feel and at that moment you understand and you know, because you have tasted it. No intellectual understanding can compare to this feeling. When you experience love, when you experience hatred, anger or grief, you know what it is. If you say, “I know what love is” without ever having been in love, you are mistaken, you do not know. But if you felt love, you know it. For true knowledge is this: a feeling.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Workshops focus, amongst other things, on:

  • Sound – where and how do words resonate in the body? ‘Hearing is a physical response, not just an intellectual one’ (Fran Quinn).
  • The visual – what does it mean to see? How do we experience perception, and what role do our eyes play in this?
  • Somatic awareness – what does the body tell us about the poem, before we’ve even finished reading it?
  • Movement – what happens to language when we embody its shape or dance its meaning?

I’ve felt the difference already in my poetic practice in terms of how/where/when/what/why I write and I think the last workshop to have had that kind of impact on me was one I went to aged 17 – so that’s the greatest compliment I can give. 

Participant, 2019

The discussion and analysis of poems form part of the workshops, but emphasis is placed not just on an intellectual understanding, but also on an embodied experience: how do poems make a connection with our blood, our hearts, our breath? How can poems help us to see more clearly?

‘Seeing’ and experiencing poetry in an embodied way can transform the way we approach writing practice, and enable the poet to access his or her own unique, authentic voice.

There is something alchemical about Em’s ability to hold a space and she imbues the experience with wholehearted care and preparation. Her ethos is open, emotionally astute, playful and deeply true.

Participant, 2019

Workshops take place in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the Isle of Lismore. If you’re interested in participating, please complete the below contact form for further details.

Upcoming 2019/2020 workshops include:
April 24-28, Isle of Lismore residential, fully booked
October 30-Nov 3rd, Isle of Lismore residential fully booked
June 8th, Puppet Lab, Edinburgh, fully booked
April 22-26th 2020, Isle of Lismore residential, CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
October 7-11 2020, Isle of Lismore residential, CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

2021 Workshops
April 21-25 2021, Isle of Lismore residential, CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

2022 Workshops
September 8-12, Isle of Lismore residential, 8 places available. Get in touch! 2 PLACES LEFT!

It’s a game changer!

Participant, 2019
Film-poem made with Jonny Randall, 2021.