26 Jan 2012

summer writing workshops in Devon 2012

Some lovely courses I am running this summer, at The Husbandry School, in Devon


A place in the landscape

Saturday May 12th 2012, 10am - 4.30pm
Price: £50
For aged 16 and over

Write in response to the land and landscape around this stunning venue, and to your own senses and identity.

As human culture has shaped the landscape over millennia and to this present day, so it has shaped our lifestyles, our societies, our psyches.
Immersed in the vastness and the detail of nature at this burgeoning time of year, how does it shape our poetry or prose?
The workshop will include:
• Stream of consciousness writing
• Looking at other writers styles and responses to this subject
• Practising poetry form, language work, & other creative exercises
• Group work
• Time spent alone or on the land (or in a cosy yurt)

Elements and Boundaries

Wednesday July 11th 2012, 10am - 4.30pm

Price: £50
For aged 16 and over

Close to nature, being grounded, the lay of the land; these analogies and others represent ways in which language and nature are fundamental to our attitudes or perspectives.

When elements are stable, and boundaries hold us safely, the world is good. In intensity or conflict, we must confront change.
In this beautiful place, as all nature responds to summer, whatrumours can be gleaned from the elements? What wisdom awaits beyond the latched gate?

This workshop is an opportunity to allow the subconscious to speak through poetry or prose, and to make conscious connections between nature, language, and your own life.
The workshop will include:
• Discussing boundaries and elements, and their metaphors
• Stream of consciousness writing
• Creative group work – listening and looking at form.
• Looking at other writer’s responses to landscape
• Language work, editing, and other creative exercises
• Time spent writing alone, and on the land (or in a cosy yurt)

10 people max. for both workshops.

10 Jan 2012

A pre-epitaph for Margaret Thatcher

There's a Hollywood film star on the radio, talking about her! There's a new film about her, and a lot of talk by press and politicians, about that. There's lot of talk in the media and social media, about whether she should have a state funeral or not. There's a lot of talk about what she deserves. Talking about her like she's dead already!
So I have joined in, with this pre-epitaph:

Hers is the ongoing shove in the gutter
by the silk-gloved hand.
Hers are trades laid waste and traditions forbidden:
summer solstice truncheoned
and the blunt end of policies bludgeoning
multi-cultures into monochrome.

She is the ghost of Christmas Sparse;
of State parsimonious, with a piss-up for the rich,
who have pocketed railways and utilities,
Champagne Charlies stacking up shares
and coked-up stockbrokers who stoked up fares.

She is the stroker of big erect missiles
tossed off for a profit and Falkland spoils,
for a special relationship with oil,
blazed then paved the road to Basra
with chemical-charcoaled remnants of the dead.

She is the Class-thug, a struggle-monger,
the rot in the heartwood of nation’s oak,
who choked the life-blood of industry,
a kiss-arse collaborator with poverty,
a cutter-up of communities,
unpicker of Unions’ unity, scab by scab by scab.

She is an aborter of level playing fields,
a Gollum of unborn chances
who danced with Fascist petty-princes,
thankless for values once hard-won in trenches,
or Humanity’s respect for itself.

And Mammon’s mama still feeds Babylon’s bankers,
spreads the legacy of her milky snatch
through apologist policies
and a heritage of Frankenstein sons.
And a nation debates when her death will come –
and how to dispose of the corpse.