David Whyte

NOTE: All Keynote Speaker sessions are included in a Conference Registration, and are available for Single Ticket purchase.

Keynote Address: Thursday, February 13 – 1:30
Poetry and The Pilgrim Path: The Art of Asking the Beautiful Question

Monday Workshop: February 17, 9am – 1pm
Writing’s Secret Way: The Art of Asking for Invisible Help

(meets at the Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, Zona Centro).

Session 7: Daily Workshop # 707 – Sunday, February 16 — 9:00 AM
What to Remember When Waking: The Poetic Disciplines of An Everyday Life

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San Miguel Writers' ConferenceThe author of seven books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.

His life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit; the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry; and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership.

An Associate Fellow at Templeton College and Said Business School at the University of Oxford, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many European, American and international companies. In spring of 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Neumann College, Pennsylvania.

Poet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Keynote Address: Poetry and The Pilgrim Path: The Art of Asking the Beautiful Question
A pilgrimage calls us to an internal migration, a path running parallel to the outer road. With each step, the question we set out with evolves, winnowing through our surface concerns to what lies beneath. 

Join David Whyte for a unique combination of poetry, humor and insight looking at the great questions of human life through the eyes of the pilgrim: someone passing through relatively quickly, someone looking for the biggest context it’s possible to find or imagine, someone dependent on friendship, hospitality and help from friends and strangers alike, someone subject to the vagaries of wind and weather along the way.

David will look at the necessities for hardiness, shelter, risk, companionship, and vulnerability; for asking the beautiful question beneath the question, the question large enough to meet the world.

Monday Workshop: February 17, 9am – 1pm
Writing’s Secret Way: The Art of Asking for Invisible Help

(meets at the Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, Zona Centro).

Too much writing is an attempt to write down what the strategic and conscious mind thinks it knows already. Real alchemy in poetry or prose occurs at the frontier between what we think we are and what we are about to become; what we believe of the world and what is about to overwhelm us, often against our will.

Good writing is a conversation between seemingly immovable and movable worlds, and is made real by the writer asking beautiful and difficult questions that shape a living, breathing identity that is ripe for surprise and revelation. The writer’s practice is to cultivate a friendship with the unknown, to overhear their own voice speaking out of that unknown into the world and to ask for help along the way from those elemental powers encountered on the pilgrim road to discovery.

Session 7: Daily Workshop # 707 – Sunday, February 16 — 9:00 AM
What to Remember When Waking: The Poetic Disciplines of An Everyday Life
This session is FULL.

Most of us have talents and qualities that live in isolation from the world, never finding a proper outlet or focus. This can lead to a sense of aimless, endless adaptation, rather than a growing feeling of belonging and generosity. There are ways and means of building this sense of belonging; disciplines that develop real maturity in a human being.

It is important to recognize that what we look for is not untrammeled happiness or nonstop creative output, but a conversation large enough to encompass the profound triumphs and difficulties of the most ordinary human life.

David Whyte will use poetry to explore the cyclical, conversational nature of creativity and the disciplines that can create an identity robust enough to meet its gifts and demands.