Belmond La Residencia has been an integral part of the cultural life of Deia since 1984. Up until now, however, it’s fair to say that the hotel’s activities have tended more towards supporting art, sculpture and music.
In 2017, there will be a most welcome literary slant to events at Belmond La Residencia.
The poet Robert Graves put Deia on the map. He was responsible for an extraordinary roll call of writers visiting the village, including Kingsley Amis and the great, underrated Richard Hughes.
Other writers who have spent time here include Luke Rhinehart, Anthony Burgess and Edna O’Brien – who I believe stayed at Belmond La Residencia while writing The High Road (1989). This mad, overheated but highly entertaining book is set in a thinly disguised Deia never named but memorably described at one point as a ‘sprawling fortress’.
If you’re intrigued by literary depictions of Deia, track down a copy of The High Road.
The new Poets’ Walk at Belmond La Residencia features the profiles of Robert Graves and other distinguished poets worked in metal adorning circular granite columns. Beside each is a bench where visitors can sit and read or meditate on the wonderfully inspiring vistas.
Alongside Robert Graves are Miquel Costa i Llobera, a local poet who evoked nature in many of his works, Spanish writers Federico García Lorca and José Bergamín Gutiérrez and the Chilean Pablo Neruda.
In May of this year, a poetry reading will take place at the Poets’ Walk. Poems by Graves, García Lorca, José Bergamín, Pablo Neruda and Costa i Llobera will be read out in their original languages.
Shakespeare under the stars
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the most magical of Shakespeare’s plays. So it’s fitting that this it will be the first play performed outdoors under the stars in Belmond La Residencia’s beautiful garden. It will be performed by Palma’s Morgan Theatre Production Company in the round and accompanied by music.
There will be two performances, on 20th and 27th July 2017 at 9 pm.
A memoir writing workshop with Allegra Huston
Between 22 and 27 October, acclaimed memoirist, journalist, editor, screen writer and film producer Allegra Huston will offer a Memoir Writing Workshop at Belmond La Residencia. Allegra has previously given workshops at venues that include the highly respected Arvon Foundation in the UK.
Until she was an adolescent, Allegra, sister of Angelica Huston, believed legendary film director John Huston was her father. It was then that she discovered she’d actually been legally adopted by him. Her acclaimed memoir 2009 Love Child tells of her shock at discovering she was really the daughter of British aristocrat and historian John Julius Norwich. The Guardian described Love Child as ‘a delicate memoir of displacement’.
Say My Name, Allegra’s first novel, will be published in 2017.
This extremely tempting workshop includes include two one-to-one tutorials for everyone who takes part. The cost is E1650 and participants who stay at Belmond La Residencia enjoy a 20% discount on the room rate.
Register for the workshop here.
For Louise Davis, Public Relations Manager of Belmond La Residencia, the literary year is ‘a wonderful opportunity to play our part in celebrating Deia’s unique literary tradition, offer an excellent opportunity for budding writers to learn from a master and, we hope, inaugurate a tradition of honouring the written and spoken word in an outstandingly beautiful setting.’