Writers’ Intensive

Announcing the 18th Annual Writing and Story Intensive

To Meet These Times

with Deena Metzger

 June 3 – 9, 2017 in Topanga, California
in Los Angeles County

writngjarEntering the Work

This intensive is envisioned as a circle, a small group of women and men gathered to devote themselves to their work, that is to the work.

Many beautiful and profound works and explorations have been launched through these intensives in the last 15 years. Many writers have emerged and many have been transformed, their lives, deepened and made soulful by this intense, often luminous writing experience augmented by the qualities of medicine walks and quest, by community and solitude.

This Intensive provides an opportunity to begin, as well as to enter more deeply into a manuscript. It calls us to find our own true voices, to break open the forms, to explore hidden realms, to devote ourselves to the stories and manuscripts that are calling to us. It is an opportunity to experiment and dare. This intensive honors the stories that must be told whether one is beginning the exploration or has delved deeply into a manuscript. What is called for is devotion and commitment to bringing the story to the page.

Many participants will be experienced, even published writers, looking for inspiration, direction or support for new or on-going work. For some this Intensive may be a beginning. Often people who have not thought of themselves as writers become aware that there is a book they are called to write. We call such people Story Carriers.

Imagination and the Future.

For every writer, the imagination can be a real place. The real life and our future reside there. When we enter this sphere, the writing experience calls self and other(s) into dynamic relationships on the page. This writing can be like a council that holds all the voices, including our ancestors and descendants, the visible and invisibles and the beings of the natural world, as cohorts. It develops from the intrigue that we can each imagine and enter a new literature that looks to and helps create a vibrant and beautiful future.

Story Carriers, writers and artists living in these times of grief and possibility are called to imagine and commit to a new literature and a new culture so that the lives of the humans and non-humans and the earth itself will be vital again. Our words can destroy or restore. What we write matters. Together and as individuals we will seek out new forms resonant with the land and these times to engage with the world, the future and the spirits. Canyon Pic

We will be actively seeking new language, new forms and new visions. On behalf of our writing and the word, we will engage storytelling, dream telling, ethical reflection, prayer, meditation, silence, music, divination, indigenous and wisdom traditions and the voices of both the visible and invisible presences, on behalf of a vital and sustainable future for all beings.

In this week we will address the issues that must be addressed, explore our lives, souls, minds, and creative work through formal and informal teaching, directed and spontaneous writing, circle work and individual sessions, solitude, time on the land, visioning, ritual and ceremony as appropriate.

WHAT: This intensive is a circle of gifted and original individuals gathering together in a quiet and simple setting. The work is difficult, arduous, often risky, engaging, beautiful and thrilling. Though you will be guided, come prepared to devote yourself to what concerns and fascinates you, to what is calling to be written through you now.. We will work in prose, but the intensive lends itself to writing in any form – fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry. We will also cooperate in the daily tasks of caring for each other and the land.

HOW: Dream group begins at 8:30 a.m. and we try to end the sessions by 10 p.m. There will be non-scheduled time for writing, hiking and musing, and also private appointments scheduled with Deena.

The Intensive includes a day of silence on this land which was sacred to the ancient Tongva people.

WHERE: Topanga is a rural community in a canyon between the Pacific Ocean in Malibu and Woodland Hills in Los Angeles County. We will meet daily at Deena’s rustic house at the end of the road, surrounded on three sides by Topanga State Park. The land is inhabited by squirrels, rabbits, deer, coyote, birds and other creatures. There are many hikes leading into the park.

WHEN: The Intensive begins at 12 noon on Saturday, June 3 and ends Friday, June 9 at 2 p.m.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will suggest lodging at local hotels (20 minutes away by car) for those who will require it. A yurt and a few small rooms on the land in Topanga provide quiet, shared writing spaces during the day.

FOOD: Communal meals, beautiful, simple and healthful mostly organic, mostly vegetarian, will be prepared daily at Deena’s house. We will all assist our chefs in the kitchen and help with clean-up and the dishes. We will live simply and informally. Please communicate any special needs in advance so we can try to accommodate serious dietary requirements and restrictions.

FEES, APPLICATION PROCESS, AND REGISTRATION: The fee for the Intensive is based on a sliding scale for tuition and food. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging. A deposit reserves a space once the application process is completed. Payment plans are possible under special conditions. A deposit reserves a space once the application process is completed. Payment plans are possible under special conditions. Please contact Jude Weber for more information.

If you have not worked with Deena before, please apply by sending a letter of intention outlining your background and interests, and any other information, including dreams, that might be relevant to understanding how the week and the work might serve you and the world. Send the letter to Deena Metzger via email at deenametzger@verizon.net

RECOMMENDED TEXTS 

To familiarize yourself with Deena’s work and concerns read the pieces posted on her website, her blog Ruin and Beauty and her most recent writing: the long awaited, forthcoming novel on climate change and Restoration, A Rain of Night Birds, (April 22nd), the award-winning novel La Negra y Blanca, the novel Feral and Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing, Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems; The Other Hand; Doors: A Fiction for Jazz Horn; Writing For Your Life; Tree: Essays and Pieces and Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals.

Another way of thinking about the writer is to re-imagine the Shaman Bard.

“Let me tell you some stories.”
“In Ireland, that would be the voice of the Shaman Bard. We don’t know if it is the shaman speaking as a poet storyteller or the poet is speaking as a shaman (healer, visionary diviner, historian, myth-teller, peacemaker); they are entirely intertwined and it has been so for thousands of years and was so when I was there this month….”

Please click here to read Journey to the Stones – Meeting the Shaman Bards, on Deena’s blog Ruin and Beauty.

If you are at all interested in crossing the edge into the consciousness that is calling us, read The Dream Matrix and then join Deena for one of the Intensives or other activities hosted in Topanga.

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By application only – For information on fees or to apply please contact Jude Weber at 310.985.3740 or email.

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