If you follow my blog regularly you will have seen that I have been delving into my own practice, exploring what it is to write poetry and how I can break out of some of the habits I have fallen into as a poet. I have been learning to take risks with my own work. I have thought about this development in my own writing as a slowing down, a cessation of striving for publication and success and a re-evaluation of what I want to achieve as a writer, and as a person. The two are not mutually exclusive. Happiness and contentment make me a different writer, they make me a better writer, I think. In my quest to find my own way I’ve been reading books and essays by poets and writers who have explored the impulse towards creativity, and I have been reading about the range of expression that poetry brings, how different art forms merge, and particularly about process; how we think our way to the poem. It has done me good. For me, learning your craft should be more than just creating the impulse to write, or finding a muse or being inspired. We can learn so much by listening to other poets not just reading their poetry, but talking about their process.
This week has been about laying out the foundations for the next set of courses I want to run, without losing the writing time I need to further my own work. Being a freelance writer is a kind of time-tetris in which writing time and activities that will pay the mortgage are fitted around each other. This time I’ve focused on my own passion for exploring the poetic process and created a course that I think will help those wanting to further their own work. This series is called: Writers on Writing and my intention is to include more genres. But initially I want to start with poetry. I’ve limited the number of people on this course to just 10 people to ensure that we get time to talk, discuss and write in a relaxed atmosphere.
The course is nine weeks long, and split into three sets of three weeks. In each set there is a close reading week; a kind of book club week in which we close read and discuss the poet’s work, look at themes, styles, technique and use this to prompt risk taking in our own work. The second week is a workshop week in which poets get to give and receive feedback on their work in a constructive and friendly environment. The third week of each set is an event at which the poet we have been reading and discussing will come and give both a reading and a question and answer session led by myself. Whilst this is a ticketed event and open to the public to help cover fees, participants of the course get free access and priority for asking questions. This event also has an open mic, at which participants will get priority for the open mic.
The idea behind the course is to do more than simply generate new writing. It’s a chance to explore the work of poets who are at the top of their game and who are willing to share not just their experience and advice, but their own writing process, their own thought processes and their own inspiration. The three poets we will be working with are Daniel Sluman, Polly Atkin and Kim Moore. All three are writers who are using poetry as a medium not just of self expression, but of connection and response, using their own experiences to reflect more than just themselves. I am really excited about this new venture, I know I’ll learn a lot from the series and I hope you’ll join me.
Whilst this course is open to any poet at any level, I feel it would be particularly well suited to writers who are wanting to make a step change in their own writing, poets who want to enhance and rejuvenate their own work. The course is zoom based, and will run on Thursday evenings 7-9pm. the first session is 26th May.
You can book your place by following this link, which will take you to my sales page: Writers on Writing.
If you are of a generous nature and want to help me to facilitate writers on lower incomes who you feel would benefit from this course, or if you have someone in mind who you would like to give a place on this course to, please pay through the payment page and drop me a line at email@example.com I always have a waiting list of writers who would like to work with me but are in financial difficulties and any help in meeting their needs is very much appreciated!
Until next time