“So, the world happens twice—
once what we see it as,
second it legends itself
deep, the way it is.”

William Stafford

This retreat invites us to the “late poems” of selected contemporary poets, gifts of wisdom that with a depth and poignance that comes with the harvest years. We will bring to these gifts our own lives, with what we have come to know—and yet long to know—along life’s way. This is a wisdom that comes of ripening, and invites the same, offering glimpses of a vision that has come the distance. Poets to be explored include Mary Oliver, W. S. Merwin, Denise Levertov, Stanley Kunitz, among others.

Date: 18th – 23rd October 2019

Prices start at £735 per person and include continental breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation and programme charges. Places can be reserved via the St Columba website or by phoning the hotel on 44 (0)1681 700 304


Mark S. Burrows is well-known and much in demand as a retreat leader in Europe, Australia, and the United States. A practicing poet and scholar of historical theology, with a keen interest in mysticism and poetics, he is an award-winning translator of modern German literature. A longtime resident of New England, he currently lives between Bochum, Germany, where he teaches theology and literature at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences, and Camden, Maine. His recent publications include Meister Eckhart’s Book of Secrets: Meditations on Letting Go and Finding True Freedom (2019) and Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart: Meditations for the Restless Soul (2017), both with Jon M. Sweeney, as well as a collection of his recent poems, The Chance of Home (2018). Widely acclaimed as a reader and translator of Rainer Maria Rilke, he is the recipient of the Witter Bynner Prize in Poetry and is a member of the Bochumer Literaten, a circle of professional writers in the Ruhr Region of Germany.  See Mark’s website for more details of his work and samples of his poetry.


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