Quote from Octavio Paz reads: When we learn to speak, we learn to translate"

Dark Angels Note 141

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



This week marks the birthday of Octavio Paz (31 March 1914 – 19 April 1998).

Paz was a Mexican poet, essayist and diplomat who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990 “for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.”

He published his first collection of poetry, Luna Silvestre, at the age of 19, but is most well-known for his collection of essays, El Laberinto de la Soledad, that examines the culture and history of his homeland. He went on to write more than 40 books, his work greatly influenced by his travels as a diplomat.



‘..all his writing grew out of his commitment to poetry.’

He practised poetry like a ‘secret religion’. Starting as a teenager, he used it to connect with himself, others around him, the past and the present.

Read: Octavio Paz: In Defense of Poetry – an article by Edward Hirsch on The New York Times archive written shortly after Paz’s death in 1998.



Think back to a time when your travels took you somewhere that had an impact on your view of the world. What happened? Where were you? What was it about that trip that shifted something in you and how did that shape your way of thinking in the days and years after that?



Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.



Dark Angels & 26 poetry event

Wednesday 5 April at 7pm (UK time), on Zoom.

We’re delighted to invite you to a joint gathering for Dark Angels and 26 members, co-hosted by Neil Baker and Martin Clarkson. Therese, Tim and John will give readings from Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets — Book One’, as well as being in conversation with Neil and Martin. It promises to be a poetry event different from any other.

Register here.


Starter Day, 17 May 2023

This one-day course in central London will introduce you to some of the core ideas and practices that underpin the Dark Angels approach to writing – whether that’s writing for work or for your own creative expression.

Find out more here.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


Hearts, Inspired, 16-21 June 2023

Join us for a 5-day writing retreat on Whidbey Island, in the US Pacific Northwest. We’ll explore writing, creativity and inspiration through guided writing, personal projects and time in nature.

Find out more here.


Words Are Seeds, 19-23 June 2023

Five days of writing, rituals and nature connection at Bore Place over the summer solstice. We’re expecting a lively, stimulating and playful experience, with plenty of time for individual pondering, wondering and wandering – and writing.

Find out more here.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels