I am going to Arvon next week for another poetry course. I am really looking forward to it. I went two years ago and wrote my first sonnet (see other posts on Arvon) I also made a friend called Karen who lives in Lancashire and we have kept in touch ever since. I’m going to miss her this time round.
What an effort getting ready to go and I am not so good at travelling light. Have you noticed as you get older you need more stuff not less!
There are the books of the tutors’ poems, my poetry notes, a laptop, some sketching materials. I can’t resist a bit or art work. Oh! and clothes of course – well one has to wear something!
I am looking forward to meeting fellow students and the tutors, Jacob Polley and Jean Sprackland. I chose the course specially for these particular poets.
The course is held in Ted Hughes’ house in Hebden Bridge.This is the place of the recent floods. I felt so sorry for all those people, it is hard to imagine losing your home and the things you treasure. Let alone having to move out and dry the place out. One of my Grans who lived in Australia was flooded and never got over losing her photographs.
Initially I was much too scared to go on a poetry course at Arvon so I went on one for writing and illustrating a picture book for children. Stupid to think that might be easier. Picture books are very hard to write. I loved the whole experience though. Mine was about in a hole in the wall and who might live in it.
There was the hole, right there at Totleigh Barton (Arvon has five centres in different parts of the country). I nearly got it published but it did not jump the last hurdle, (see home page) so a few years later it was included in my poetry book instead with one or two of the pictures. The poem/story is fine but it looks nothing in black and white. Which is why it makes a brilliant laminate!
Later I did ‘writing humour’, I didn’t develop my script idea after the course, quite honestly I think the market for such things is completely overcrowded and the BBC is a bit of a closed shop whatever they say! But it gave me confidence when I was writing my standup.
As soon as you arrive at an Arvon centre you are treated as writer, people come from all over the world to attend. It is expensive but my family all contribute as a birthday present and you might be interested to know Arvon offer grants to those who would not be able to attend without some financial assistance.
Tomorrow I’m all set to attend the Weald allotment centenary open day and to cheer on Paul’s Punch and Judy . I may film some of the events of the day but I might not have time to put it on you tube before I leave for Arvon.
I have just cut down all the overgrown stuff in the garden and cooked my partner a special meal for once. At this rate I could find myself sleeping all the way on Monday.
There are no internet connections on Arvon courses, so no posts for a week!
The painting is from the sixties, I’ve just had it printed as postcard. If you pop along to The Open Art Cafe in Rottingdean you can collect one absolutely free.
Of course you could buy my book at £7.00 or a laminate of one of my illustrated poems for children, for a mere £3.00 instead. The latter have only just been introduced to the cafe and are really popular. All profits are marginal so they all have to a labour of love.