PlaySpace News – May 2016

A u t u m n   V o i c e s

Autumn VoRobin Lloyd Jonesices by Robin Lloyd Jones is in the pipeline as a PlaySpace Publication. I’ve just written a letter of support to Creative Scotland offering him an advance on the book and agreeing to publish it when the project is complete.   The book 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.

The contribution of older artists themselves is a key factor in gaining insights into new   meanings and ways of being for this age group.  If we want to understand creativity in later  life, elderly artists are the most appropriate people to define and interpret its characteristics –  perceptive, articulate people with valuable insights into their own creative processes.

Robin is an award-winning writer of novels, short stories, non-fiction and radio drama. He has lived in Scotland for most of my adult life. After a childhood spent in India and in the west country of England, he graduated from Cambridge University with an MA degree in Social Anthropology…..more about Robin click here

Robin wrote a review for PSP latest book: Bundles of Bog Cotton

This is an anthology of writing, mostly poems but also some short prose pieces, by members of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres in Scotland. The first Maggie Centre was set up in Edinburgh in 1996 by Maggie Keswick Jencks, herself a terminal cancer patient, to help cancer patients to continue to engage with life in the best way possible. One aspect of this is to encourage expressive writing. The anthology is published by PlaySpace, based in Glasgow. The editor is Larry Butler, convenor of Lapidus Scotland whose motto is ‘well-being through writing. All proceeds from the book go to the Maggie’s centres. The titles of the five sections of bundles of bog cotton reflect what is uniquely beneficial about being part of a Maggie Centre: ‘A Place Where Light Stays’; ‘Soft and Vulnerable in a Shell’; ‘Illuminating Darkness’; ‘An Unfathomable Ocean’; and ‘Another Hour in Quiet Tranquility.’ A Front-piece quotes Anaïs Nin: ‘The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.’ In bundles of bog cotton the forty-two contributors do just that, expressing and exploring their pain, loneliness, loss, fears and hopes, their changing ways of looking at the world and their new-found intensity of joyous living. I found these poems and prose pieces to be extremely moving, powerful, penetrating, unflinchingly honest, inspiring and humbling.  One of the poems here, ‘Why Write?’ by Victoria  Field, says:

     ‘It takes us out of ourselves

      And into ourselves.’

Both for the writers and the readers bundles of bog cotton succeeds in this admirably.  There is some truly wonderful writing here.


Words Work Well Training in Bibliotherapy

 PSP will also be publishing a pamphlet about Bibliotherapy in Autumn 2016…..

Lapidus Scotland invites you to Bibliotherapy Trainings Scotland-Wide during June 2016. Participants will learn about leading therapeutic creative reading and writing sessions for individuals and groups in various settings. Training will also refer to Lapidus’ website – a bibliotherapy toolkit for facilitators.
Poems, images and conversation in creative communication with people who have dementia
Facilitator Paula Jennings. 2- 5pm, 6th June, Conference Room, Central Library, The Wellgate, Dundee DD1 1DB. With input from library staff on the Dementia Library. click here to book

An Introduction to Bibliotherapy for Writers and Storytellers
Facilitators Larry Butler and Valerie Gillies. 10am – 4pm, 8th June, Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.  click here to book

Choosing Reading Material and Facilitating an Expressive Writing Group
Facilitators Jayne Wilding and Maureen Sangster. 2pm – 5.30pm, 13th June, Kirkcaldy Galleries, Abbotshall Road, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1YG. Click here to book

Treasures in the Chest & Lifelines
Facilitators Mandy Haggith and Margot Henderson. 10 – 2pm, 18th June, The Spectrum Centre, 1 Margaret Street, Inverness IV1 1LS.  click here to book

How Reading Informs Writing
Facilitator Helen Lamb. 1.30 – 4pm, 20th June, The Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street, Glasgow G40 1B.  Click here to book

Strengthening Facilitators’ Skills
Facilitator Liz Niven. 1.30 – 4pm, 23rd June at University of Glasgow, Rutherford McCowan Building, Room R127, Crichton Campus, Dumfries DG1 4ZL. Includes informal time for questions and networking.
Click here to book

This development opportunity in creative facilitation is for those that work in health and social care settings, mental health centres, prisons, libraries, in education and community arts. It will also appeal to storytellers, writers and those promoting staff well- being in workplaces.  All are welcome, those experienced in facilitation and those new to the experience.
Cost £25 for day long training: £10 for half a day plus Eventbrite booking fee.

Lapidus is supported by Awards for All Scotland, Creative Scotland and Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Fund


 Further information please email Maureen Sangster – Words Work Well Project Manager –