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Finding the rhythm of great writing

The art of good writing is practice, practice, practice. And for writers – who tend to say they will write it down later – this practice is more difficult to get than you would think.

Helping with the dilemma, and also giving non-writers the opportunity to try it out will be Lisa Suhair Majaj who will be giving two writing workshops at Write CY next month.

The first workshop will be The Literary Naturalist: How to Write About Nature on November 5 at 3-6pm.

Nature has been inspiring writers for centuries but it wasn’t until the Romantics – and the likes of Samuel Taylor Coleridge –taking long walks out in nature became fashionable. Something to do with the pace of walking, the rhyme of movement out and about in the open that really gets the creative juices going. But now you have the emotions that come with it, what do you do and how can you get language flowing?

Half the problem is that nature is so beautiful and so complex that we think hardly anything we put down on paper could ever compare. This is where Majaj will come in. During her three-hour workshop she will consider the tiny details that go into writing about nature, the metaphors that capture the reader and all those landscapes in-between.

By the end of the workshop you will have a poem or a short prose piece to show-off, and hopefully it will be the beginning of many more.

The second workshop led by Majaj will be Writing in the World: Responding to World Events Through Your Writing on November 19.

We have no shortage of terrible events happening all around us and most of us live them from behind a screen. Even if we are not living them first hand we are still very much impacted by them. So how can we deal with these feelings brought about by mass violence, war, environmental disasters and other disturbing events? One way is language, the action of stringing words together to make sense of it all.

For those interested in attending this workshop, please bring a news report of an incident, current or past, that has affected you. Also you might want to see some examples of how great writers have dealt with disasters in their writings, a great place to start would be to read Out of the Blue by British poet Simon Armitage – who takes on the voice of a man inside one of the world trade centres in New York during the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Majaj has published poetry, creative non-fiction and other writing widely across the US, Europe and the Middle East. Her poetry volume Geographies of Light won the 2008 Del Sol Press Poetry Prize. Her writing has also been used in a variety of non-literary venues such as the Harm Museum of Art at the University of Florida where some of her poems are being exhibited under the name Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East. Also some people always want a part of her poetry with them and an enthusiastic reader has a line from one of her poems tattooed on her arm.

The two workshop will take place at Write CY, a hub for writers that has been running over the past year, where writers have come together to offer creative writing classes. Different events, including book readings, open mic nights, and book bazaars are also on the menu, so keep an eye open.

The Literary Naturalist: How to Write About Nature
Workshop with poet Lisa Suhair Majaj. November 5. Write CY, 37 Xanthis Xenierou, Nicosia. 3pm-6pm. €40. In English. Tel: 22-105099

Writing in the World: Responding to World Events Through Your Writing
Workshop with poet Lisa Suhair Majaj. November 19. Write CY, 37 Xanthis Xenierou, Nicosia. 3pm-6pm. €40. In English. Tel: 22-105099

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