An Apple a Day? People passionate about words?
When I discovered that a lively fellow poet Christine Holywood was involved in this event I signed up on the spur of the moment, not really checking the detail. Once there it became clear that it was aimed at those involved professionally in ‘writing for well being’ and ‘writing as medicine.’ Well I’ve run workshops along these lines myself over the years so maybe right place right tim !
A wonderful guy called Ted Bowman with years of experience as a facilitator on grief and loss, got as started. He is also editor of a new poetry book ‘The Wind Blows, the Ice Breaks’ Poems of Loss and Renewal by Minnesota Poets.
He is also knowledgeable, entertaining and with short exercises, we got to explore personal issues, if we wanted to, in pairs with different people around our table. Ted also told us about grief in his own life, which is called self disclosure in this setting. I love experiencing a competent practitioner at work.
Christine Hollywood, the poet I knew from other poetry events, gave a presentation about How she put reflection into her practice, together with exercises and handouts. both lively and informative. Narayani L Guibarra another practitioner offered pairing of words and laughter therapy.
Workshops, talking over our packed lunch, making new contacts and bringing a book to exchange at the end of the day made for an eventful day.
Some of the spirit of the event remind me of facilitating two events at the Star club in Sutton, many moons ago. The second called ‘Creating Cinderella’ It was a chance to bring people together for to explore their creativity. All the participants had learning and/or physical disabilities (as we called them in those days) But they wrote a script, made rod puppets and put on a performance for the local playgroup, family and friends. I was a keen amateur films maker at the time and was encouraged to let my camera run! I gave everyone a cd of the event to take home and eventually put it on youtube hoping to encourage other with such projects.
Coffee house poetry with Anne-Marie Fyfe
If you have never heard of Anne-Marie Fyfe, her poetry, workshops and wonderful poetry nights at The Troubadour in London, you have missed more than one treat.
If I was not totally exhausted from such a busy weekend and another workshop this morning I would be up at The Coffee House right now for one of her spectacular line ups. Tonight too is the last opportunity to enter their annual poetry competition
I’ll content myself with telling you that her ‘memory cloud: complexities of blue’ on Saturday was one of the most absorbing and creative workshops I have been to in a long time.
I have been going to Anne-Marie’s workshops one and off for six years and recommend them. Whilst in my opinion not really suitable for the complete beginner they are absorbing, creative, warm and wonderful and if I didn’t come out with at least two or three new drafts (get ready for the poet’s enemy – a dreadful cliche) ‘I would eat my hat.’
A few of my own photographs featuring the colour blue.
A new way of thinking and writing about CARE
It’s Monday and I am lucky enough to be a participant in a Brighton based reading and writing programme. This is a pilot scheme for the Royal Literary Fund exploring issues around care. A wonderful group of poets, writers, mostly over the age of 50 have been invited meet to read, write and discuss a range of issues with Jackie’s expert guidance. I am already excited by the readings, prose and poetry and the discussions she has initiated and have written a two drafts for poems myself.
Jackie has the launch of her New Collection ‘Friable Earth’ on Saturday which is something else to look forward to.
Such a lot of serious stuff in the news it’s easy too easy to get depressed!
My contribution to Facebook today was simply.
‘Just too much rain …cheering myself up…
and there are captions’