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New reading/writing group: Notes to Self (Emilie Pine)

Sun Mar 08, 2020

New reading/writing group: Notes to Self (Emilie Pine)

Time Sun Mar 08 2020 at 01:00 pm to 03:00 pm

Maureen's, 14 John Redmond Street, Shandon, Cork T23 FT65, Bantry, Ireland


New reading/writing group: Notes to Self (Emilie Pine)

"Emilie Pine's Notes to Self is a story for all of us. In six spellbinding essays she writes of caring for her alcoholic father, the childhood pain of her parents' separation, her unboundaried teenage years, infertility and sexual violence. And, ultimately, once the unsayable has been said, the joy of letting go."

Notes to Self did what Anne Enright promised it would do on the front cover - it made me cry – and it has also inspired me to form a book group/ creative writing group. The honesty and intimacy in Emilie’s writing made me feel as though I was having a conversation with a close friend . . . and the experience of reading it feels incomplete without having this conversation with real-life friends.

So, during this meeting I will facilitate a group discussion of the book as well as providing a space for you to write a short creative piece in response to it. Ideally you'll have read all 5 essays in the book in advance.

My hope is that some of the people who attend this first meeting to discuss Notes To Self will want to go on to form a group that meets regularly (approximately once per month), where half of the time is spent discussing a book/story/poem and half is spent on writing creatively and sharing this work with the group.


In 2007 I completed an MA in Creative Writing for Personal Development at the University of Sussex. Since then I have mainly written songs, as well as about three shelf-fulls of journals. My view of he role that writing plays in my life is that it is a resource – a tool that helps me meet a broad range of needs. Sometimes I might work towards a finished ‘product’ such as a song, and that sense of completion can bring a deep satisfaction . . . but I also use writing for processing emotion or to clarify my thoughts, and then the pleasure comes from the fact that the writing is messy, unfinished and uncensored.

Each of you will have a unique relationship with writing, and will want slightly different things from the group. Some of you may want to use the group’s feedback to help you develop the craft of writing. Others may want to use the group to try out expressing yourself in new ways, or to give voice to something that has previously felt unsayable. It’s also fine by me if you want to sing a song or recite a poem written by somebody else just for the sake of practicing sharing your love of it in public and seeing how that feels . . . or you want to share a dream you’ve had that felt important. I encourage a spirit of experimentation.

As the group’s facilitator, my intention is to create the emotional safety that is necessary for people to take creative risks. I recognise that sharing and receiving feedback on creative work can feel very vulnerable, and also that giving constructive feedback is a skill that not everybody has. I will provide clear guidelines on how to ask for the specific type of feedback you want, as well as guidance on how to further develop your capacity to respond to other people’s writing.

Another important thing for you to know is that I will have to INCLUDE THE BODY. In our culture, the body is all too often the elephant in the room that doesn’t get mentioned . . . and well, I can’t help but mention it. This means that during our meetings I will sometimes remind you to pay attention to your breath, and encourage you to notice any subtle sensations/ shifts you might be experiencing in your body as you speak or as you listen.
In the sense that I include this body-awareness component, there will be an aspect of our meetings that will support personal development, but it is not therapy. My intention is simply to support you to embody more confidence when it comes to using your voice. In time maybe you’ll notice an ability to speak with more clarity, be less apologetic, and say what you really think and feel with less fear and more grace. And that's what, in my opinion, Notes to Self is really about.

“I am afraid of being the disruptive woman. And of not being disruptive enough. I am afraid, but I am doing it anyway . . .” Emilie Pine

*Tickets for this event are free but booking is essential.

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Tickets for New reading/writing group: Notes to Self (Emilie Pine) can be booked here.

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Nearby Hotels Maureen's, 14 John Redmond Street, Shandon, Cork T23 FT65, Bantry, Ireland
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Maureen's, 14 John Redmond Street, Shandon, Cork T23 FT65, Bantry, Ireland


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