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Friday, March 12, 2010

Silence & its dialects: A writing workshop with Robyn Rowland

A writing workshop with Dr Robyn Rowland AO ©

Music is enhanced by its necessary partner, silence. So too, the forms of poetry and of prose need space to breathe. Writing comes out of silence and returns to it, leaving a trace. In living, silence is both the shadow and the light. Meditation and prayer enter silence and carry it. In relationships, silence can be the threat of rejection; represent the loneliness of despair. Is our voice carried into absence? Secret-keeping arises too from silence and families are involved in shrouding truth. Deafness brings silence but what are the differences between this silence and peace? This workshop will discuss the many shapes of silence.

Each participant will be given notes to keep relating to the topic for the workshop, as well as copies of Robyn’s or other poems which exemplify the theme. The workshop involves a talk, followed by a meditative moment, a period of writing towards the topic and feedback for each participant in the group.

Dr. Robyn Rowland AO has published 9 books, six of them poetry. Seasons of doubt & burning. New and Selected will be published in 2010. Silence & its tongues (Five Islands Press, 2006) was runner up for the 2007 ACT Minister’s Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Robyn has won the Catalpa Poetry Prize and overall Writers Prize from the Australian-Irish Heritage Association, and the Jean Stone Poetry Prize. Robyn annually reads/teaches in Ireland at major festivals. She has also read in Portugal, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, the USA and the UK. Her work has been featured regularly on Australian National Radio, particularly on PoeticA and on The Spirit of Things covering her Irish experience of exile and belonging. She has judged a number of poetry competitions. Robyn has published non-fiction, journalism, and research papers as well as poetry.

An Honorary Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Robyn was previously Professor of Social Inquiry at Deakin University, retiring in 1996 after breast cancer and burnout. She recently retired from her honorary position as Deputy Chair of the Board of the Australian Poetry Centre (2007-2008). Some of Robyn’s work, a short bio and photo can be viewed at Other Voices Poetry International, an invitation-only cyber anthology at

Venue: Foyles Hotel, Clifden
Date: Easter Monday, April 5th, 5 – 8 pm.
Fee: 20 euros

RSVP: Asap but by April 3rd. Numbers limited and needed for materials.

To: Dr Robyn Rowland 087 924 3814

Please provide email and phone contact details.