Two poetry workshops: A matter of life and death

How’s this for two linked poetry workshops. They’ll suit any level of writer, at any stage of your writing practice.

It’s the end of winter. Spring is coming. Easter is coming. It’s been a long cold winter (a phrase that comes into my head with a tune, which I belatedly realise is the tune whose words are normally, ‘It’s gonna be a cold, lonely summer…’) – we have experienced blackness, and for now we are still in the cold. But what hppens when you reach the limits of what you can imagine? What’s past that door?

On Saturday March 3rd, a workshop from 11-4.30 on Death. We look at different poems and symbolism around death, and how it manifests itself in modern daily life. Is the end of winter a death? Is the end of the economy a death? What about ghosts? What about depression? What about the slush that’s still on the pavement, as I write this? Can death be funny? Poets have been asking all these questions for as long as there’s been poetry. Reading, discussing, and a visual ideas slideshow like I did at Christmas. Writing, sharing, discussing.

'There must be more to life than this, Henry'

Then on Saturday March 31st, a workshop from 11-4.30 on Rebirth. We look at poems and pictures and shake off the slush to look around us at the shoots of the future springing up around us – the rebirth that can only be understood through the death of what went before? The beginning of a glorious summer? Green shoots of ambition? Babies?  New jobs? Spring weddings? What about dreams? What about the new beginning you never wanted? What IS rebirth, how can we experience it, grasp it, write it? We’ll write and read and talk, look at another slideshow, and probably eat some chocolate eggs…

'But he who kisses the joy as it flies/ lives in eternity's sun rise...'

And I promise you will go home with new ideas and some poems in your notebook.

And because of the linked nature of these two workshops, I’m thinking of a way of incorporating that link into the sessions, so that students can explore the link in the work we generate. Maybe in the form of homework in between, or even a little website or a private blog… To be confirmed!


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