During lockdown, and indeed, into the foreseeable future, I’ve been running a series of online poetry courses on THE POETRY WIRE. Each course lasts 6 weeks and costs £65. So far, we’ve done ‘The Life of Things’ and ‘The Inside and The Outside’. Next up, starting in September is ‘Uncertain Cartographies’, which is fully booked, and after that ‘Considered Ground’, which starts 26 October – 4 December. There are still places left on ‘Considered Ground’. More info here.
The Poetry Wire is a private website/blog – private because it’s just for the use of course participants – a place where I put up the two prompts per week, and where finished poems can be shared only with course participants so that they’re still eligible for publication.
There are two new prompts each Friday, which go up on the Wire (and are also emailed to you). I provide detailed written feedback on one of your poems each week, after which you can edit, and I’ll then put your work up on The Poetry Wire to share.
One thing that’s working really well is that I find participants are taking the time to read each other’s work and leave comments as feedback on the poems, so there’s a nice sense of conversation and community developing.
And on Fridays we have a Zoom chat. The Poetry Wire is really a vehicle for the courses, and a means to keep us all connected, keep that writing spark.
Courses on The Poetry Wire are deliberately kept to only 15 members at a time, so we retain the all-important sense of sitting around an imaginary table.
Words from the Vaults – postponed due to Covid-19
Starting on 21 April 2020, I’ll be leading six new creative writing workshops to explore our boxed, bottled, and taxidermied past, housed in the climate controlled stores of Ludlow Museum Resource Centre.
Sessions will include: Through Other Eyes: a tour of the fine arts store, which contains paintings, early photographs, vintage advertisements and posters rich with atmosphere and unfinished stories. Frills and Dandies: a tour of the Costume Store, a treasury of textiles, textures and hand-sewn skill, and Deep Time: a tour of rare and marvellous geological and fossil specimens.
Please book via the details on the poster above!
Café Writing course at Ludlow Kitchen!
I’m looking forward to running my fourth Cafe Writing series at the delicious Ludlow Kitchen, at Ludlow Farmshop in Bromfield after Christmas. Brighten up your January…
All the info is below on the back of the postcard. Cafe Writing workshops always book up quickly – I look forward to hearing from you!
Café Writing starts in Shrewsbury!
I’m delighted to be offering a new course of Café Writing in the middle of Shrewsbury from September. We’ll be in the Foundry Cafe at Theatre Severn, with its glorious views over the River Severn (and its glorious cake). These courses have been so much fun (this is the 4th series) and book up quickly, so please let me know pronto! I’m really looking forward to this.
Bishop’s Castle Arts Festival asked me to offer a creative writing workshop inspired by nests. Real nests. Wed 20th Feb 10.30-12 noon, with delicious tea and cake provided by our host, at Bank House B&B.
Write an Ancient Library
It’s Shrewsbury Lit Fest! Join me and a knowledgeable guide to explore the nooks and crannies of historic Shrewsbury Library, a Grade A listed building dating back in part to the 15th Century. I’ll provide you with inventive prompts, and help you find ways to write a poem or short fiction, drawing on the building’s inspiration.
Making Poems from Archives, Autumn 2018
PEN TO MIC | I’ll be running this ‘new poem-to- performance’ workshop for Whitchurch Writers on Tuesday 25 September, 2pm to 4pm in Whitchurch Library, followed by a reading for Poetry at Bookshrop, 7.15 for 7.30 start, open mic as well!
There are limited places but it’s free. Tickets from Whitchurch Library, phone 01948 662238.
MAP | POEM | PLACE – I’m running this workshop for Weaver Words Literature Festival, Wednesday 25 April, 11am-1pm. Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, Frodsham WA6 7QN
A sense of place is right at the core of human experience. It involves memory, belonging, and hope for the future. How can poets engage with this? How can we bear witness to the complexities of place, people, history and nature. Explore these questions, using maps and memory to stimulate your own poems. £10, to include tea/coffee, book through Weaver Words Literature Festival here.
Poetry Out of Oddity: The Wunderkammer
I’m running this workshop for Bishop’s Castle Arts Festival on Friday 23 February – make poems with the contents of cupboards of marvels. It’s at 10.30 to 12 noon, at Bank House B&B. £5 to include Tea/ coffee/ cake and a donation to Arts Festival funds. Suitable for everyone (12+) whether you’re just curious or write poetry regularly.
Book your place with Gerry at Bank House or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Writing in the Museum Vaults
The return of a popular series of 6 writing workshops to explore the catalogued, bottled, and taxidermied past, all housed in the climate controlled stores of Ludlow Museum Resource Centre. Each weekly workshop will last 2 hours, and will include a tour of the stores. Course participants will have access to handling objects and time to gain inspiration from a fascinating collection of art works, costumes and specimens. Experienced and novice writers and poets all welcome.
Writing Visions: a tour of the fine arts store, which contains paintings, early photographs, vintage advertisements and posters rich with atmosphere and unfinished stories.
Clothing Ourselves: a tour of the Costume Store, a treasury of textiles, textures and hand-sewn skill, and The Deep Past: a tour of rare and marvellous geological and fossil specimens.
Venue: Ludlow Library and Museum Resource Centre, 7-9 Parkway Lane, Ludlow SY8 2PG
Dates: Thursdays 8 February – 15 March 2018
To book a place on a course or for more information contact MUSEUM EDUCATION 01743 258881 / 258884
Café Writing is back!
Join me for café writing mornings – relaxed, informal creative writing classes held in Ludlow Kitchen, at Ludlow Food Centre, SY8 2JR.
Each of the six weekly sessions will provide inventive prompts, ideas and lots of encouragement. And a short break in the middle for us all to buy Ludlow Kitchen’s exceptional coﬀee and cake for further inspiration!
9.30am to 11am Wednesdays 1 Nov, 8 Nov, 15 Nov, 22 Nov, 29 Nov, 6 Dec 2017
Six sessions: £50 payable in advance. To book your place please email Jean[at]wordsparks.co.uk or call 07504 649 150.
Poetry Swindon Festival 2016 | Mapping into Landscapes of the Mind Thursday 6 October, 1.30pm to 3.30pm
I’ll be running this workshop for Poetry Swindon Festival at the Richard Jefferies Museum, Coate Water, Marlborough Road, SN3 6AA. It’s inspired by nature/eco poetry at a time of change – and by the Richard Jefferies Museum itself. Join me to map in poetry your imagination, your memory, and the natural world. Book on the Poetry Swindon Festival website.
The Life of Things
14 September 2016 start | The Life of Things – Explore the stories that are attached to the objects in our lives. I’m teaching a face-to-face poetry course for The Poetry School in Manchester. 5 weekly sessions on Wednesdays 7pm – 9pm – follow the link here.
Wednesday 1st June, 2-4pm,
followed by an evening performance at 7.30pm
Please book your tickets by calling Appletree on 0845 548 5449 or email email@example.com.
A chance to do a Pen 2 Mic workshop at Appletree Theatre in Ludlow! Pen 2 Mic will see you write a brand new poem and perform it on the same day. Focusing on places and locations that mean something special to you, you’ll create a new work and learn some vital performance tips before taking to the microphone.
Fun and informal, Pen 2 Mic is a two hour afternoon session focusing on writing, editing and mic training followed by an evening public performance.
Run by the friendly and energetic Wordshoppers, Jean Atkin and Liz Hyder, Pen 2 Mic will help build your confidence and experience in performing and reading your own work to an audience.
You can find out more about Wordshoppers by visiting their website here.
Ludlow Museum Resource Centre
Thursday 17 September for six weeks, 10.30am – 12.30pm
£55 (including refreshments)
Please book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01743 258881/258884.
I will be leading six creative writing workshops to explore the catalogued, bottled, and taxidermied past, all housed in the climate-controlled stores of Ludlow Museum Resource Centre. Each workshop will last 2 hours, and will include a tour of the stores. Course participants will have access to handling objects and time to gain inspiration from a fascinating collection of art works, costumes and specimens.
Images of the Past: a tour of the fine arts store, which contains paintings, early photographs, vintage advertisements and posters rich with atmosphere and unfinished stories; Working Clothes: the rustle of silks and a christening gown: a tour of the Costume Store, a treasury of textiles, textures and hand-sewn skill; and The Twilight of the Belljars : a visit to the eerie Fluids Room, where plants and animals float suspended in alcohol in glass jars lined up on shelves.
Writing Down The Dingle | Saturday 18 July 2015
10.30 – 3.30, at Gleanings Centre, Gravels Bank, Minsterley, Shropshire SY5 0HG
£35 | Includes coffee, tea, homemade cake, also homemade soup and roll for lunch.
Book by emailing jean[at]wordsparks.co.uk
A workshop exploring the glorious countryside around Gleanings, and ways to write about place. How do we experience a place? How to respond to it in writing?
We’ll walk down the Dingle and into woods, below a skyline made craggy with the Stiperstones. The ancient and beautiful surroundings of Gleanings offer the perfect opportunity to consider what makes a place special, how places affect people and how memory affects place.
Writing Down The Dingle will include a short walk, outdoor writing exercises and prompts. Then we’ll return to the beautiful wooden retreat at Gleanings to edit and develop our work. I’ll provide feedback, and advice on re-drafting. We’ll read from other poets and writers to enrich our experience.
leaned back to a branch
in the purples of the beech
linked arms with it
pressed skins with it
— sharing a starring
of freckles and lichens —
Jean Atkin (Solstice, 2012)
Lost Keys & Faded Photographs | Monday 23 March 2015
1pm – 3pm, at Southwater Library, Telford
Free | Book by calling 01952 382915
This is a workshop as part of my Reader in Residence activity for the lovely new Southwater Library in Telford. It’ll be 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.
World Poetry Day Workshop | Saturday 21 March 2015
10am – 12.30pm Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
£18 | Book by emailing email@example.com
It’s World Poetry Day on Saturday March 21st 2015, and to celebrate, and I’ll be hosting an exclusive workshop at the .
As Poet in Residence for Wenlock Poetry Festival, 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.