My World Poetry Day Workshop

Jean at Logan Garden 2013 credit Brenda WhiteIt’s World Poetry Day on Saturday March 21st 2015, and to celebrate, and as Poet in Residence for Wenlock Poetry Festival, I’ll be hosting an exclusive workshop at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

I’m going to be leading a poetry workshop sparked by the world’s marvels, helping you map untrodden paths into new poems through a series of engaging activities and prompts.  Bring with you a picture or an object which represents for you one of the Seven Wonders of the World!  The workshop will also set aside some time to discuss and edit your emerging work.

The workshop will run from 10am – 12.30pm.

Tickets are priced at £18 (to include coffee, tea and biscuits).

Places are limited so booking is essential. Please email with your contact details to book a place.


They lie, crowned, with their hands crossed/ The Kings and Queens of Aragon

I’ve been making a book from a poem.  The poem is about the royal tombs of the Kings and Queens of Aragon, from the 12th to the 15th century.  Their huge stone tombs are in the nave of the Abbey church in the Monastery of Poblet, in Catalonia.  I saw them twenty years ago while travelling through Spain by bicycle.  It was a bitter winter day and we were the only visitors.  Poblet was threadbare, austere and echoing.

The book is made using thin card, modrock, gesso, pastels and indian inks.  It was all very experimental, not helped by our 9 month-old cat, Orlando, who sat on it, and kicked things off the table.  The binding is made with a short piece of hazel cut from our town garden hedge, and a length of leather thong.  I wanted to create a weathered surface, like very worn parchments, abraded by time and damp.

Writing for The Museum of Lost Objects

A short and high-spirited workshop today with home-educated kids Isaac, Loreta and Mollie. First we choose from The Museum of Lost Objects.

Choosing Lost Objects

We described them to each other, then did 5 minutes focussed free-writing (spelling-and-punctuation-free-as-long-as-you-can-read-it-back).  We shared that, chose the best bits.  Then we looked at some poems written as cinquains, so there are 5 lines, and each line has a set number of syllables in it: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2.  We counted on our fingers.
The children used their free-writing notes for ideas for their cinquains, each of which was to accompany their chosen Lost Object into the Museum Cabinet.  And here they are:

Museum of Lost Objects label

Henry 8 spectacles
These are/ Henry the Eighth’s/ spectacles found on Mars/ made by a witch called Nigella./ Welsh Gold. By Mollie


Priceless decanter
Priceless/ glass decanter./ It was wrapped in a brown cloth./ Stood on a King’s table, rarest rum/ now lost. By Loreta


Lobster bone
The dark tale of a Bad Man who found and destroyed a deep-sea creature for the rare pigments on its bones… By Isaac


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