Bouros Lyrigraph : A Poetry Retreat & Workshop
July 10-17 2023
With Sophia Naz, Poet and Artist
Lyrigraph, (from the Greek lyric, and graphos, writing ) is a term coined by Irish poet Sean Borodale. It denotes a text written on site which logs moments of ‘poetic’ utterance and which requires a potent present (the time in which a lyrigraph happens).
In this immersive site-specific collaborative workshop we will further expand the scope of the lyrigraph by relating poetry back to the original Greek root of poesis. “the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before”. Our processes will include daily poetry prompts and physical explorations related to the five ancient elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether on the first five days, with the 6th day devoted to a synthesis of rasa, or essence of the Elements. Each day will bring an opportunity for exploration, introspection, sensory delight and stimulating dialogue for a unique and unforgettable experience.
We upend the notion of ‘sight seeing’ as casual consumption of place and imbibe the idea of site as seer as in guide, oracle, sage and guru. What can we learn from our environment as we approach it from this sacral viewpoint? To be removed from our usual surroundings has the enormous potential effect of creating space to absorb and develop insight from an active engagement of our senses.
Our location in Bouros, 162 acres with a 5 acre organic farm and panoramic beachfront allows us ample opportunity to engage with place in such a way that the self is sensitized as a seismic instrument. As part of the course, we will have a go at writing ‘on site’, seeing what it feels like to compose a poem according to the constraints or rhythms of a particular space.
Introductions July 10th, 7 pm
Mornings ( 9-noon)
Each day will begin with Zen calligraphy and mark making. Workshop participants will be creating lyrigraphs from the unique poetry prompts described below.
Afternoons are free for individual writing and informal interaction on our inspiring and serene beach location.
Evenings we gather in a casual setting. Poetry readings by participants will be held on the 3rd and 5th evening.
Day 1: All here together on EARTH
The element of EARTH is personified in Greek mythology as GAIA, sustaining Earth Mother. In traditional Indian Medicine systems the element of Earth corresponds to the sense of smell. We will visit the organic farm on Bouros, walk the surrounding terrain and ground ourselves, literally and metaphorically as we as we celebrate all things of and from the earth.
Day 2: Wave and Weave; the Element of WATER
Many of you will be familiar with the repeating wave image as an iconic motif of Greece. On day 2 at the beautiful beach at Bouros we will immerse our bodies and minds in the reviving element of WATER, which corresponds to the sense of taste and get our creative juices flowing!
Day 3: Wind Words, the element of AIR.
On the seashore the element of WIND often plays a dominant role in shaping the landscape. We can’t see the wind but we can feel it, which is why this element is related to the sense of touch. We will expand upon the idea of what is invisible yet touches us, through poetry prompts and visual exploration
Day 4: FIRE, Sharpening focus, from sight to insight
The moth and flame are central metaphors of the poetic traditions of ghazal and mystic thought. We will listen to some ghazals in Urdu along with their translations as well as look at the mythologies of fire in various cultures from Prometheus to Agni, as well as at contemporary examples of “hot” language.
Day 5 ETHER: Self and perspectives of space, from minute to infinite.
How does the spatial affect the semantic? What are some of the ways in which we can express space in poetry, on the written page and in oral expression? How can the Zen adage “ Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is also Form “ inform our poetry? These are some of the questions we will consider as we hike the panoramic hills of Evia.
Day 6 RASA: Amalgamation, expression and emotion.
The Sanskrit word, rasa is a concept that straddles the disciplines of ancient Indian alchemy and aesthetics. Rasa literally means “nectar, essence or taste”. It connotes the aesthetic flavor of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience. The act of obtaining rasa is distilling essence. On our 6th day we will be refining and presenting our lyrigraphs and offer constructive critiques of each other’s work.
Retreat Program Fee: $700 (Early registration, until May 31st, 2023) $795 thereafter.
Poet, author, editor, translator and artist Sophia Naz has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize; in 2016 for creative nonfiction and in 2018 for poetry. Her work features in numerous literary journals and anthologies She is the author of 5 poetry collections; Peripheries, Pointillism, Date Palms, Open Zero, Bark Archipelago and Shehnaz, a biography. Open Zero is her fourth poetry collection, published in September 2021 by Yoda Press. She can be found online at www.SophiaNaz.com
Bouros Seaview Retreat
Room price includes breakfast and one meal per day
Single room $695
Double shared room $495 per person
Arrive Day 1 between 3 and 6pm for a 7pm evening session
Depart Day 7 at noon.
The arrival City is Athens and you can fly to Athens International Airport (ATH)
Travel by bus or taxi or rent a car to the sea port of Rafina
only 30 minutes from the airport.
Take the one hour ferry to the sea port of Marmari and from there
take a bus to Karystos or a taxi all the way to Bouros
The rooms have a small fridge for storing food and there is a cantina on the beach
with food for lunch, coffee and more.
Shopping is in the town of Karystos which is a 10 minute drive.
For questions and to reserve a spot email us here:
stay @ bourosseaviewretreat .com
Mpouros, South Evia
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