‘Wyrd goes ever as it must.’
My name is Paul Kingsnorth. I’m an award-winning novelist, poet and essayist, with two decades of writing and editing experience behind me. Between 2009 and 2017, I was co-founder and director of the Dark Mountain Project, a global network of writers and artists centred around the Dark Mountain journal.
As well as writing, I teach and run public events. The Wyrd School is the banner under which I do this. Here you’ll find writing courses, talks and other events which I design myself, sometimes in collaboration with artists, mythologists, craftspeople, storytellers, wilderness guides and other such reprobates. They are usually held in wild or untamed places in Ireland, Britain and continental Europe. All are designed to bring the human and the non-human worlds back into contact, and to help you produce writing and art from the resulting sparks.
Wyrd is an old Anglo-Saxon word, often translated as fate or destiny. The philosophy behind the Wyrd School is that the fate of all of our lives is determined by the wild, living Earth of which we are all a part, though often we forget it.
To put it another way: each of our lives is a story told by the Earth itself.
At their heart, my courses and events offer up a radical proposition: that art which focuses only on human concerns is art half-made. That the living world has something to say to us, and that we have often forgotten how to hear it. When I teach, I aim to help us all to begin listening again. Metaphorically – and sometimes literally – I will take you to the place where civilisation meets the wild wood. When we get there, we will look under the mossy rocks and behind the great tree trunks, and see what we find.
If you are a writer, I also offer a mentoring and manuscript assessment service. If your writing needs sharpening, focusing or otherwise shaking-up, I might be able to help. Find out more.
All the photographs on this website are ©Natasha Lythgoe.