Since the start of lockdown in March, I’ve led two online poetry courses on the platform I’ve called The Poetry Wire. And come September, there’ll be two more – Uncertain Cartographies (14 Sept – 23 Oct) and then Considered Ground (Nov-Dec, exact dates tbc). See below for more on these courses and how to book!
Functionally, The Poetry Wire is a private-to-participants website where you go to pick up two thoughtful writing prompts a week, and where you can share the poems you write with other participants – and comment on each others’ work. I provide you with detailed written feedback on one of your poems each week, but read everything you write. I also provide ideas and tips for getting published.
The Poetry Wire is what connects us, enables us to share our work, and even offers the kind of wire you can duck under to enjoy some escapism. Importantly, for the feel of these courses, I limit numbers to around 15 participants – I didn’t want to lose the sense of being able to sit around an imaginary workshop table.
And once a week we all meet via Zoom for a poem-sharing session. The first two courses – ‘The Life of Things’ and ‘The Inside and The Outside’ – brought together lovely, friendly people, some of whom were already published poets, and some of whom were just starting out. Each group developed a great sense of companionship and mutual support. I found our Zoom meetings full of warmth, and I enjoyed the whole thing so much. Indeed The Poetry Wire really did make me happier during lockdown.
“I just wanted to thank you for the course- it has been so well done and a real inspiration. You are such a lovely person to talk poetry with- a real empathetic presence and I have enjoyed your choice of poems immensely. The lovely one about the grey squirrel from this week was amazing. Will have to look the poet up.
You are running another fully booked course soon I think too ?“
“Anyway, what I really want to say is a big thank you for this wonderful course. The prompts have been inspiring and the Friday zooms have been very friendly and uplifting – you really create a lovely space.”
“Thankyou so much Jean for providing a thread of stimulating starting points over the past 6 weeks. The format has been great given the circumstances, the best part has been the emails and your very generous help with my efforts, it’s lovely having someone editing like you do, I’ve learnt such a lot.“
So – the new courses for this autumn! If you’re interested, Uncertain Cartographies is already booking up now. Please just get in touch with me at jean[at]wordsparks.co.uk to secure your place.
Uncertain Cartographies will look at place writing in poetry. The senses, the passage of time, the role of the past, and of memory, the importance of close observation and research. We’ll explore ways of mapping, poetically, places whose uncertain pasts we may have to infer, but which certainly inform our present understanding and emotions. Expect virtual travel! 6 weeks : £65
and in Nov/Dec –
Considered Ground will explore ideas around place writing more deeply, helping you develop a group of poems about a particular place of importance to you personally. It might be where you live now. It might be a place you visit frequently, or only in memory. 6 weeks : £65