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The Great Returning: Inhabiting Our MotherWorld

A work­shop with Leona Gra­ham and Penn Kemp, Sun­day, Octo­ber 4, 2009, 10:00 am–5:30 pm, Lon­don, Ontario.

An expe­ri­en­tial work­shop ded­i­cat­ed to empow­er­ing the indi­vid­ual to attune to our Great Moth­er Earth and life-sus­tain­ing, enhanc­ing val­ues.  Par­tic­i­pants will emerge ground­ed in real­is­tic ways and means to face these crit­i­cal times where the choic­es we make can make all the difference.

How are the arts rel­e­vant to sus­tain­abil­i­ty?  How can we artic­u­late our con­vic­tions in ways that move the read­er to action?  We will help empow­er you to write with a short read­ing to encour­age you in your own work.  A series of exer­cis­es on cre­ativ­i­ty will give par­tic­i­pants direct expe­ri­ence and prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions for spurring the imag­i­na­tion and hon­ing writ­ing skills.  Inspi­ra­tion will present itself through the kind of coach­ing that is only pos­si­ble in a small group and in the safe set­ting we provide!

Leona and Penn share deep com­mon ground through decades of friend­ship and shared expe­ri­ence in var­i­ous realms: the lit­er­ary arts; com­mu­ni­ty and peace activism; con­ser­va­tion and deep ecology.

For­mer aca­d­e­mics, we have each sup­port­ed our­selves out­side the main­stream com­mer­cial com­plex since the ear­ly 70’s. Despite the Atlantic often between us, we have long nav­i­gat­ed and main­tained a syn­er­gy of shared dimen­sions. As co-cre­ators, we are involved in con­nect­ing envi­ron­men­tal pol­i­tics with god­dess spir­i­tu­al­i­ty both in our own writ­ing and through work­shops around the world (includ­ing Glas­ton­bury and Findhorn).

As lis­ten­er-con­ven­ers, Leona and Penn cre­ate an expan­sive but prac­ti­cal field of pos­si­bil­i­ties for and with the group.

525 Can­ter­bury Road, Lon­don, Ontario, Canada.
Con­tact: +1 519 434 8555, penn[at] or leona[at] – or use the Con­tact Form.

About Leona:

Born in Hal­i­fax dur­ing WW2
Edu­cat­ed: Med­way & Oakridge High Schools, UWO (BA/MA), PhD Stud­ies UBC
Cold War Mil­i­tary ser­vice 1959-ear­ly 60’s: RCAF & RCN ®

Her (now 95 year-old) feisty mum in Lon­don, Ontario, Cana­da, helped moti­vate Leona become an ear­ly envi­ron­men­tal activist when she brought home a copy of Rachel Carson’s ground­break­ing Silent Spring (1962). Like many oth­ers she became deeply involved in ‘Pol­lu­tion Probe’ and ‘Whole­food Coop’ type efforts, pre­sag­ing the larg­er eco­log­i­cal-con­ser­va­tion move­ment. The birth of a daugh­ter pro­vid­ed fur­ther moti­va­tion. Before aban­don­ing her suc­cess­ful aca­d­e­m­ic teach­ing career, Leona turned her ‘60’s uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents onto envi­ron­men­tal and oth­er good caus­es.  She embraced full-time activism, head­ing off round the world to see how the oth­er half lived (not very well), and final­ly set­tled down (in the 70’s) in the Find­horn Com­mu­ni­ty in NE Scotland—an organ­ic eco-vil­lage, found­ed, in the same year as Rachel’s book appeared—its roots based in ‘Coöper­a­tion with Nature’—a hands-on but ‘spir­i­tu­al’ focus. ‘Find­horn’ and its eco-projects have remained a con­stant fac­tor through the years, despite stints spent in oth­er spe­cial com­mu­ni­ties round the world, includ­ing Glas­ton­bury (Eng­land): found­ing the Sus­tain­able Liv­ing Com­pa­ny from an eco-char­i­ta­ble enter­prise called The Wise Crone Café (Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val) as well as help­ing found and devel­op var­i­ous cul­tur­al enti­ties: The Library of Aval­on, The Assem­bly Rooms Project, The Isle of Aval­on Trust, The God­dess Tem­ple, Ari­adne Pro­duc­tions and the spec­tac­u­lar annu­al The God­dess Con­fer­ence (where once again this year she is pre­sent­ing). She has also sup­port­ed com­mu­ni­ty and envi­ron­men­tal activism in Ojai and Topan­ga Canyon (Cal­i­for­nia). She now lives in a small fen vil­lage in Cam­bridgeshire UK, con­tin­u­ing her envi­ron­men­tal work on a local and national/international basis. Through the years she has been involved in a vari­ety of inter­na­tion­al con­ser­va­tion orga­ni­za­tions as Inter­na­tion­al Pro­gram Direc­tor at The WILD Foun­da­tion (USA), help­ing run two World Wilder­ness Con­gress­es (1983 in Scot­land & 1997 in India) and the Chee­tah Con­ser­va­tion Fund (CCF) (Namibia/ USA/ UK/ Canada/Japan).  Both WILD’s and CCF’s work include a strong ‘eco-vil­lage’ aspect as they are involved in on-the-ground com­mu­ni­ty-build­ing. And of course, in any spare time she has, she con­tin­ues to write poetry.

About Penn:
Penn is an enthu­si­as­tic prac­ti­tion­er of the cre­ativ­i­ty she teach­es.  She has been giv­ing work­shops for forty years.  Her years of Bud­dhist prac­tice has led her to give dozens of work­shops on Saras­vati ( Hin­du and Bud­dhist deity of the arts), “Inspi­ra­tion” and on “Invok­ing Your Muse”.  An intrigue with ancient mythol­o­gy has tak­en her on many jour­neys, in search espe­cial­ly of Black Madon­nas in all their guis­es.  Pen­n’s fas­ci­na­tion with Egypt led her to vis­it twice, once with oth­er meta­phys­i­cal teach­ers, and again as tour leader.  Her lat­est CDs are“Helwa!”, from Suite Ancient Egypt ‚and Dark­ness Vis­i­ble.  You can read more on and  Sec­tions of What Springs to Mind, her book on cre­ative writ­ing, are up on The Asso­ci­a­tion of Cana­di­an Stud­ies and the Cana­da Coun­cil spon­sored Pen­n’s read­ing tours through­out India and Brazil.  She has per­formed at arts fes­ti­vals and con­fer­ences around the world, includ­ing two Find­horn Arts Fes­ti­vals and the Glas­ton­bury God­dess Con­fer­ence.  She is Cana­da Coun­cil writer-in-res­i­dence at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Ontario, 2009-10.

Invest­ment in You (North Amer­i­can lin­go for fee): $100. Before Sep­tem­ber 1: $60.
As spaces in the work­shop are very lim­it­ed, your place will be reserved as soon as we receive your payment.
Please send your cheque to Pen­das Pro­duc­tions, 525 Can­ter­bury Road, Lon­don ON N6G2N5.
No refunds, sorry.