Environmental Writing and Travel

 

Green Writers Press runs travel programs for writers and readers, with a focus on incorporating a sense of place into your writing. Read more below about our trips to Cuba, Iceland, Vermont, and Ireland.

CUBA

Our vibrant and growing publishing company, located in Brattleboro, Vermont, will be co-leading annual trips to Cuba with Green Writers Press author, long-time Cuba expcubaphoto2ert, and co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program, Tim Weed. This exciting new program combines a generative writing program focused on place with a dynamic off-the-beaten-track exploration of the “real” Cuba, with its unique cultural, artistic, and environmental legacy.

Cuban poet,  Dulce María Loynaz, wrote:
“Cuando vayamos al mar yo te diré mi secreto”
—When we go to the sea, I will tell you my secret.”

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ABOUT THE TRIP: Green Writers Press in Cuba: Writing, Culture, & Place
cubaphoto3We begin in the magical time capsule city of Havana, with an itinerary that focuses on experiences that are unavailable to regularly scheduled tour groups. We’ll explore Cuba’s inspiring cultural scene, dropping in on artists’ studios and galleries, attending dynamic music & dance performances, and visiting many of the country’s fascinating and lesser-known cultural hot-spots, including synagogues, neighborhood markets, Santería temples, and small and quirky museums. We’ll visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Caribbean’s largest colonial fortress, one of the world’s greatest cemeteries, a cigar factory, and legendary Finca Vigía, where Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote for more than two decades.cubaphoto5

cubaphoto1img_1807We’ll also explore Cuba’s unique environmental and conservation legacy, with a visit to an urban organic farm, a hike through a shade-grown coffee plantation in the midst of a neotropical rainforest, a refreshing swim beneath cool waterfalls, snorkeling in azure coves filled with healthy coral heads and a diversity of marine species, and an expedition to a national park that encompasses the Caribbean’s largest protected mangrove area, a major destination and breeding ground for migratory wildfowl.

 

GWP guides, Dede Cummings and Tim Weed, at the home of Ernest Hemingway outside of Havana.

GWP guides, Dede Cummings and Tim Weed, at the home of Ernest Hemingway outside of Havana.

Our staff of Green Writers Press writers and editors will lead a series of field-based, generative writing exercises designed to help you document your experience in Cuba while incorporating an immersive sense of place into your prose or poetry.This program is ideal for aspiring and established writers in any genre, but you don’t need to be a writer to participate—as long as you’re excited about exploring, having fun, and sharing your impressions.

img_2152There will be time built into the itinerary for individual explorations as well. Because the group is limited in size, we will have the flexibility to take advantage of participants’ particular interests, with the spontaneity to take adimg_2153vantage of the sort of last minute happening that makes Cuba such a fun place to travel. In addition to a full daily schedule of people-to-people cultural exploration, we’ll have the opportunity to sample the cuisine in many of Cuba’s famous paladares (officially sanctioned restaurants located in private homes), and, of course, to experience Cuba’s justly renowned music scene.img_2022

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Dates in 2018: April 22–May 1, 2018 “Off the Beaten Track/Cuba”

Price per person: $3,750 for double occupancy (single supplement: $600), ground arrangements including lodgings, all meals except 2-3 independent lunches or dinners, ground transportation, writing activities, cultural activities, a lecture series on Cuban history and culture, local guides and experts, and museum and park entrance fees. A few independent meals give participants the chance to get a break from the group and sample Cuba’s famous paladares on their own.

img_1831To register: For our 2018 Cuba Trip, a non-refundable deposit of $800 due by December 31, 2017; balance due by February 26, 2018. dede@greenwriterspress.com for info.

Space is limited to preserve the intimacy and flexibility of the experience, so we encourage you to reserve your place early. Please note that our itinerary in Cuba entails extensive walking. Participants should be in reasonably good physical condition.

img_2099A note on lodgings: We will stay in well-located privately run casas particulares (bed-and-breakfasts) that get us off the main tourist track allowing unparalleled access to real Cuban neighborhoods, as well as providing a comfortable, hospitable base for daily cultural immersion and travel activities. Lodgings are well located, simple, and very clean, with excellent breakfasts served by our warm and welcoming Cuban hosts.

GWP is planning similar programs in Iceland and Ireland. See below . . . 

Contact Dede Cummings for more information and to reserve a spot . . . dede@greenwriterspress.com for info or 802-380-1121

 

 

I C E L A N D

6ALocated between 61 and 66 degrees north latitude on the southern edge of the Arctic Ocean, Iceland is a country of dramatic extremes, where geysers and steaming lava flows coexist with powerful waterfalls and vast calving glaciers. Due to its location at the edge of the Artic Circle much of the country remains under ice; Iceland contains the third-largest ice cap in the world after Antarctica and Greenland.

But the glaciers are melting quickly. As in other arctic and sub-arctic regions around the world, global climate change is an accelerating and highly visible phenomenon.

At the same time, as an island straddling the rift valley where the American and European tectonic plates diverge, Iceland is one of the most volcanically active countries on the planet. Seventy percent of its energy is renewable, mostly from geothermal sources, considered one of the most promising non-carbon-based sources of future world energy.

The program begins in vibrant Reykjavik, Europe’s northernmost capital. Learn about Iceland’s rich literary tradition and its fascinating Viking history; visit Reykjavik’s famous Blue Lagoon geothermal pool; and get essential background on climate change, Iceland’s volcanoes and glaciers, and the country’s exciting alternative energy programs, Participate in a field-based journaling exercise designed to begin incorporating the dramatic north Atlantic landscape into your writing.

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From Reykjavik we travel south and east to Höfn, remote gateway to mighty Vatnajökull Glacier, the world’s third-largest ice cap. In Höfn, we meet up with GWP author M Jackson, who is spending the year in Iceland on a U.S. Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Fellowship

We’ll spend our days writing, reading, and venturing out to expl100_2211ore Iceland’s rugged and beautiful wilderness. Hike to stunning waterfalls that tumble over basalt cliffs to roaring glacial rivers and uninhabited fjords.

With M as our local expeditionary guide, we’ll take part in extraordinary adventures such as glacier trekking, cruising on glacial lagoons, and soaking away the chill at the end of the day in one of the country’s natural hot springs.

M will take us off the beaten path and share incredible local places few travelers to Iceland ever see.

IMG_1929The program will feature evening talks by GWP writers Tim Weed on the power of descriptive writing in narrative prose and M Jackson on evocative “science” writing and creating place in memoir, along with publisher Dede Cummings on using poetry as a tool for activism. Daily field-based writing and reading exercises will allow participants to enhance their skills as writers and their appreciation as reaAuthor MJackson_rgbders for the power and impact of descriptive writing in literary prose and poetry in the context of the changing global climate.

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Note: This program includes moderately strenuous activity and participants must be in good physical condition. Accommodations are in simple, well-located Icelandic hostels. The tentative dates of the program are September 8–15, 2018. The approximate cost of the program will be $3000 including RT airfare from Boston to Reykjavik.

 

Next trip is IRELAND with Dede Cummings and Megan Buchanan . . . and possibly Tim Weed! Travel with GWP authors and editors to the Emerald Isle in late September to hike in the bogs and up Croagh Patrick, along the Dingle Peninsula, and the Cliffs of Mohr . . .

I R E L A N D

Dede & GWP poet Megan Buchanan will lead a trip to Ireland September 27-October 6. 2017.

Join us for a fabulous tour of the legendary West Coast of Ireland where we will visit the Dingle Peninsula (site of the film Ryan’s Daughter), and the lively town of Galway, along with the musical village of Doolin, Jessie Lendenye’s Salmon Poetry Bookstore and workshop, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Croagh Patrick, and more!

A view of where we will be staying….less than a mile from the Cliffs of Mohr!

Salmon Poetry, taking its name from the Salmon of Knowledge in Celtic mythology, was established in 1981 as an alternative voice in Irish literature. Since then over 300 volumes of poetry have been produced, and Salmon has become one of the most important publishers in the Irish literary world. By specialising in the promotion of new poets, particularly women poets, Salmon has enriched Irish literary publishing.

Originally based in Galway city, Salmon moved to County Clare in 1995.  The Salmon premises are based less than a mile north of the Cliffs of Moher, on Ireland’s west coast. Nearby villages include Doolin, Liscannor, Lisdoonvarna. We are 50 miles south of Galway, and 25 miles west of Ennis.  Click on the map above to view our location.

Dede has been invited by Salmon to read on September 30th in the garden of the bookstore. We will stay a few nights nearby and then travel to Doolin—the details are still being worked out, but Megan and Dede have a great trip planned with time for tourism, writing prompts, journaling, hiking, hearing Irish music, and seeing ghosts in castles (Dede’s specialty!).

V E R M O N T   C O M M U N E   T O U R

In the summer of 2017, Dede and GWP author Peter Gould will co-lead a Tour of Vermont Communes—stay tuned for details.

Contact Dede Cummings for more information and to reserve spots . . . dede@greenwriterspress.com for info or 802-380-1121

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