Below you will find information about the workshops that will be running during the December Poetry Carousel. A third of the places are already gone for this residential weekend, so if you’re thinking of coming, I would advise you to book sooner rather than later!
The Carousel runs from the 8th-11th December 2017 at Abbot Hall Hotel, Kents Bank, Grange Over Sands. Participants will take part in a 2 hour workshop each day with one of the tutors. They will have the afternoon free to write, before coming together in the evening to be entertained by readings from the four tutors and special guest poet (to be announced).
I asked David Morley, Steve Ely and Hilda Sheehan to design a workshop based around something that they were passionate and excited about – I’m sure you will agree that the four workshops below are four exciting and different ways of looking at writing poetry.
If you’d like to book a place on the Carousel, please get in touch with Abbot Hall Hotel on 015395 32896. If you have any questions about the content of the course, you can contact me directly – details on my Contacts page.
Natural Magic – David Morley
I trained as a freshwater ecologist in The Lake District not far from where our workshops will take place. I enjoyed the fieldwork! Being out in glorious landscapes – paying close attention to the natural world – made me wake up as a writer. My apprenticeship as an ecologist was also my apprenticeship as a poet. It trained me to attend to what is often overlooked: ‘to see a world in a grain of sand’. It helped me sense patterns in the natural world that could be translated in language, images and poems. It made me sound out the acoustics of birdsong, the flow of rivers, of silence even, and how these could also be the sources for a natural poetic language. In our workshop we will explore and write poems that take their language, power and magic from the world around us. The first thing we shall do is bring the world into the room.
Writing the Dead – Steve Ely
Death – and the dead – have been a resource for poets since the dawn of poetry and song. However, in this workshop participants will go beyond elegy, eulogy and personal writing about bereavement (for example) to write from the points of view of the dead, engaging them in post-mortem dialogue and deploying their voices and perspectives to explore and develop their own thematic obsessions. Participants will consider a range of modern and contemporary poems that utilise the dead in this way, in doing so achieving a paradoxical, life-affirming utterance.
Consequently the Tongue is a Chair* – Hilda Sheehan
Consequently the Tongue is a Chair*: exploring surrealism and absurdist writing to create poems that are alive, exciting, and strange.
Through the realms of play, freedom and possibility, we’ll explore new ways of seeing reality to bring about an element of surprise and perhaps more humour to our work. We’ll look at several techniques that can spark the imagination and lead to new creative strategies in the absence of any control exercised by reason!
*from ‘The Domestic Stones’ by Hans Arp (Translated by David Gascoyne)
Veiling the Narrative – Kim Moore
What are the different ways of ‘veiling the narrative’ in poetry and should we try and do this at all? During this workshop we’ll be looking at different ways of telling a story in our poem. Using techniques such as fragmentation and repetition, we will experiment with the idea of holding back or telling all. We’ll look at the use of images to create a narrative, and how we can construct a narrative arc in poetry.