Swinging at the IX Symposium in Orivesi: a poetic and ironic approach to Creative Writing

From the 30th of May to the 1st. of June the EACWP members learned how to swing

la foto(2)

It may not be highly extravagant to say that, this time, the EACWP IX Symposium largely involved much swinging. The word symposium itself, if we pay attention to its inner rhythm, goes up there and comes down here: sym-po-sium. It rocks as a train and rolls like a boat on the Längelmävesi lake, for example, in the trance, perhaps, of an erotic dream. Summer’s the only time for loving said aloud the Finish poet and professor Risto Ahti to all the EACWP audience. Because, clearly, summer’s the only time for swinging. This is somehow a sheer depiction of Orivesi College of Arts, absolutely colored by puutarhakeinu all around (the Finish word to name garden swings).

Hence, it may not be any audacious either to say that the EACWP members fulfilled the expectations in Orivesi of becoming real swingers. By extension, again, all this captures the spirit of Orivesi (maybe also some hidden shadow of the Finish soul) : a blend of poetry and irony, a sort of blossoming poison. Not surprisingly, the Finish national flower —Kielo— is a poisonous, white-hearted lily.

Perhaps, this time, the EACWP members accidentally bit the forbidden flower. How can an accident / be so accurate?, Ahti asks.  “Only playfulness illuminates”, he says. Also because summer is, in Finland, a time for loving, swinging, playing as the sun never sets.  Summer is in itself and irony, a full paradox of cold dark winter. “Irony is an attitude towards life”, Reijo Virtanen, head of the Creative Writing department at Orivesi, writes further. “Being ironical means that you, as a writer, are prepared –anytime– to look at things dialogically, from somebody else’s point of view.” That is to say, from swinging. Swinging is both poetic and ironic: this could actually comprise one of the insights lighted up at this last symposium. It involves air and ground, dreaming and landing.

Br columpio

  • How do we dream Europe by teaching Creative Writing?
  • Is there an European identity when it comes down to Creative Writing?
  • What is the dream behind every method or every technique we teach?
  • Which stories are being told now in Europe?
  • How by teaching Creative Writing are we writing Europe?
These are some of the questions raised from the act of symposium-ing. The Symposium-ing persistence is also an attempt to provide coming answers.