PlaySpace News – February 2017

Many a life have I wandered in samsara, seeking the builder of the house and not finding him.  Oh house builder, now you are seen, never again shall you build me a house.                                                              (first words of the Buddha when  he woke-up)

solstice-image-16May your anger & hate
change into compassion
May your ego-self
transform into an eco-self
May Earth be your teacher
the sun & moon guide your way
May you have time to sing & dance
skip & play & write everyday

Autumn Voices

Autumn Voices was launched at the Mitchell Library in October. The project will be based on interviews with Scottish writers who are over seventy years old and still active. The four main areas of enquiry are: (i) the identification of role models of writers who are active in later life; (ii) an analysis of why they are still active; (iii) the changing nature of creativity in later life; (iv) a discussion of the problems and opportunities that arise for writers in their Third Age.

Nineteen well-known writers over 70 and still actively writing, have agreed to take part in the project, representing all forms of creative writing – poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama. Creative Scotland is funding the project, which includes small-group seminars and a questionnaire to a wider sample of writers. A book,  Autumn Voices: Scottish Writers Talk About Their Work in Later Life,  by Robin Lloyd-Jones, will be published in the Spring of 2018 by PlaySpace Publications.

13 Ways of Making Poetry a Spiritual Practice – out of print

This 18 page pamphlet by Maitreyabandhu will be re-printed in February. Christie Williamson wrote a review longer than the booklet! This is how he began:

Perfect tense  Is poetry a spiritual practice?  Well, if you’re ordained in the Triratna Order and hold multiple awards for your poems, pamphlets and books, it would seem as though this is a reasonable claim to make.  For the rest of us, it’s fortuitous that Maitreyabandhu has taken some time to point us in the right direction.

13 Ways of Making Poetry a Spiritual Practice first appeared in Magma 51, and has now been published by Playspace Publications with beautiful illustrations by Jo Davidson, evoking the blackbird of Wallace Stevens’ poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, cited at the opening of the text –

O thin men of Haddam,

Why do you imagine golden birds?

Do you not see how the blackbird

Walks around the feet

Of the women about you?


Bundles of Bog Cotton

Bundles of Bog Cotton has raised over £500 for Maggie Cancer Care Centres.  Sir Kenneth Calman wrote this review: Illness affects us all in different ways as does the way in which we express our concerns and feelings. Some of us find it difficult to voice our anxieties and they remain bottled up and distressing. One way of helping us release our feelings is to use writing, the written word, to bring to our own attention, and those of others, just what we feel inside. To assist this process group work on creative writing can help to make things easier.  Read more…..

The Earth Says

This card has raised over £200 for Friends of the Earth Scotland, and the poem is going to be made into a song!  A friend sent me one of your cards (‘the earth says’ poem, with the balancing stones image on the front), as a Christmas greeting, and I am very taken with your words.  I would like to set them to music, and hope you will be happy about that. I am planning to order several cards, and possibly other publications, from PlaySpace. “


Words Work Well for All  –  Sat 18 March 2017 10:30 – 19:30

at the Glasgow Women’s Library
23 Landressy Street
Glasgow, G40 1BP


Out Of The Box: Writing in the Archives with Donna Moore. Using the treasures in Glasgow Women’s Library’s museum and archive to inspire creative writing. From Suffragettes to Sewing Patterns, from Radical Posters to Roller Derby, from Bunty to Badges – GWL’s collections are a cornucopia for creativity.

Balance for Life: when the wind blows the tree bends – tai-chi, poetry & healing with Larry Butler. Each tai-chi move is a metaphor, each move could be the title of a poem and playing tai-chi can boost your immune system.

The Mother Tongue: how language shapes us – with Helen Lamb. Everybody has a private vocabulary, which they may not even be fully aware of. Some expressions are handed down through generations; you might suddenly hear yourself repeating something to your own children that was often said to you as a child. This workshop will explore some of our earliest experiences and memories of language and use them to inspire poems and stories.

Learning through Stories – a 20 minute talk with Sir Kenneth Calman. Ken is Chairman of the National Library of Scotland; Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland then England & Wales; his most recent publication is: “A Doctor’s Line. Poems and Prescriptions in Health and Healing.”
Paint & Write – with Janie Walker. Together we will create a beautiful pastel painting followed by some “artistic writing”

Journaling and Yoga with Jayne Wilding. Journaling and yoga are ways of connecting with our innermost self. Join Jayne Wilding in a workshop which will combine relaxing yoga (done from our chairs) and journaling exercises to help us on the path to knowing ourselves.

Bedtime Stories for Beginners with Stewart Ennis Working with readers and writers in the context of a maximum security prison – In this workshop I will discuss my own personal experiences of working in prison and explore the creative ways in which I’ve learned to deal with the issues of personal sharing and personal protection.

Late afternoon – Magi Gibson will read from her new book Washing Hugh McDiarmid’s Socks, followed by Open Mic.  Please do bring work that you would like to read at the Open Mic – all welcome!

Places are limited. For booking and further information click here