8th-11th December 2017
Tutors: Kim Moore, David Morley, Steve Ely and Hilda Sheehan
Abbot Hall Hotel, Kents Bank, Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria
£360 includes breakfast, lunch, three course evening meals, accommodation and a two hour workshop with each tutor. Please contact the hotel to book 015395 32896
During this residential, you will work with each tutor for two hours in a group of no more than eight participants. The next day you will move on to the next tutor. In the evenings, all participants come together for poetry readings from the tutors and a guest poet.
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.
David Morley won the Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry in 2016 for The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems and a Cholmondeley Award for his contribution to poetry. His collections include The Gypsy and the Poet, a PBS Recommendation; Enchantment, a Sunday Telegraph Book of the Year; The Invisible Kings, a PBS Recommendation and TLS Book of the year. A dramatic poem The Death of Wisdom Smith, Prince of Gypsies has been published by The Melos Press. David is known for poetry installations within natural landscapes: ‘slow poetry’ sculptures and poetry films. A Professor at Warwick University and Monash University, David is also a National Teaching Fellow.
‘Like opening a box of fireworks; something theatrical happens when you open its pages, and a curtain is raised on a tradition that has been overlooked…Ted Hughes wrote about the natural magical and mythical world; The Invisible Gift is a natural successor…’. – Ted Hughes Award Judges
Kim Moore’s first collection The Art of Falling was published by Seren in 2015. A poem from this collection was shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Her first pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2012 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and went on to be shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award and named in The Independent as a Book of the Year. She is one of five UK poets chosen to take part in Versopolis, a European funded project to bring the work of UK poets to an international audience.
Steve Ely has published four collections of poetry, most recently Werewolf (Calder Valley Poetry) and Incendium Amoris (Smokestack). His biographical work, Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. He lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield
Hilda Sheehan has been a psychiatric nurse and Montessori teacher. She has a collection of poetry, The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood, published by Cultured Llama, and a pamphlet of short fiction, Frances and Martine from Dancing Girl Press. “Like a firework set off in the heart of the culture’s kitchen”. William Bedford. Hilda is the founder and organiser of Poetry Swindon Festival and works as an education officer at the Richard Jefferies Museum.