Quote by Walt Whitman reads: “I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.” Background image is crumpled paper.

Dark Angels Note 150

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



This week marks the birthday of American poet, journalist and essayist Walt Whitman (31 May 1819 – 26 March 1892).

Whitman started work in the printing trade at the age of 12, igniting his love of the written word. He went on to work as a teacher and journalist.

His landmark collection Leaves of Grass was first self-published in a self-funded thin volume in 1855. A further eight editions were published during his life as more work was added to the original collection.

Whitman is considered one of America’s most important poets, influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and in turn influencing later poets. His work celebrates life, nature and friendships.



“Sometimes, a painting in words is worth a thousand pictures.” – Maria Popova

Delve into Whitman’s image in literature that captures the synchronised and multi-dimensional spectacle of migrating birds.

Read: The Unphotographable: Walt Whitman on Birds Migrating at Midnight on The Marginalian.



Be on the lookout for something remarkable. Something that, when you really think about it, would be impossible to capture completely in just a photo. Can you develop the image with words?

Create your own ‘unphoto’ in 150 words.



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






Writing What We Hear, 8 September 2023

Join us for a one-day workshop in Highgate Woods to explore what it means to really listen, and to see how we can use whatever we hear as inspiration for writing.

There is one early bird ticket left, and still some scholar places, for people who can’t afford the normal ticket price just now.

Get your tickets 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.


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.


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.

Sold out – join the waiting list.


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

From everyone at Dark Angels