I had heard that Ellen is well respected for her poetry workshops. Apparently she is creative and inventive and enables students to move to new realms of thinking when creating poetry.
Today provided more than was ‘described on the box’ with a brilliant start just sitting around reading poems from a pile of books she had provided. We picked out lines or passages that appealed and shared them.
After brief introductions she introduced the theme for the day which was ‘nature’ followed by a brainstorm of wide ranging possibilities.
Later poems left around the room created a little journey of discovery, particularly into Japanese and more modern haiku. Exercises included taking on the characteristics of an animal and mixing the language of a very ordinary job. Great fun and interesting poetry.
It was not just the exercises as such, but her love of language that inspired, her attention to detail, the almost tender loving care that she imparts to us, her students, on each creative journey.
I found myself writing poems that I had had in mind for some time but could not find a way of lighting that tiny flame that leads to something that I really want to write and share.
By the end of the day I think we all felt we had explored rhythms and images, stories and sounds, had had time to write and time to share. I emerged into the busy Saturday High Street, walking on air.