Artist Conversations: Bronwyn Preece on Writing the Relationship to “Place”

Artist Conversations: Bronwyn Preece on Writing the Relationship to “Place”

UPDATE: This event has been cancelled. Refunds will be issued to those who have already registered. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

Whether you are an established writer, looking to pursue your writing in a more serious way, or interested in viewing the world through a new lens, you don’t want to miss Penning This Place: Writing Whistler’s Literary Landscapes on November 3. Led by the talented Bronwyn Preece, the workshop will help you explore and develop your craft in a brand new way.

Inspired by the unique landscape that surrounds us, the workshop will engage you in a range of activities — from solo to small group creations — to develop your writing and explore relationships to place.

We recently caught up with Bronwyn to get to know this inspiring soul a bit more and give you a glimpse into the magic that her exciting workshop has to offer.

Can you give us the 60-second elevator pitch on Bronwyn Preece, author and professional improvisation instructor?

Photo: Serge Gubelman

I am what I term an eARThist — my work, be it my writing or performance work — always incorporates an ecological/social, place-based dimension. Having relocated from the Gulf Islands to Whistler in the past year, it is an honour to be living on this unceded Salish territory.

I am a published children’s book author, poet, and have written book chapters, artistic and academic articles, and served as an editor. I won Whistler’s ‘Poet’s Pause’ competition in the Spring — my poem appears on a plaque in Alta Lake Park, accompanying the public art piece titled ‘Lakeside Couple’.

I am a site-specific improvisational performer, as well as a dabbler in the visual arts.

All of these modalities fuse together in a variety of interdisciplinary forms of expression, which I integrate with my love of the outdoors and hiking. I have just submitted my PhD (in Performance), and hold both a MA and BFA in Applied Theatre. I have had the privilege to perform and facilitate workshops internationally, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this workshop in Whistler, my new home.

What was the impetus for bringing the Penning This Place writing workshop together? What do you hope people take away from it?

Simply: I love to write and I believe that examining our relationships to place — as varied and as eclectic as they may be — offers endless, creative possibilities for new, textured and nuanced perspectives that can creatively enrich our writing and our senses of being and understanding in the places we find ourselves either in, as a local or visitor. It delights me to share this passion with others. I hope to offer participants new ways to approach our writing— in whatever genre — be it for the first time, tentative writer or to help more committed writers with habitual patterns or blocks they may want inspiration to overcome. I hope participants leave feeling inspired and creatively sparked!

(No previous writing experience is necessary… come as you are: perhaps scared to bits of writing, or an eloquent wordsmith… there is a place for you here!  This workshop is accessible to all mobility and ability levels as well!).


Why did you choose the topic of relationship to place for the workshop?

Place is a plurality of possibilities and perspectives: always changing. We, as human, equally, are the same. So how do we fuse our constantly changing negotiations with a place that we may be extremely familiar with, or a place that we may be visiting for the first time?  And how might our impressions, our understandings, our interactions with our enveloping surroundings offer creative springboards for artistic expression?  The possibilities of place are just so vast, ironically, by honing in on the specificities that mark particularities ‘Place’ offers a rich opportunity to platform writing from, about and with.


Could you provide a bit of detail about how the workshop will go?

The way and the contents of the workshop will depend largely on the make-up of the group — who the participants are. I come with years of facilitation under my belt and have a strong background in improvisation, and will shape the workshop’s unfurling accordingly.  We will be doing a variety of exercises, both indoors and outdoors — so please come dressed for the weather (which last time I checked, the forecast was predicting rain!) —  and will incorporate other artistic modalities to inspire our writing. Emphasis will be on exploratory, fun, and supportive experimenting. Some exercises will be collaborative, others more ‘solo’ focused.

Participants should bring a note book and their favourite writing utensils, as well as a lunch.


Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Write… keep writing… trust your intuition… write from the gut… write back’words’… for’words’… break the

‘rules’… re-write the rules-of-right-ing… take breaks, step away, dive in… and keep writing…


What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your favourite subject to write about?

Photo: Yvonne Chew

Writing offers me opportunities to come to new understandings and to reveal refreshing insights about a myriad of topics. I love being surprised by my own writing!

I am an avid hiker, and I have a practice where I write a poem following every hike I do, which synthesizes everything from geographic features, soundbites and feelings that arise, and creates in the end a new composite: shedding a creative light on the footfalls of the day.


Could you tell us something interesting and unusual about yourself?

I lived off-the-grid for twenty years, on Lasqueti Island, which is served by a passenger-only ferry.


If you could recommend some other writers for people to check out, who would they be and why?

I love the writing Jay Griffiths Savage Grace and David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous.

**THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Refunds will be issued to those who have already registered. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.**

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