Candle & Hardcover Book
  • Lake View Rooms (Shared Washrooms) – CAD $650.00
  • Private Room (Single or Double Bed; Shared Washroom) – CAD $580.00
  • Nazareth House King Bed (Ensuite) – CAD $650.00
  • Commuter – CAD $415.00

Date & Time Details: Starts September 1 | 3:30 PM Completes September 3 | 1:30 PM

Location: Bethlehem Centre

Address: 2371 Arbot Road, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

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Generative Poetry-as-Prayer Retreat

With Richard Osler

September 1 - 3, 2023

Come, then, Flame of Love — a word from the Poetry-as-Prayer Retreat Facilitator Richard Osler

The title for this Poetry-as-Rrayer Retreat comes from these lines by Vittoria Colonna, a dear friend of Michelangelo and celebrated in the 16th Century as the first widely-acknowledged Italian woman poet. 

I write/ from habit, not because I am on fire./…Come, then flame of love: sear me from within/ again. Make me make my song /from silence and hoarse cries…

Please consider this invitation to be seared from within by your own poems transformed into prayers inspired by what Vitorria’s flame of love might be for you this coming September. And discover a truth claimed by Christian Wiman, celebrated poet, essayist, former editor of Poetry and currently a teacher at Yale Divinity School: I have at times experienced in the writing of a poem some access to a power that feels greater than I am…

This retreat is for all seekers with little or no writing experience or those who are experienced writers (poets). The retreat will be fueled by great devotional poetry in three poetry-as-prayer adventures (including a pre-retreat adventure) and at least one in-session adventure.


Richard Osler
Richard Osler, 72, is an experienced poetry therapist, poetry retreat and workshop facilitator and active poet whose full-length poetry collection – Hyaena Season – was released in 2016 by Quattro Books, Toronto. He has facilitated numerous poetry-as-prayer retreats in Canada and the U.S. during the past fifteen years and many general poetry writing retreats including four ten-day retreats in Italy. Currently, he works as a poetry therapist at a residential addiction recovery center near Courtney/Comox on Vancouver Island.  For more information and to read posts from his poetry blog which he has published since 2010 please visit his website at
Learn more about Richard Osler