Tuesday 16th August 3pm – Friday 19th August at 12 midday
Abbot Hall Hotel, Grange-Over-Sands, To book ring the hotel direct on 015395 32896
This year’s Poetry Carousel will take place from the 16th August -19th August at Abbot Hall Hotel, Grange Over Sands. The cost of the course will be £330 and this includes workshops, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and three-course evening meals.
The Poetry Carousel is different from the usual residential course in that there are four tutors and up to 32 participants, divided into groups of 8 to have a two hour workshop with each tutor. This year, there will be time in the afternoons to go for a swim in the hotel pool or a walk into Grange along the prom. In the evenings, the whole group meets for dinner and poetry readings.
This year’s team of tutors includes myself, Clare Shaw, Saskia Stehouwer and Tsead Bruinja. You can find more information about the tutors here
Below is a brief summary of the four workshops that the tutors will be running. As you can see, they are very different!
The Poetry Carousel is suitable for beginners or more experienced writers. Please get in touch for more information.
Workshop: Flood. Fire. Storm.
Disasters happen, sometimes on the grandest scale. Poetry offers one of the most powerful forms of language for documenting the experience and impact of natural calamities – at a global and individual level. Likewise, poets have long drawn on the flood, the fire and the storm as powerful metaphors for their own troubles. In this workshop, we’ll draw from examples to inform and inspire us to document natural events we have lived through; and to explore their potential for expressing a truth about our individual lives.
Workshop: Illuminated Moments
All of us carry moments of experience which stay with us for the rest of our lives. How do we write about those moments without slipping into sentimentality or melodrama? Writing a poem about a moment that is important to us can capture it forever, reaching beyond the bounds of our own lives into the universality of human experience. During this workshop we will be looking at different techniques for using our own lives, and our remembered moments, as material.
Workshop: Going Dutch
Together with Dutch poet Tsead Bruinja you’ll be discovering the poetry from the low lands by reading, listening to and discussing ten of Bruinja’s favourite poems. This workshop will take a look at different strategies used in modern Dutch poetry. We will focus on ways of using characters in your poems, playing with repetition and how to deal with distraction. We’ll try to include the thoughts we normally try to keep out of our poems, like “ what do the fly and I mean to each other?”
Writing from space
Paradoxically, being in a state of stillness can be very helpful for writing. Quieting the chatter in our minds provides space and stimulates a receptive attitude, so that our own words can come to the surface. By focusing on the breath, the body and our imagination, as well as by being in nature, we can enter a more open, effortless state from which writing flows more easily. In this workshop, we will explore mindfulness, visualisation and other creative exercises to guide ourselves into this space. We will also take a short sensory walk in nature to stimulate the senses and become more perceptive. And from that space, to paraphrase Natalie Goldberg, we will “walk into poetry with our entire bodies”.