1. 01. Life Writing – a workshop on memoir facilitated by Dawn Garisch

    Dawn Garisch has had five novels, a work of non-fiction and a collection of poetry published, a play and short film produced, and has written for television, magazines and newspapers. Three novels have been published in the UK. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. A non-fiction work, Eloquent Body, and a memoir, Dance With Suitcase, were published recently. She runs workshops on writing and creative method, is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town. In August, she will be hosting her popular course Life Writing:


    ‘here I am once again,
    disguised as myself’

    from About Death and Other Things by Aleksandar Ristovic

    Life writing is not only about developing technical skills. It is also a way to reflect and grow awareness. The tools we need to write about what we imagine we know best – our memories and desires – are also tools we need to live more creatively, less anxiously. If you are writing fiction or poetry, life writing skills help to deepen observation.

    We each have life motifs or themes that are more or less unconscious. Yet a distinctive and evolving pattern binds our journey from birth to death into a whole coherent piece. Getting to know more about the story we are living helps us to ride our stories, rather than our stories riding us.

    Imagination is an extraordinary tool. Over five mornings we will reclaim imagination as a means to release ourselves into awe and creativity, connectedness and purpose, awareness and pleasure. Through identifying and engaging with the images that shape our time on earth, we will find refreshing approaches to put our personal stories down on the page.

    Beginner writers are welcome.

    Fee:          R1600 (a deposit of R600 secures your place)

    Dates:    :   9am – 1pm daily

    To book: Email Dawn, at dawn.garisch@gmail.com


    Previous participants’ experiences:

    I found Dawn Garisch’s memoir-writing course extremely useful and helpful: she provided a structure that held all of us would-be memoirists firmly to our task, while at the same time helping us to get in touch with our senses, our fears, our dreams, our stories. The image that comes to mind is of holding tight to the golden thread that will allow us to go down to the depths and emerge again, unscathed though not unchanged. The sense of community and support that is born of twenty-odd people meeting daily for four days to address themselves to such a deeply individual task was also one of the unexpected pleasures of the experience. I would heartily recommend this course.”

    – Athalie Crawford

    This course helped me to break through the block created by my own diffidence and reluctance, enabling me to find and become confident in the thread I must pursue in order to be true to myself. Dawn created an atmosphere of trust in which the participants felt free to go as far as they wished on this journey into memory and onto the page. The structure of the course was well thought out and effective, both day by day and as a whole. An unusual, highly effective and striking aspect of Dawn’s facilitative work is her insistence that writing, memory and creativity are not simply to be found in the ‘head’, but are lodged in and distributed through the ‘memory’ to be discovered in the body itself. The course was enlightening, stimulating, moving and fun.”
    – John Cartwright

    “Dawn’s memoir writing workshop was a finely crafted and facilitated process that encouraged and enabled us to write. My creativity was stimulated by her use of poetry and prose, her listening and sensing exercises, her considerable knowledge and experience of the act of writing, and her easy manner when it came to holding and guiding the group and the process. In short: an excellent and productive experience!”

    Judy Bekker

    “The evaluations from your students indicate that many felt they benefitted greatly from your facilitation and encouragement to draw on their own inner resources to spark their writing, and that through this they gained knowledge about themselves and insights that were highly enriching to the writing process. They were given some methodology and tools and felt supported and enabled to be self-reliant in their work. Although this made others used to a more didactic approach insecure at first, they adapted to it and acknowledged its value.”
    Feedback from UCT Summer School 2012


  2. 02. Runners Meditation

    “you’re running alone,” she says.

    I laugh. put my earphones back in

    turn the corner, yes I am running


    it is the only way I can learn

    what it feels alike to listen

    to my legs

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