The time has come – the Walrus said #lettersfromladyn

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings-“

Oysters don’t be alarmed. My earworm for this week is one of those shorthand phrases that families have. For the Broderick clan it meant – it’s time to take action (often marking the end of one thing and the move to the next – like the end of a day at the beach and the clear-up to go home). For me, this week, it means getting my schedule organised and on the road.

Some wonderful things on the horizon in the next month:

  • Castle Ward Book Fair: Traditionally held in November, but now moved to a June date. In 2016, 11 & 12 June. This little bit of paradise for the average bookorm is organised in conjunction with the wonderful second hand bookshop at Castle Ward.  ‘Words for Castle Ward’ will be hosting a reading on Sunday 12th – and my plan is to also host one or two open workshops during the day. I’ll keep you posted.
  • Belfast Book Festival, 9-19 June:You wait all year for a celebration of books and two come along at the same time! BBF16 is a mighty programme this year. There are two evenings of readings by Templar poets. I’m planning to attend the reading on the 11th. A generous helping of new writing both poetry and fiction, and some great workshops as well.
  • Newry Writers’ Festival, 17-18 June: This is an exciting new development from SRC Newry Campus. A number of members of ‘Words for Castle Ward’ are reading at the evening event at the Sean Holywood Centre. This showcase also includes the launch of SRC’s Creative Writing Journal. All events are free but need to be booked in advance – although I think the evening event may be fully booked at this stage.
  • Remembering Ann Zell, 19 June: I had been a member of the ‘Word of Mouth’ poetry collective for a number of years and was very fortunate to have had sound feedback and encouragement from Ann Zell – as well as the privilege hearing her work as it arrived. Everybody who knew her or her work are warmly invited to a celebration and poetic rememberance of her life at the Crescent Arts Centre at 6pm on the 19 June.
  • Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, 26 June: It’s lovely to see how this gentle space has grown and flourished over time. Particularly this year, we’ve been meeting some wonderful new writers. My thanks as always to Down Arts Centre for partnering on this venture with me. They are stellar to work with. It’s on 2.30-430pm and as always we are looking forward to the opportunity of hearing your words (or songs) on the day.
  • Dundrum Imaginarium, 30/09, 1 & 2/10: Save the date. The programme is just this week finalised for our 2016 Imagainarium. The organisers have had some exciting developments themselves (this nourishing creative retreat can be powerful as well as relaxing). We’ll be putting out a call for participants from June. Exciting times!

In the meantime, I have some great digital/comms work going on as always.

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Dundrum Imaginarium: December Retreat

There’s a view of the Mourne Mountains at the top of the road that I live on. Like Heraclitus’ River – the view is never the same – but even when the Mountains are completely hidden by fog or low cloud, the impact is never less than extraordinary. Sometimes I try and ‘read’ the view, the way that we found faces and shapes in clouds when we were children.

This time of year is particularly wonderful because the air is so clear and the mountains shine their deep blue – and then there has been the smallest skiff of snow giving that lovely distant whiteness to contrast with the indigo.

Dundrum Bay and Murlough are, however, the true domain of the Mourne’s as they sweep down to the sea. The hands of the mountains practically knock on the door of viewers’ imaginations.

Needless to say, I am so looking forward to our second Dundrum Imaginarium. I am in the midst of preparing my bits!

We have a great group booked in for the creative retreat and I am so looking forward to be part of the  gentle creative acts of discovery, connection and exploration that will take place from the 4-6 December in Dundrum and environs.

If you think this might be just what you need, we still have a small number of spaces that we’d love to fill so if you are interested, don’t hesitate to contact (replace AT with @).

Header image: The Great Cat delivers a kitten to the top of the mountain (what do you see?)



Dundrum Imaginarium

Well a lot has happened since last I posted!!

Not least the inaugural Dundrum Imaginarium – which took place on the first weekend in June in Dundrum, Co. Down and hosted by Rachel Kennedy, Jane Waugh and myself.

Thanks to the intrepid pilot participants who made the weekend retreat to take a breather and to re-imagine the next steps on their journey. May peace and increase come to them all.

And we are plotting and planning a second run later in the year.

Keep an eye on the Dundrum Imaginarium website in the next few months to catch up on how it went, and what is next!