Retreat to the spectacular Coast near
St. David's for Creative Writing & Yoga.
Retreat to Wales
for a week of Creative Writing & Yoga
Patricia Lee Lewis, David Clemson and Kathy
8 days, 7 nights at St. Non's Retreat Centre,
all meals, double accommodations,
all written materials,
all writing & yoga sessions,
individual writing tutorials.
$1995 with an alum discount of $100 for anyone
who has been on a retreat with Patricia in the
past. We require a $500 non-refundable deposit
to hold space. Balance due May 1, 2011. We can
only accept 12 participants for this very special,
small retreat! We have some single rooms
which will go, upon request, to those who register
and pay their deposits first.
(does not include transportation
to St. Non's Retreat Centre. Tips for house
staff. Optional outings.)
How to get there:
St. Non's Retreat Centre is a ten minute walk
from the historic small city of St. David's on
the southwest coast of Wales in Pembrokeshire.We
suggest flying into Cardiff, Wales or Manchester,
England and making your way by bus or train to
St. David's. It's more direct than going through
London, and quicker. Click
here for coach and train information in Wales.
This will be our twelfth year to offer
creative writing retreats in the British
Isles. Participants will include people
with a wide range of writing experience,
from very little to professional. We
are always enriched by the diversity.
While we will offer a daily schedule
of suggested activities, all sessions
are optional: your time is your own.
Writing Practice. Each morning and several evenings,
you will have opportunity to write in an encouraging,
confidential and inspiring setting, in response
to exercises Patricia suggests. You will be invited
to share what you have just written, and to respond
to the writing of others with what is fresh, what
you like, what you remember. (We use the method
developed by Amherst Writers & Artists which
is described in detail at Our
Writing Method.) As time permits,
Patricia and David will offer individual consultations
on (short) manuscripts written prior to the retreat
or on any writing problems you wish to discuss.
Yoga Practice. Kathy will offer yoga sessions
in the early morning and some afternoons,
indoors or out of doors above the sea, as
weather permits. The practice of yoga, the
joining of body and mind, can open pathways
for your writing into the feelings, memories,
stories and images embedded in the tissues.
We will encourage you to use your yoga practice
to develop a deeper relationship with your
body as well as to enjoy the physical and
mental benefits of practice. The sessions
are, of course, completely optional.
Wales is a magical land-why
not extend your visit a few days? Contact
the British Tourist Authority, 551 Fifth
Avenue, Suite 701, NY, NY 10176; tel.
(800) 462-2748; Internet is www.btausa.com
for more information. You can search all
airline prices at www.kayak.com.
You can even set a fare alert there and
take advantage of a sale if it comes along.
Combining Yoga &
The practice of yoga, the joining of body
and mind, can open pathways into the feelings,
memories, stories and images embedded in the
tissues. Writing workshops during the retreat
are designed to help you shift your awareness
and write from those deeper levels of consciousness.
Through Hatha Yoga, we will get
in touch with our kinesthetic sense of self. We
will use special meditation techniques to slow
the mind and create a sense of the sacred. No
writing or yoga experience is required - only
a sense of adventure. Beginning and experienced
writers will find a supportive, encouraging context
in which to write from their deepest selves. We
will write in response to exercises offered by
Patricia Lee Lewis, MFA. In a small group, writers
will be invited to read their work aloud, and
the group will offer simple affirmations of what
is done well and what stays in the memory.
St. Non's Retreat Centre
lies on Wales' famed Coastal Path, a ten-minute
walk from the small, historic city of St.
David's in exquisite Pembrokeshire. It overlooks
St. Non's Bay, one of the many bays forming
the ten mile stretch of St. Bride's Bay
in The Irish Sea, on the west coast of Dyfed;
and is part of an area steeped in religious
history and of holy places - chapels, crosses
and sainted wells, many of which are pagan
Accommodations at The Centre
are housed in a well-built Victorian stone
structure, and include an inviting area
for dining, a large common room, comfortable
lounge, small library and Chapel. There
are nine single rooms and two large doubles.
Additional housing may be booked in nearby
Meals are vegetarian with
some fish and chicken; Continental breakfasts;
lunches of soups, salad, cheese, fruit (which
can also be packed for adventurers); and
full dinners with lovely desserts. Fresh
fruit, biscuits, tea and coffee are always
Things to do. Pembrokeshire
and the southwest coast of Wales are rich in
opportunities for visitors wishing to experience
their magic: excellent walking along the 185
mile-long Coastal Path, which runs directly
in front of the Retreat Centre; kayaking in
the bay; bicycling along the coast and into
the dramatically beautiful surrounding hills
with their ancient standing stones; abundant
opportunities to watch a wide variety of birds,
which migrate through this environmentally-rich
region; gorse, broom, sea pinks blooming everywhere;
and breathtaking views.
The small city of St. David's is an easy
a ten-minute walk from St. Non's. For centuries,
St. David's was pre-eminent as a center
of pilgrimage. St. David, the Patron Saint
of Wales, founded a religions community
here, and his cathedral was to become one
of Christendom's great historic shrines.
For centuries before that, Celtic tribes
with their rich pagan traditions flourished
For details on ancient sacred sites of Wales
and the history of religious pilgrimage, click
here for Patricia's article "A
Pilgrim in Wales"
Patricia Lee Lewis
lives and works at Patchwork Farm Retreat in western
Massachusetts. She shares the world with trees
and stones, chickadees, writers and bears, and
leads weekend writing retreats and weekly workshops
in her mountain cottage at Patchwork Farm, throughout
the United States, and yoga and writing retreats
at sacred sites around the world - Guatemala,
Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Costa Rica.
Patricia holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing
from Vermont College, and completed her undergraduate
degree at Smith College, Phi Beta Kappa, in
1970. She is affiliated with Amherst Writers
& Artists, and leads national training workshops
in the AWA method for workshop leaders on the
east and west coasts. Patricia's poetry, fiction
and feature articles have appeared in journals
& anthologies, The Los Angeles Times, Hampshire
Life, and The Boston Sunday Globe. Her poems
have most recently appeared in The Berkshire
Review, Vol. 11, and Crossing Paths:
An Anthology of Poems by Women, Mad River
Press. She was supported by a grant from the
Chester Cultural Council under the auspices
of the Massachusetts Cultural Council to perform
her poems to a full house to benefit the Miniature
Theatre of Chester. Her poem "Two Hundred
Wings" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize
in Poetry, and her book of poems, A Kind
of Yellow, won first prize in Writer's
Digest's International Self-Published Book
Competition in 2005. Copies of the book are
available at the
Patricia has spent much of her life
as an advocate: for women, for civil rights, for
peace, for a healthy environment, for small farms
and rural communities, for the arts. Born and
raised in Texas, she moved north years ago with
her children. She has been a business owner, tree
farmer, director of several organizations, including
women's centers, community economic development
corporations, district congressional offices,
and served as an elected county commissioner for
four years. In 1985, when she joined Pat Schneider's
Amherst Writers & Artists writing workshop,
she finally found the courage to write for others
Patricia is responsible for the
writing program at all retreats and serves as
M.Ed and Diploma Adult Education (Glasgow, Scotland)
writes short stories, when she makes time, stimulated
by her work across Africa and internationally.
She has had one (only!) published by Leaf Books
and does not spend enough time submitting others
for publication. When she is not working abroad,
Kathy lives in England.
Kathy has studied and practiced
yoga since 2002 and received a Yoga Foundation
Certificate in UK in 2009. She has led yoga classes
in Zimbabwe in 2010 for complete beginners and
regularly leads small groups on writing retreats.
She is interested in the principles of basic Hatha
yoga and what this means for a practice (Ha –
the sun representing male energy; Tha –
the moon representing female energy), and uses
the teaching of A.G. Mohan and Personal Reintegration
in her own practice.
A gifted writer and painter, born and raised in
England, David Clemson has Masters Degrees in
Research and Statistics, and in Writing Studies.
David began his creative writing life at Patchwork's
first retreat in Scotland in 2000, but over the
years he has writen more than 100 mathematics
textbooks for youngsters, their teacher and parents,
the newest of which will be published later this
He currently leads a writing group
in Wiltshire, England and has produced a collection
of the group's work to be published this Spring.
A journalist published widely in the U.K., including
in the Guardian, he has appeared in Television
and radio, is a published poet and is completing
his first novel and a collection of stories for
a memoir. David will lead a craft of writting
workshop during our Wales retreat in 2011, and
consult with individual writers on their manuscripts.
I believed for 20 years that my
failure to write in a way that felt whole stemmed
from my lack of commitment. Now I know that it
was simply a lack of basic skills that stopped
me. After one short week with Patricia and Jacqueline,
I now have those skills. Adrienne
Adult summer camp! Plenty of time to socialize,
do outdoor activities with like-minded people
combined with just the right place for inspiration
and creativity. The good sisters pampered us and
fed us with fresh local foods. Paradise! Jeanne
Location, leadership, participants…all
combine to create and permit an experience of
writing and reflection that challenges, renews,
and validates oneself as a writer. Each person
seems to discover new ways of creativity and self
expression. The daily yoga stretches the body
as well as the spirit. Kathleen
S. H., Barrington,
The staff at St. Non’s bring hospitality
and genuine care to a new level. They deeply respect
our time here and have an evident regard for us
and the creative work we are doing. Katherine
Although the approach to writing is gentle and
supportive, it is nevertheless rigorous. I was
challenged by every single writing exercise and
will carry the tools back to my writing life at
home. The feedback given is not general, unsubstantiated
praise, but rather very concrete, thoughtful responses
about what is working in your writing. You are
left with a strong motivation to keep writing
– the biggest gift any writer can receive.
It’s an amazing experience to find and
begin to trust one’s voice in the company
of such a wonderful chorus of writerse.
Becky J., Northampton,
"It has been an unforgettable experience
- wonderful in all aspects. Especially the people."
Jill J., Cumbria,
"It was one of the few experiences that
I got more than what I bargained for in more ways
than one." Katia
A., Cyprus, Greece
Poetry is an ancient and popular art in Wales.
Gillian Clarke is one of Wales' best-loved
poets. Here's a sample of her work:
For Meic Watts, who sculpted the limestone
The Stone Hare
Think of it waiting three hundred million years,
not a hare hiding in the last stand of wheat,
but a premonition of stone, a moonlit reef
where corals reach for the light through clear
waters of warm Palaeozoic seas.
In its limbs lies the story of the earth,
the living ocean, then the slow birth
of limestone from the long trajectories
of starfish, feather stars, crinoids and crushed
that fill with calcite, harden, wait for the
the timed explosion and the sculptor's hand.
Then the hare, its eye a planet, springs from
to stand in the grass, moonlight's muscle and
the stems of sea lilies slowly turned to stone.
Many Welsh poets write only in Welsh. To
hear the language is to hear the music.
Myrddin ap Dafydd is a strict metre poet and
winner of the Chair at the National Eisteddfod
in Cwm Rhymni in 1990 for his poem "Gwythiennau"
("Veins"). Founder of Gwasg Carreg
Gwalch Press, Llanrwst and editor of the popular
series of poetry anthologies Cywyddau Cyhoeddus.
Here is one of his poems:
Mae'n edrych yn wych; maen nhw
yn llawn o heip penllanw -
llun swel ydi'r hoff ddelwedd,
a'r gamp, meddant, yw creu gwedd
calendr glòs: cael un dwr glas
haeddiannol o brifddinas
dros hafren y beipen bòg
a lleuadau'r gwlâu lleidiog.
Ac yn siwr, mae dwr Caerdydd
gystal â llun: llun llonydd,
heb ordd yn nhonnau'i bae hi
na halen yn ei heli.
Pa wefr cael wyneb hyfryd
a'r dwr rhydd ar drai o hyd?
Rhowch le i fwy na drych o wlad,
rhowch im fwy nag edrychiad -
rhowch im ddydd y bydd y bae'n
llyn drwg ac yn llawn dreigiau.
Clarke is the best known living
Welsh poet. She co-founded Ty Newydd, a
retreat center in Criccieth for creative