Jeju is home to a disproportionate number of artists -- visual, literary, performing -- as well as fine craftspeople. Perhaps it's the inspiration of Jeju's bucolic setting and a connection to Nature that encourages artistic endeavor. Possibly it's the peaceful atmosphere and slow pace of island life that provides one with the time and mental clarity to appreciate art in all its forms. Or maybe it's just the fresh air and the brilliant light, much as early 20th century French expressionists discovered along the Mediterranean coast.
No matter: art, it seems, is in the Jeju wind. Or water. Or rocky soil.
A new writers' group, Jeju Wordsmiths, has formed at the initiation of Josh Fisher, an English instructor at Jeju National University. Created for the purpose of peer critique and support, this eclectic group of 20 or so writers spans the gamut of writing styles: poetry, short stories and essays, newspaper and magazine articles, blogging, novels, nonfiction, scholarly research. With any luck, lyric composition and screen-/scriptwriting will also emerge. English is currently the linguistic medium of the group, which consists of native English speakers. Some are published writers / authors, others aspiring to publish, while still others write solely as a matter of creative expression, for self-satisfaction or personal development.
"I organized this group for the writers of the island,” Josh recently shared. “We live in such a beautiful place full of people whose talent, ripe, hangs from trees. This group is for the pickers of that fruit, looking to learn from those around them, to grow as writers.”
The group has held its inaugural meeting as of this date, and intends to meet monthly. In addition to providing a forum for exposing one's written work in order to receive feedback, the group inherently serves as a network for sharing ideas, literary references, information about writing workshops and publishing venues, and potential collaborative endeavors. With its membership already actively engaged online, Jeju Wordsmiths holds potential for contributing to literary excellence on Jeju and beyond.
“The creativity on this island is astounding,” according to member Angela Jacobus. “What's even better: the creative community supports and nurtures each others' talents. This group is an example of that.”
For more information, contact group organizer Josh Fisher at: Jejuwordsmiths@groups.facebook.com. <Jeju Weekly>
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