Writing Down The Dingle

Crows Nest Dingle Gleanings WorkshopI’ve just finished putting together the details for a new workshop, in partnership with Gleanings Centre, a venue situated on Yvonne and John’s 14 acre award-winning farm tucked between the Shrewsbury and the Welsh border.   The workshop is on Saturday 18th July, from 10.30 to 3.30.

I’m really excited about it!

The workshop will explore both the landscape around Gleanings, and ways to write about place.  How do we experience a place?  How can we respond to it in writing?

We’ll walk down the Dingle and into woods, below a skyline made craggy with the Stiperstones.   I’ll create outdoor writing exercises and prompts, provide feedback, and advice on re-drafting. We’ll read from other poets and writers to enrich our experience.

The emphasis during Writing Down The Dingle will be on discovery, surprise and exploration – come and write your way into where you are.

The cost of the workshop is £35 (includes coffee, tea, homemade cake, also homemade
soup and roll for lunch).   Book by emailing jean@wordsparks.co.uk

The retreat at Gleanings where Writing Down The Dingle is based. Yes, those are the Stiperstones.




In The Pink – a poetry project with people living with dementia

Lillian cups a tiny bird’s nest in today’s session in a Hereford Care Home.  She isn’t able to speak much, bLillian & nest Charles Court March2015 JAut she was utterly delighted.  It was marvellous to be able to bring such pleasure.

What bird lived here? 
So sweet. Soft.  
Keeps warm, I expect.

I don’t think we could do that.
They’re so clever. They just do it
with their beaks.

true     true    true
off they’ll fly

look there, look there

rspb_blackbird_big_grandeI also brought in a little RSPB blackbird, complete with song.  He sang to everyone in the room, and prompted some marvellous language, which I transcribed on the spot and later worked into poems, adding no words of my own.  Here is Paula’s poem.

Blackbird’s Eye

 Oh I’ve got him, I’ve got him.
He says, you’re nosy, just mind
your own business.
He has a pearly eye.

He sees everything.
He misses nothing.

I look in his eye.
I look in his eye.
Tweet, tweet, tweet.

He lifts in the air.
He rises to a height.
He flies away.

He didn’t tell you
what he said.
He’s coming back
another day.

Lost Keys & Fading Photographs

Part of my Reader in Residence activity at Southwater Library –

Southwater Reads

On Monday 23 March, I’ll be leading a free Creative Writing Workshop from 1pm to 3pm, at Southwater Library.

This will be a workshop packed with quirky ways into writing, making use of old photographs and keys to lost doors.  I’ll help you unlock new stories and half-forgotten associations to create pieces of flash fiction or poems.  Everyone is welcome, no experience necessary.

Please book your place at Southwater Library by calling 01952 382915.

Lost Keys & Fading Photographs

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