Home > Event > Orasaigh: Writing the Apocalyptic Landscape

Black and white photo of Steve Ely standing outside next to rusted railings, with machair land and a small hilled island behind him.

Orasaigh: Writing the Apocalyptic Landscape

Creative Writing Workshop

Join poet Steve Ely, author of Orasaigh, in a creative writing workshop that will take place in the powerfully evocative landscape of the tidal island that inspired his poem.  Steve will share insights about the writing of the poem and the poem’s nature as a doubly apocalyptic landscape poem: one which transforms landscape in the dual contexts of the writer’s highly subjective vision and the global emergency of the Anthropocene.  Along the way, Steve will provide writing prompts and activities that will allow participants to respond to the Orasaigh landscape in their own way – in poetry or prose – or, in imagination, turn their creative attention to other landscapes that may be important to them.

Additional information:

  • The workshop is open to writers of all experiences – from complete beginners to Nobel Prize winners.  No experience required, just a willingness to get involved.
  • Participants will meet at Cnoc Soilleir for a brief orientation and set up before making the short journey to Orasaigh where the workshop will take place during a short and leisurely walk in the Orasaigh landscape.
  • If the weather is bad, the workshop will take place at Cnoc Soilleir. 
  • Bring a notebook and pen, and wear footwear and clothing suitable for the machair and the beach!

This workshop is held in conjunction with the Orasaigh exhibition at Cnoc Soilleir.  The following workshops are also available to book now:

Workshops are free, but spaces are limited so booking is recommended.

Steve Ely is an award-winning poet and writer based in Yorkshire, England.  He has published several books of poetry, including The European Eel (2021), Lectio Violant (2021) and Englaland (2015), a novel, Ratmen (2012) and a biographical account of the poetic formation of the English poet Ted Hughes—Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire (2015).  He teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, where is also Director of the Ted Hughes Network, a public-facing research centre focused on the work of the poet..  He is a frequent visitor to South Uist, and his book-length poem, Orasaigh, a collaboration with Uist-based photographer Michael Faint, will be published by Broken Sleep books in August 2024.