Tag Archives: workshop


8 Oct

Erotic poetry workshop.

So, I got this. This ain’t my first rodeo.

Then Carrie Etter threw a suckerpunch, not happened since the Man for a Day workshop.

I’d been asked to write about a part of my body in an erotic way, a loving way, give it magic powers and turn this into a poem. Continue reading


Getting lost with a map

7 Oct
Jean Atkin workshop

Jean Atkin workshop

‘Here is a map.’
‘I don’t like maps.’
‘Can we use a satnav?’
‘There won’t be a test. It’s in the spirit of dadaism’

Jean Atkin kicks off the Poetry Swindon festival Big Poetry Weekend with a workshop, and asked us to get lost with a map. ‘You discover a place once with a map, then again when you visit,’ she said.

My eye was drawn to Bettiscombe Manor House and my mind to horror, which to anyone who knows me is far from a shock association. Dredging up my map skills the ye olde writing meant a historical site and the jam-packed series of irregular lines around it – some pretty steep hills.

Bettiscombe Manor House
I hide in a tight valley,
Sheepish slopes rise on all sides.
Children bring tabogans to Sliding Hill
Oh, some time ago.
No snow for years;
One great fall and the clouds were finished.
These days fun is found in my bare broken bones,
Then treachery on mildewed steps
Down inside to the cellar.

At that point, one poem up and still fun in the edits, I thought I’d quit while ahead.

Jean Atkin’s workshop was at the Richard Jefferies Museum on 6 October 2016, part of Poetry Swindon’s Big Poetry Weekend.

Chronicle written by Louisa Davison


1 Oct


Maggie Harris Workshop

I’m not a fan of workshops; they are usually just an excuse for me to buy a new Moleskine which I will then abandon the next day.

I’ve been to some great workshops, but I’ve also experienced four-hour sessions of Poetry By Numbers which have made me want to chew my arm off.

So it was with some trepidation and a clam shut mind that I racked up to the Savernake Social Hall for two hours with poet Maggie Harris. Continue reading

Bardwell O’Neil are Game – Swindon Festival of Poetry

9 Oct

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bardwell O’Neil are Game turned out to be the perfect format for a seven year old to write poetry. Basically: a running around game, followed by writing down words about it, followed by another running around game, followed by more words, then poetic genius, followed by more running around games followed by more poetic genius. Wears me out just remembering it.

Yes, I’m probably biased because it’s my seven year old writing the genius poetry. But here’s the evidence: he’s had a story blog since he was four, loves to recount tales (and is addicted to Doctor Who and most other things that happen to be on TV), and going without his bedtime story is the ultimate punishment. However, by the time he’s sat down (what seems like the whole day) at school, and has done his homework (still getting my head around homework at his age) he doesn’t want to concentrate on any more writing.

So Sue Bardwell and Heather O’Neil, both with young sons, embarked on this experiment on Sunday (Broadgreen Community Centre at the Swindon Festival of Poetry) to get kids, boys in particular, writing poetry. So – by way of playground games such as Fruit Salad, Chains, Bulldog and What’s the Time Mr Wolf? – they get kids energised, then thinking about words associated with their actions and emotions, then writing them down into verse and stanzas. Continue reading

Red Caviar Is Not A Pose – Life Drawing and Poetry Readings

11 May
Suki - Life Drawing and Poetry Reading

Suki – Life Drawing and Poetry Reading

Swindon experienced a coming together of creativity as life model Suki posed for artists, poets and interested thinkers at Artsite’s Post Modern gallery. A drawing session preceded a poetry reading by Suki’s manager Sue Vickerman and a fascinating discussion about life modelling, being an artist and the creative process in general. I tried to think of drawing but got poetry, I looked at Suki’s stretching, kneeling and leaning and found myself in extreme close-up, microscoping ankles, elbows and knuckles while trying to capture what I could with my 2B pencil (purchased this morning). As Helen Peyton, artist and Suki collaborator says, ‘there’s an intimacy but it’s not sexual’, I certainly felt close and connected to Suki and her naked form but much closer to me and my way of expressing things. The discussion between the Suki team and us participants was enthralling. Suki also finds that a life class is never an uncomfortable experience, just that the inside of derelict Yorkshire woolen mills can make things a bit chilly. Suki eats red caviar sandwiches on five hour car journeys and travels to her modelling assignments on a fold up bicycle. Swindon loves the way Suki does things! Sue Vickerman says that what she hears about ‘the practice’ of life drawing ‘completely parallels the process of poetry – the constant striving but you never get there’, personally I’m not sure where ‘there’ is but I feel a bit closer after this unique and bold event.

Toothill Long Poem

13 May

Disappointed I didn’t get to see / hear this one.

I spoke to organiser Hilda Sheehan (as herself this time, not Domestic Cherry Mabel) in between FLIT 180 and Swindon Slam! and she was very pleased with how the world premiere of the Toothill Long Poem turned out. Continue reading