What a great weekend for me (though possibly not for poetry):
Poetry reading by Suzanne Batty, followed by a Q&A session and workshop, at Stockport Central Library.
Suzanne read some of her poems (not enough; I could have stood to hear more) and members of the audience (not me) asked intelligent questions (I rest my case). Then she had the group analyse a couple of poems by other poets, based on National Poetry Day’s [4 October] theme, Stars. It was like being back with the Open University. Better than eating Maltesers.
Finally, we had to use the theme to write our own poem. Ten people produced ten very different poems. Mine was a complaint about the retirement of the space shuttles. I’m not talking to NASA at the moment.
The high point of the whole afternoon was wholly unexpected. A middle-aged man next to me had come along to the reading to experience something new. He was taken aback to find himself part of a workshop. He has never written anything in his life, and was embarrassed to admit he only managed three lines. Three lines that proved to be a beautiful haiku. I was thrilled for him.
I took some pictures of Suzanne but my camera and I disagree about the use of lighting, so they didn’t turn out. The camera always wins. Fortunately, Suzanne had given me permission to lift her photo from her Facebook page. She really is as nice as she looks.
Poetry workshop at St Peter’s Church Burley Memorial Hall in Waverton, Chester.
Not as grand as it sounds – we drove past it seven times and only found it by accident: stopping to ask directions, I looked out of the window to find we had parked in front of a sign saying, St Peter’s Church Burley Memorial Hall. A squat but pleasant building. The vicarage was a manor house and looked bigger than the church.
We had thirty minutes to kill so we popped into the beautiful church to look around. It is 900 years old, we were told; and we got to touch stone that still has the chisel marks from when it was quarried almost a millennium ago. A brilliant feeling. I enjoyed it so much, I forgot to take a photograph.
The workshop was fantastic. Offered by the Church of England and run by the rather sweet Julia McGuiness, it introduced us to ways of writing our faith, using our faith to write (not the same thing), and cinquains.
I think I’m in love. Cinquains are such fun! I can’t believe I’ve never written one until the four I now have in my notebook.
Write Out Loud at Stockport Art Gallery, while it’s still open. Poems for the reading of.
Part of the Write Out Loud network, we meet on the second Monday in the month to read our poems aloud and sort world affairs. Not every WOL group is like ours: many of them are proper open mic events. Our group is small and everybody knows everybody else and it has simply fallen into this particular pattern.
We might not be around much longer. Stockport Council wants to close the art gallery Monday-to-Friday, including our indoor War Memorial, and install just the permanent collection and nothing else.
I intend to write a poem in protest.
If you think stabbing a knife into the heart of the arts in Stockport is outrageous; and closing a War Memorial five days a week is a slight to those who fought and died in several war, then please sign this e-petition:
The Council’s perfidy aside, I had a lovely weekend.
- 4 Days
- 3 Events
- 13 Poems (unlucky for some)
- 1 Happy Tilly
- 1 Gushing Post