Poetry and creative writing

Poetry & Creative writing

02 Sept – 08 Sept 2022

This retreat is a retreat into freedom, the freedom to write with skill and knowledge attained through reading, listening, practice, and silence. The focus of the week will be poetry, but participants wishing to explore other modes are welcome and will be catered for. For three hours each morning and a shorter afternoon period, participants will immerse in their writing and the works of great writers. No prior experience is required, other than the wish to put pen to paper, fingertip to keyboard, word to voice. Through a combination of learning, practice and peaceful contemplation, participants will find safe space and plentiful time to energise their creative spirits and produce new work of a high standard. You will leave the retreat with tips and techniques to sustain active and imaginative writing in a life more fulfilled by the practice of this special craft.


Day 1  03-9                               Day 2  04-9                                     Day 3 05-9

Introductions                              Result of the Exercise                        Result of the Exercise
Setting Expectations                  Voice                                                    The Haiku
Code of Engagement                 Examples and Exemplars                 Examples and Exemplars
Why Write Creative?                  Constructive Critique II                    Constructive Critique II
Poetry                                           Exercise                                                Exercise
Some First Principles                 Discussion                                           Discussion
Constructive Critique I

Day 4   06-9                                Day 5 07-9

Result of the Exercise                   Result of the Exercise
The Prose Poem                            Other Genres
Examples and Exemplars            Discussion
Constructive Critique IV              Exploration
Exercise                                          Where to from here?

Arrival day is 2 September and departure day is 8 September

What can you expect?

– an inspiring framework
– stepping out of your daily routine
– tapping into your creativity
– produce new work of high standard
– tips and techniques to sustain active and imaginative writing
– seeing with fresh eyes, opening up to new perspectives

Daily Pattern

07.30u – 08.15u : Yoga and meditation (optional)

08.30u :  Silent breakfast. Participants are encouraged not to speak at breakfast so that they can avail of the start of the day to reflect on their imaginative pursuits.

09:30h to 12:30h: main session of the day which involves the following components:

o A prepared writing exercise

o Learning about a particular aspect of creative writing

o Setting the writing task for the afternoon

13.00 : Lunch

15:30h – 17.00h involves exchanging and constructively critiquing each other’s work.

19.30h : Dinner, time to celebrate


John FitzGerald is an award-winning Irish poet whose work has appeared in four books and many anthologies and magazines. He is an experienced workshop leader and a skilled and empathetic facilitator of new and emerging writers. He lives in County Cork, Ireland and works at University College Cork.

Brief Biography

John FitzGerald’s first full-length poetry collection The Time Being was published by Gallery Press in 2021. He has published two letterpress editions with The Salvage Press, Haiku na Feirme (2021) and Darklight (2019). His pamphlet, First Cut was published in 2017 by Southword Editions, in their New Irish Voices Series. His poems have appeared in journals, newspapers, and anthologies. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Prize and the Atlantic Currents Prize and has been shortlisted for a Hennessy New Irish Writing Award.


At our new location in Le Marche, Italy. The perfect, quiet and beautiful place for this retreat.


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