Writing poetry with the two very inspirational tutors. Ann and Peter Sanson. When they are not teaching they run ‘The Poetry Business’ and publish a poetry magazine called ‘The North’, well worth checking them out on line.
Pics – Ann and Peter pondering our completed poems, covers to two of their own poetry books and reading our thank you card.
A wonderful week with a particularly supportive group of fellow students/poets. Ted Hughes house is in the most beautiful surroundings on top of a hill. I knew I would not be able to do the walks as once down the hill I simply cannot get back up again. Marionette making/performing and lack of three discs have taken their toll, particularly as I get older. But the views are spectacular.
This week really was ‘me’ time as I think it was for most of us. Lots of exercises and feedback, quiet writing time and opportunities to socialise as and when. One evening we all put one of our poems in a box and then tried to guess which one of us had written them, with modest success. The last night we read a poem from the impromptu anthology that three fellow poets had masterminded. What a great souvenir.
Once a week in small groups we are expected to cook supper, made easy with recipes and all the ingredients purchased in advance. It was one of those serendipity moments, the group I was in got on really well and in minutes had appointed a ‘chef’ particularly as two us were better at chopping veg. than weighing ingredients for special puds. Later we spent a whole afternoon critiqueing each other’s poems made easier with bonding over the baked potatoes.
The special guest was Michael Laskey who read both from his published work and some new material. Wonderful poet and speaker.
You cannot beat Arvon for their very special residential writing courses. They are not cheap but as Arvon is a charity grants towards the course cost are available for people who cannot afford to pay in full.
I had limited schooling as a child and was a late start academic but even then most of my studies didn’t include poetry. I worked full time and brought up my children on my own so my studies were really a means to an end. Arvon however is great for a fast track into poetic knowledge as well as a forum for the more experienced poet.
Last time I took a taxi into Hebden Bridge, it was during dreadful floods with people mopping out their shops, the cameraderie in the midst of devastation was humbling. I remember buying wonderful buttons and a long skirt made out of some sort of hemp. Now I have two and I never stop wearing them.
.I thought that this time might be my last Arvon so I disciplined myself to typing up my embryonic poetry and didn’t go into town at all!
Group pic courtesy of Maggie.
this one courtesy of Peter.
I treated myself to a merrygoround mug from the cafe on the station, produced by a local artist, seemed like an appropriate metaphor for a magical week.