The mountain village of Deià has been a magnet for poets, artists, and other writers for more than a century. It’s not really surprising, as it nestles in the Tramuntana mountains, with gorgeous views of the Mediterranean below. Who wouldn’t be inspired by such a setting?
The 5-star Belmond La Residencia in Deià has strong cultural links. It’s the venue for concerts during the summer and boasts a Steinway piano dating from 1887, originally inaugurated by the Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz. The hotel has a permanent exhibition of art (and there are some 800 original works of art around the hotel), and a studio for their artist, sculptor and ceramist in residence.
Writers including Robert Graves, Alan Sillitoe, Robert Creeley, D H Lawrence, and Anthony Burgess have all written in the village. So it has to be a great place for a writing course, surely?
Writer in residence
Belmond La Residencia has further boosted its cultural credentials with a writer in residence for 2015. Prolific British author and dramatist Di Redmond has more than 20 years’ experience of writing stage plays, children’s books, adult novels, scripts for TV and radio. Di will lead a five-day residential writing course from October 4th-10th this year, based at the hotel.
A maximum of ten writers – of all levels and across various genres – will take part in morning workshops under Di’s guidance, working one-on-one with the tutor or in small groups. Afternoons will be free for further writing. A visit to Robert Graves’s former home, now a museum, is a definite.
Itching to write
Di says: “The very beauty of Deià generates creative thought, ideas crowd in, sentences are formed unbidden in your head, you reach for a pen, you literally itch to write!”
I was at the hotel last Friday for a lunch and must admit to feeling some strong writerly stirrings whilst there. In fact, I didn’t want to leave the place. Sitting on the terrace, gazing across at the huddled houses of the village and the mighty mountains was a highlight of last week. Perhaps it’s because Deià is the village at the heart of a novel I’ve been (slowly) working on for several years . . .
Di Redmond is my guest on this Thursday’s radio programme ‘Luxury lifestyle by abcMallorca’ on Mallorca Sunshine Radio, from 10:00-11:00h CET on 106.1FM. Listen online or download their free app for Android or iOS.