Writing as a Wisdom Project

Susan Sontag used the phrase “writing as a wisdom project” when commenting on autobiography as an occasion for deep self-study. In this workshop retreat we expand on this idea to bring self-study to our practice of imaginative writing, with an emphasis on fiction and poetry.

From the position of understanding our practice as writers as an opportunity to receive, imagine, study and reveal our own present, dependently arising body and mind, we write together, using prompts and free writing, and reading and responding to one another’s words. Our work is quite intimate and playful and offers everyone opportunities for participation and discussion. This practice we share is appropriate to any level of writing or literary experience.

Considerations of form, both in literary practice and in dharma practice, may play a part in our discussions. Our time is structured to include informal periods of reflection and formal periods of silent meditation as practiced in the Zen tradition. Meditation instruction will be offered as needed.

A workshop and/or retreat depending on the schedule and venue, Writing as a Wisdom Project has been offered at various locations in the UK, at Brooklyn Zen Center, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, and Stillpoint Zen Community in Pittsburgh. Write to Catherine at catherinegammon@gmail.com for further information.