Crawling into Caernarfon

Yesterday I crawled into Caernarfon, along with holidaymakers in cars and caravans, travelling back to Manchester from a fabulous poetry writing course Working the Body with Helen Mort and Andrew McMillan.  It was my first visit to Ty Newydd, the writing centre in Wales and we were blessed with wonderful weather, so tutorials could be in the large garden that gives a view of the sea.

Helen and Andrew gave us generously of their time, knowledge, experience and shared an interesting range of sample poems: most of these were new to me.  We were a mixed group –  varied in age, background, different levels of experience – and supportive of each other.   Helen and Andrew did great readings and on Friday evening we got to hear each other’s poems. I gained in technical skills – a better sense of creating the “spine” of the poem, the notion of the “bespoke form” for each poem, different ways of mining a piece of stream-of-consciousness writing for material and – most importantly: I’ve calmed down.  Just keep writing is the motto…

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