It is impossible to avoid using words like "rollicking" or "hearty" when describing this wonderful singing journey
along the West Coast of Ireland, especially when the aim is to sing sea shanties and folk songs
in pubs and with local communities.
OCTOBER 7 - 21, 2023
Singer/songwriter Damian Howard, part of the musical Howard clan, will lead Sea Shantying with a host of wonderful Irish singers and musicians.
Damian has toured Ireland extensively, written an album on the Kelly gang, and is well connected to the Irish musical and folk scene in a profound way.
THE STORY HUNTERS are travellers with a mission - to collect that which is most prized to the travel writers mind - a story that resonates within you, and through the telling, may illuminate the lives of others. Over 2 weeks and with the help of multiple translators and guides accompanied by a world class writing facilitator, you will be granted access to the most poignant stories: deep, moving, complex stories: like nomadic Rajasthani gypsies who still constantly move across the Thar Desert on their rickety caravans; henna artists with a lineage of hundreds of years; immigrant workers far from their villages and families; all fuelled by a mix of belief, acceptance, necessity, tradition and some dogged internal strength.
The program traverses country that itself forms an epic storyline: Jaisalmer, close enough to Pakistan that you can feel it, is set in the beautiful Thar Desert, its yellow fort still standing after 700 years and giving shelter to families and castes who have inhabited the narrow alleys for hundreds of years. Varanasi, the great spiritual magnet of Indians wanting to to live a holy life now and secure an even holier death by being cremated by the banks of the Ganga. Delhi, the complex throbbing seat of government and millions of lives.
A small group of 12 - 15 writers will be accompanied by English speaking guides and Jan Cornall, a wonderful facilitator who will lead regular workshops. Stories are teased out of the people we meet, from talks by local experts, by the extraordinary places we visit. The insights triggered by the observation of this fascinating world are the inspiration for regular writing opportunities.
The STORY HUNTERS program will be an odyssey. Yes, it is a travel experience, yes, the accomodation will be beautiful and the places we visit extraordinary, yes we will spend Diwali in a magnificent hotel on the banks of the Ganges in Varansi, but none of that is what should excite you the most. It is the possibility that 'story' , the great unquenchable appetite of the writer, will be satisfied like never before, sustaining a world of thought and narrative possibilities.