Writing Workshops, Gatherings, and Retreats

Kahini is a global collective of independent artists and writers living in India, New Zealand, Uganda, and the United States.

We host the annual Kaua’i Writing Residencies, the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat, the Kāpiti Series, the Kolkata Writing Residency, and the Kampala Writing Residency.

These programs provide the space and opportunity to create, revise, and develop new work; deepen our creative practice; and finalise work for publication and/or public performance.

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The 2019 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat: A Recap

Thank you to everyone who was part of the 2019 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat: our teaching writers – Brannavan Gnanalingam, James George, Lynn Jenner, Mandy Hager, Vana Manasiadis and Whiti Hereaka – our volunteers and of course our participants!

Here are some thoughts from this year’s participants on the Retreat:

The Kapiti Writers retreat was like a home coming. I left feeling nourished and nurtured, attaining more knowledge and confidence to step firmly into my life as a writer. Thanks to all those who shared their wisdom, words and energy of encouragement throughout the weekend. Careoline-Charlotte.

Without exaggeration, this retreat is one of the high points of my year. I can’t wait to come back.

Writers are practitioners of a peaceful form of magic and many spells were cast at Kapiti/Kahini 2019.” Linda Hansen

Top class workshops, run in a peaceful retreat environment. Small groups, varied topics and styles. Something for everyone and value for money. Jane Cullinane, Tairua Coromandel

A perfect way to connect with other writers who are at all stages in their writing journey – no expectations to be anything other than what you are. Keeps my writing juices going until the next time. Merilyn Bartholomew

A huge thank you to Kirsten for being so accommodating, assisting us with our travel and your strong leadership in a very approachable and gentle way. I hope you get the rest you deserve!

I came away feeling deeply grounded. Far better than those exciting moments of inspiration that flash and then disappear as quickly. This groundedness will stay for some time, I know. It is like I have started to integrate my writerliness into my whole life and that makes me feel more myself. For me, a spiritual experience – something I just didn’t expect. I look forward to meeting up with new friends at future events and continuing to grow and develop. Kia kaha, Kirsten. The tone you set and the way you so calmly made things happen as they were meant to were fundamental to the mood and feeling of the retreat. Germana

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5 Quick Questions with Vana Manasiadis

Vana ManasiadisWriter and teacher Vana Manasiadis answers our 5 quick questions. She’ll be taking a workshop on writing and walking at the 2019 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat.

1. Tell us more about walking and writing. Is this your main writing practice?

Walking and writing are ancient friends. Even when we’re not actively finding a spot to write something down during walking or wandering, I’d like to think that writers and other creative arts practitioners observe, think and process when out in the world.  So yes, I would say it is a main writing practice for me.

2. You mention walking and writing as offering new possibilities for collaboration in what can often be a solitary profession. How do you bring collaborative processes into your writing practice?

Again I see walking and being in the world as a collaborative experience by default. Scientists and philosophers are no longer talking about single organic entities, human beings are being described as compound entities that are in fact made up of other life-forms for example bacteria. Victorian boundaries are finally shifting back to encompass  ideas long held by many non western cultures, of all being and creative practice as being collaborative, symbiotic and with fluid borders. Listening, reading, seeing, and actively interacting with others, are all collaborative practices that take place during walking and writing.

3. As well as being a writer, you’re a translator between Greek and English. How do you think that bilingualism has affected your writing and teaching?

Movement between languages and linguistic or poetic forms is humbling. There is no one right, genius meaning or concept. And openness to possibility, alternatives and to surrender are crucial in translation. It is possible to inhabit two or many realities at once, and to interrogate the rule book and to listen.

4. Do you tend towards one language or another when you write?

I would say that different languages inhabit different spaces concurrently, and that my understanding of English as a second generation Greek person is different to a Pākehā New Zealander’s who may have grown up in Aotearoa/New Zealand speaking English as their native and perhaps only tongue. My English is a Greek-English hybrid at best – even when it doesn’t look like it. The Greek is always informing its production.

5. Can you tell us a little about what participants should expect from your workshop?

Walking and talking and writing and being in, and responding to, space and spaces. People should wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat, and carry a cushion of they’d like to sit on it when we stop!

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