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Scottish Writers' Centre

Creative partnerships and the idea of the muse Gala Éluard/Dalí with A C Clarke

Tue 4 October 2022

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Wheelchair accessible

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A photograph of A C Clarke smiling at the camera, she has short white hair and wears a silk scarf and a lavender jacket

A C Clarke

Join us for a special evening with A C Clarke on Tuesday 4/10/22 discussing the Creative partnerships and the idea of the muse: Gala Éluard/Dalí and her circle

A C Clarke:
"Creative partnerships and the idea of the muse: Gala Éluard/Dalí and her circle The idea of the muse is ancient and in classical times had a very specific meaning but in modern times the term ‘muse’ has been applied to a great many women (it is nearly always women) simply because a writer or artist made them a frequent subject and was having or aspiring to have a sexual relationship with them at the time.

Gala, the first wife of the surrealist poet Paul Éluard and later the wife of the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, was in my view one of the few such women who could truly be called a muse. In this talk I hope to show the ways in which she fulfilled this role, look at why others who have been called muses were not muses in my sense of the word, and widen it out to look at creative partnerships in general. It will be illustrated with quotations from the work of both Éluard and Dalí and poems from my pamphlet Wedding Grief, centred on the marriage of Éluard and Dalí, which came out from Tapsalteerie last year.

The lives of Gala, her husbands and their circle were rich and colourful, and lived against the backdrop of interwar Paris and in the shadow of approaching war. I hope that my talk will prove entertaining as well as informative and stimulate further discussion of the nature of inspiration."

A C Clarke has published five full collections and six pamphlets, two of the latter, Owersettin and Drochaid, in collaboration with Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton. Her fifth full collection, A Troubling Woman came out in 2017. She was one of four winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War Baby. She has been working on an extensive series of poems about Paul and Gala Éluard, later Gala Dalí, and the Surrealist circles in which they moved. The first set of these was published as a pamphlet by Tapsalteerie last year (2021). This year a full collection based on the same material, Alive Among Dead Stars, was longlisted for the Black Spring Back of the Drawer competition.




Event Type






7:00pm — 9:00pm




Tickets: £0-£5


Wheelchair accessible

Relaxed event

Tickets no longer available