PlaySpace News 2015

PlaySpace News January 2015

birthday cake
Let me tell you
how words sometimes
don’t matter
as when gestures
connect need with need
then giving is receiving
receiving giving
it’s all about change –
how blank faces light up
when you get
what you want
without asking.

These words appear on the most recent PlaySpace publication – as a new year’s greeting card with a photo (by Morven Gregor) of me blowing out candles on my 70th birthday with help from my granddaughter – Fiadh.

If you would like to receive PSP news routinely whenever it is published – which will be about six times a year – please go to the PlaySpace website and subscribe or click this link. As a subscriber, if you have a website, if you make a link to PSP, I will recipricate and make a link to your site.

Each time I write the newsletter, I will lead with a short piece of writing by a subscriber.  Maybe the next newsletter will lead with your writing.  And I will also include a writing for wellbeing prompt sent to me by a subscriber.  Here is one I’ve used repeatedly:

“I   C O U L D   N O T   T E L L”
I’ve used this phrase – I could not tell – many times with different writing groups in all sorts of situations from hospitals to prisons, with children, families, community groups. This was one of Muriel Rukeyser‘s favourite writing prompts. I found it in her book called The Life of Poetry. She simply asked writers to complete the sentence “I could not tell….”. Be careful and prepared, it can open Pandora’s Box.


T  H  E    P  O  E  T’ S   W  A  Y
Awakening to the power of poems to compliment & enhance our spiritual practice
Sundays from 5:30 to 9pm
11 Jan, 15 Feb, 15 Mar, 19 Apr, 17 May, 14 June 2015
At the Glasgow Buddhist Centre: 329 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3HW

These events are led by Maria Venditozzi, Larry Butler and other members of the group – to appreciate poetry; both our own and our favourite published writers. Inspired by Manjusvara‘s book The Poet’s Way, Jane Hirshfield says “this book offers warm-hearted, step-by-step awakening into the possibilities and powers of poems” Bring a poem to share – with 4 copies. Bring writing materials and vegetarian food to share during the break.

NB: 11 January is dedicated to the poetry of William Stafford – so bring a Stafford poem or a poem inspired by his writing. The evening will include a short film about how WS writes. To find out more & book a place – contact: Maria: 07756 401141 or Larry: 0141 946 8096


LOST WORDS edited by Dorothy Stafford
(the joy of children’s language)

“Dorothy Stafford, great wife of the great 20th Century American poet William Stafford, had perfect pitch in her listening ear. When she copied down the words of her four children as they were growing up and conversing, she heard and selected the most exquisite nuggets of talk. Read LOST WORDS, revel in the pleasures of unselfconscious talk and remember the voice inside your own grown voice. This fine little book is huge in its power. It will tune you up for better listening and more appreciation of the children’s voices around you.”

Naomi Shihab Nye, Chancellor, Academy of American Poets
LOST WORDS can be ordered through our website:


A LOOK TO THE FUTURE – forthcoming psp publications

Spiritual life is primarily concerned with overcoming self-centredness, with committing ourselves to values such as empathy and insight. Poetry can be a spiritual practice, a way of life. My thirteen points below describe some of the more important aspects of that life….

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?

Wallace Stevens –
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

This prose pamphlet will be illustrated with blackbirds will be available from mid February.


MS STORY ANTHOLOGY – edited by Helen Boden & Louise Liddell
Helen Boden facilitated a series of creative workshops, the best of this writing will be published in a 20 page pamphlet and sold a fund-raiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Lothian.


WRITING PLACES ANTHOLOGY (Lapidus Scotland project for 2014)
Margot Henderson is editing the writing collected over the last nine months from events all over Scotland both outside and inside, town and country. This should be available from mid March. You can read all about these events in the Lapidus Journal – current issue showcases our recent work in Scotland


The word that best describes this group is hospitality. Not least because of the generosity of their host; not only because the kettle is on and there are tasty nibbles; but also because each person gives or his or her self. This is a place to share one’s deep poetic self, and to give and to receive. Bank Street Writers is open for a couple new members to join. Contact Bev:


BIBLIOTHERAPY TOOLKIT – a volunteer opportunity
Lapidus Scotland (LS) in association with NHS Education Scotland (NES) are designing Words for Wellbeing – a bibliotherapy toolkit for Scotland. I am writing to health and social care agency, both statutory and voluntary organisations in Scotland, seeking staff and/or volunteers to help test out some of the material in a pilot programme from mid January to mid March. Please let me know if you know anyone who would like to try out the toolkit. For more information and an outline to the proposed publication email:

Definitions: Bibliotherapy covers a broad spectrum of approaches which help people to take more control of their health and wellbeing. A Bibliotherapy program can be any activity involving print or non-print material, either imaginative or informational, that is often discussed with the aid of a facilitator one to one or in a group format. Bibliotherapy is the creative and practical use of reading, writing, storytelling for well-being and personal development. Books, stories and poems invite readers to explore their inner and outer worlds.

Contributors to the toolkit include: Ken Calman, Ann Wales, Alec Finlay, Ted Bowman, Magi Gibson, Valerie Gillies, Lesley O’Brien, Margot Henderson, Helen Lamb, John Killick, Christine Cather, John McCormack, Maureen Sangter, Sarah Whitehead, James Hawkins, Wendy Woolfson and Rosie Alexander. . . .

For more information email:

happy reading & writing in 2015
Larry Butler