Poetry Classes, Courses and Workshops at The Troubadour: 263-267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

classes - may-jun 2017

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour

(except yeats walk, sunday 25th jun, 2.30-5 pm, £18 from ravenscourt park tube)

advance booking only as our workshops/classes (limited to 15 attendees) are frequently oversubscribed: pay via PayPal (below) or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP: if overbooked you’ll be informed by e-mail & refunded promptly

sun 21 may & sun 18 jun, 12-3.30 pm: a tree grows: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Few symbols are as deeply rooted in our mindscape as the tree: from wind-whipped sapling to 1000-year-old oak, remorseful willow, or giant redwood, the tree can be mythical icon, meeting-place & metaphor while collectively, the arbour, woodland glade, or shady grove, may be enchanting, sacred, or decidedly creepy… Perhaps Joyce Kilmer — who thought he’d never see/ a poem lovely as a tree — felt he’d written the ultimate tree-poem, but we’re going to find that trees, like poems, deciduous or evergreen, blossoming or stark, sheltering or felled, are about much more than loveliness.

Join us & experience the creativity of Anne-Marie Fyfe’s Troubadour Sunday Gallery sessions where tasks & talk, led exercises & sources of inspiration (from literature, the visual arts & a much wider world) will fire your poetic imagination & have you producing real results in terms of finished poems & drafts (& a head fizzing with new ideas, new directions!), … as well as time for read-back to, & positive feed-back from, energised fellow-poets.

sun 28 may, 12-3.30 pm: masterclass: critical workshop with d. nurkse (now fully booked)

Dennis Nurkse (b. New Jersey, educ. Harvard) teaches in the MFA Programme at Sarah Lawrence College, has taught poetry at Brooklyn College, The New School, Rutgers University & Rikers Island Correctional Facility: Brooklyn Poet Laureate from 1996 to 2001 & recipient of a number of major awards & fellowships, he has published many collections with Knopf in US & CB Editions in the UK.

Dennis describes his Troubadour Sunday Gallery masterclass as follows: This workshop will emphasize in-depth humanistic discussion of each participant’s work. Topics we might bring up in the course of investigation: painters have tricks to create perspective; how do poets use language to create figure and ground, a sense of depth in the mental picture the poem conveys? What makes a poem build? But our goal will be to meet each poem on its own terms.

sun 11 jun, 12-3.30 pm: genre bending: writing workshop with thomas lynch (now fully booked)

Thomas Lynch is author of five collections of poems, a collection of short fiction, & four critically acclaimed volumes of essays, a number of which he has broadcast on BBC Radio 4; he is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, is a frequent guest lecturer at universities across North America, UK, Ireland & Australia & has received awards from Michigan Council for the Arts, National Book Foundation & National Endowment for the Arts in US.

This Troubadour gallery Genre Bending creative workshop will, Tom says, look at ways in which imaginative fodder can be used for poetry, fiction & non-fiction, & at how writers may repurpose work in one form for use in another.

sun 18 jun, 12-3.30 pm: a tree grows: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

(A second outing for this new workshop: see sun 21 may, above, for details)

sun 25 jun, 2.30-5 pm, £18: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat

Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For Nobel-Prize-winning poet W.B. Yeats the sublime landscape & legends of the West of Ireland inspired his early work. But poets need a network of publishing, poetry groups, friends, & literary-&-artistic connections in which to thrive, & Yeats’ unique genius was fostered in the unique & curious 19c Arts-&-Crafts garden-suburb/artists’-colony that was Bedford Park, in Chiswick, West London, where he spent much of his youth.

Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) round Yeats’ favourite haunts, by way of Upper Mall & Old Chiswick Churchyard to Bedford Park, taking in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, O’Connell, Wm. Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, actors, anarchists, occultists, typographers, & much more.

(nb: do check website later for further may-jun workshops or sign up for newsletter)

PayPal

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If you require further workshops/classes, or tickets for readings, choose ‘continue shopping’ on the PayPal website, & make further selections here or on our ‘readings’ page. You can select ‘View Cart’ at any time to view, amend or remove your selections and/or to check-out.

sun 21 may:
a tree grows
sun 18 jun:
a tree grows
sun 25 jun:
land of heart's desire

archive

workshops & seminars, jan-mar 2017

sun 29 jan, sun 12 feb & sun 26 feb, 12-3.30 pm: in the clouds: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Poets spend their time with heads in the clouds it seems… but clouds, we’ll discover, are so much part of any artist’s observed reality, in all their imaginative, fantastical, sombre, meteorological & mythological forms, shapes & terminologies, with their implications of cloudburst or sudden shadow on the brightest day, of eerie light-shafts unexpectedly piercing the most leaden of skies.

Clouds are so often both actual backdrop to what’s really happening in the foreground, & the objective correlative for mood, emotion, tension & joy, for so many things we want our poetry to explore: look at how they permeate art & literature — paintings by Poussin & Turner, Edward Hopper & Andrew Wyeth, James Joyce’s story A Little Cloud, song titles like Get Off of My Cloud & Castle on a Cloud, & films such as Silver Linings Playbook or Cloud Atlas… Surprise yourself by exploring just how much clouds can mean in your own imaginative skyscape.

Join us & experience the creativity of Anne-Marie Fyfe’s Troubadour Gallery sessions where tasks & talk, led exercises & sources of inspiration (from literature, the visual arts & a much wider world) will fire your poetic imagination & have you producing real results in terms of new draft poems, with time for read-back to, & positive feed-back from, energised fellow-poets.

workshops & seminars, oct-dec 2016

sun 16 oct, 2.30-5 pm, £18: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat

Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For Nobel-Prize-winning poet W.B. Yeats the sublime landscape & legends of the West of Ireland inspired his early work. But poets need a network of publishing, poetry groups, friends, & literary-&-artistic connections in which to thrive, & Yeats’ unique genius was fostered in the unique & curious 19c Arts-&-Crafts garden-suburb/artists’-colony that was Bedford Park, in Chiswick, West London, where he spent much of his youth.

Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) round Yeats’ favourite haunts, by way of Upper Mall & Old Chiswick Churchyard to Bedford Park, taking in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, O’Connell, Wm. Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, actors, anarchists, occultists, typographers, & much more.

sun 23 oct & sun 13 nov, 12-3.30 pm, £28: a long, dark night: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

How does ‘night’ play out in our imaginations? Is it the glisten of streetlights on rainy pavements, the majesty of a high-summer full moon, the glow of a bedside lamp and the Shipping News? Or a deserted inner-city alleyway with its 3am nighthawks? Headlights in fog on a midnight motorway or moorland road? Calm end to a satisfying day or a storm-tossed voyage through to dawn? Explore that time-of-day that overshadows two-thirds of our daily existence in these winter months…

sun 27 nov & sun 11 dec, 12-3.30 pm, £28: as I write this letter: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

        A letter is a joy of Earth—
        It is denied the Gods—
              Emily Dickinson

We’ve all longed for that thud on a morning mat; & missives — delivered & undelivered, misappropriated, misdirected & mislaid — are a perennial fascination. Much-awaited object in songs, crux of countless plays, & useful literary device (as in, for example, Bram Stoker’s Dracula), the letter offers the poet plausible pretexts for musing aloud, & an endless subject for speculation, as in Elizabeth Bishop’s Letter to NY, Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters, & Sharon Olds’ Letter to My Father from 40,000 Feet… Explore the uses & misuses of letters/postcards/e-mail, as both subject & literary form in poetry.

Join us & experience the creativity of Anne-Marie Fyfe’s Troubadour Gallery sessions where tasks & talk, led exercises & sources of inspiration (from literature, the visual arts & a much wider world) will fire your poetic imagination & have you producing new draft poems/prose, with time for read-back to, & positive feed-back from, energised fellow-poets.

troubadour poetry in france

sat 13—sat 20 aug, poetry course (residential)

with anne-marie fyfe & co-tutor cl dallat at château l’age baston Angoulême Charente

sat 20—sat 27 aug, poetry course (residential)

with anne-marie fyfe & co-tutor cl dallat at château l’age baston Angoulême Charente

workshops & seminars, may-jun 2016

sun 15 may, sun 29 may & sun 5 jun 12-3.30 pm, £28: invisible cities: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe

Time to take that locked stairway down to an abandoned Tube branch, to explore that fire-escape ladder to an overgrown roof-garden, to peer from a deserted nightbus upper-deck at uncurtained upstairs kitchens, to push open the cracked wooden gate to a forgotten courtyard, to puzzle over unnumbered doorways between shops, to explore the attic reaches of an abandoned Victorian railway station…

Those of us who live, or have lived, in the world’s great & unknowable conurbations, or have wandered their streetscapes as tourists & strangers in the shade of evening or the pallid light of dawn, know that round every bustling city corner there lies a hidden life, beneath every roadway, across every bridge, under every flyover, lie other invisible boroughs, ghost metropolises, parallel lives, vanished pasts, unimaginable futures inhabited by spectral fellow citizens…

sun 12 & sun 19 jun 12-3.30 pm, £28: so far from home: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe

Writers have always probed the multiple conflicting meanings of ‘home’ & the various physical, emotional & psychological spaces we inhabit. Emily Dickinson summed up the paradox in her line: Home is so far from home. Few, whether exiled or settled in one chosen place, haven’t pondered, at some point, the complexities of the word home, in terms of location, living-space, nostalgia, liberation & loss.

Join Anne-Marie Fyfe’s workshop, which will allow you to explore your own responses to, & develop ideas creatively around, the sense of home, inspired by selected examples & images from poetry, literature, the visual arts & culture generally. All of which leads — through themed exercises & writing time — to new draft poems/prose, and a chance to read back & discuss in a constructive feedback session.

sun 19 jun & sun 26 jun, 2.30-5 pm, £18: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat

Sublimely inspired, poets nonetheless need a world of publishing, poetry groups, & literary connections in which to develop. Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) by way of Upper Mall, Old Chiswick Churchyard & the Nobel-prize-winning poet’s favourite riverside haunts, to Bedford Park, London’s 19c artists’ colony, where the young Yeats’ poetry flourished: a walk that takes in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, Wm. Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, Chiswick Mall, actors, engravers, sundry poetry presses, & much more.

workshops & seminars, jan-mar 2016

sun 31 jan, 12-3.30 pm: the thing with feathers: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe

“Some of my favourite visual artists – including Leonora Carrington, Paul Nash, Joseph Cornell, & Remedios Varo – as well as writers like Patrick Suskind, Emily Dickinson & Weldon Kees, use the avian world as a mythical, surreal, disturbing, sometimes metaphorical/allegorical, route into behaviour, relationships, life, wisdom…” Come & explore these & other painters & writers, & your own feelings (conscious or as-yet-undiscovered) about ‘the thing with feathers/ that perches in the soul’ (Emily Dickinson)…

sun 14 feb, sun 28 feb & sun 6 mar, 12-3.30 pm: edge of the depths: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe

Discover the fascination of raging seas, of Force-9s & undercurrents, of tidal pull, hidden depths, unknown treasures, & uncertain homecomings; of the sense – literal, metaphorical, emotional – of stepping off terra firma into the unknown, the elemental, the unfathomable. Not just poems about seaside days & safe harbours, but the real oceanic deal, the seven seas that cover two-thirds of our world’s surface!

workshops & seminars, oct-dec 2015

sun 11 oct: 2.30—5 pm: land of heart’s desire — a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat

Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) to London’s 19c artists’ colony, Bedford Park, where the young Yeats’ poetry flourished: a walk that takes in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, sundry poetry presses, & much more.

sun 4 & sun 25 oct, 12—3.30 pm: winter’s depths: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Subtler than high summer, neither as naively optimistic as spring with its daffodil hosts or as lushly romantic as autumn with its fallen golden leaves, winter takes us deep into ourselves, low pale light for no more than half-a-day at a time, landscape stripped back to a bare minimum, nature’s creativity on hold… Yet winter months remain (even without the altered worlds sudden weather brings) a magical space for reflection & recollection, a season of mystery & imagination, a moment of pause & expectation, and a time for gathering together in celebrations of light & warmth, of goodwill even… A chance to explore, poetry-wise, some of the warmer aspects (emotionally & imaginatively) of winter, as well as its more plangent moods.

sun 15 nov, 12—3.30 pm: poetry masterclass with award-winning US poet tom sleigh

Born in Texas & now living in Brooklyn, Tom Sleigh directs (& teaches poetry writing in) Hunter College’s Creative-Writing MFA.

Essayist, dramatist, author of ten poetry collections & recipient of numerous awards including the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America & a Guggenheim Foundation grant, Tom Sleigh has taught in Dartmouth College, NYU, University of Iowa, UC-Berkeley & Johns Hopkins University.

Seamus Heaney has said of his work, Tom Sleigh’s poetry is hard-earned and well founded. I greatly admire the way it refuses to cut emotional corners and yet achieves a sense of lyric absolution.

sun 29 nov, 12—3.30 pm: the thing with feathers: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe

“Some of my favourite visual artists – including Leonora Carrington, Paul Nash, Joseph Cornell, & Remedios Varo – as well as writers like Patrick Suskind, Emily Dickinson & Weldon Kees, use the avian world as a mythical, surreal, disturbing, sometimes metaphorical/allegorical, route into behaviour, relationships, life, wisdom…” Come & explore these & other painters & writers, & your own feelings (conscious or as-yet-undiscovered) about ‘the thing with feathers/ that perches in the soul’ (Emily Dickinson)…

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading — through specific exercises and writing time — to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

workshops & seminars, may-jun 2015

sun 14 jun, 12-3.30 pm: a bridge too far: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Since the first log was placed between two riverbanks, getting to the other side (with dry feet) has fascinated engineers & poets alike, structurally & metaphorically. Some attempts explore the ‘other side’ are thought a bridge too far; at times we want to stop others following by burning our bridges (Dylan Thomas discovered burning his bridges made a very nice fire); or need to be a bridge over troubled waters like Paul Simon. There are the bridges that fill us with awe – between Denmark & Sweden, in The Bridge, or the Golden Gate & Sydney Harbour, bridges filled with a sense of their own history or tragedy, at Arnhem, at Mostar, or with our own memories, the Charles Bridge, the Rialto, bridges over the East River, or the necklaces of bridges over Thames & Seine. Come and discover the imaginative, surreal, metaphorical, & even real (!) possibilities of suspension bridges, viaducts, rope-bridges, drawbridges & flyovers.

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading – through specific exercises and writing time – to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

sun 21 jun, 12-2.30 pm: land of heart’s desire: a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat

Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) to London’s 19c artists’ colony, Bedford Park, where the young Yeats’ poetry flourished: a walk that takes in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, sundry poetry presses, & much more.

workshops & seminars, jan-mar 2015

  • sun 8 feb: the magic of realism: neruda, vallejo & paz with c.l. dallat
  • sun 22 feb: a bridge too far: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

sun 8 feb: the magic of realism: neruda, vallejo & paz with c.l. dallat

I’ll die in Paris in a shower of rain/ On a day I already remember (Vallejo); Hammers pound there above/ pulverized voices/ from the top of the afternoon (Paz); Taut and dry Spain was/ a day’s drum of dull sound (Neruda)… Discover three major Latin American poets (in translation), all three major world artists engaging with the local and universal, each from a particular perspective, Peruvian, Chilean or Mexican, yet all approachable, immediate, profoundly influential: a chance to spend Sunday in Santiago, Lima, Mexico City, the world…

With Cahal Dallat, poet, musician & critic, b. Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, has written on contemporary poetry for Guardian, TLS, Poetry Review, Wasafiri, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London & The North (among others): a regular contributor to Saturday Review (BBC R4) over the past 15 years, he has won the Strokestown International Poetry Competition & his latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009).

sun 22 feb: a bridge too far: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Since the first log was placed between two riverbanks, getting to the other side (with dry feet) has fascinated engineers & poets alike, structurally & metaphorically. Some attempts to explore the ‘other side’ are thought a bridge too far; at times we want to stop others following by burning our bridges (Dylan Thomas discovered burning his bridges made a very nice fire); or need to be a bridge over troubled waters like Paul Simon. There are the bridges that fill us with awe — between Denmark & Sweden, in The Bridge, or the Golden Gate & Sydney Harbour, bridges filled with a sense of their own history or tragedy, at Arnhem, at Mostar, or with our own memories, the Charles Bridge, the Rialto, bridges over the East River, or the necklaces of bridges over Thames & Seine. Come and discover the imaginative, surreal, metaphorical, & even real (!) possibilities of suspension bridges, viaducts, rope-bridges, drawbridges & flyovers.

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading — through specific exercises and writing time — to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

workshops & seminars, oct-dec 2014

  • sun 16 nov, locked rooms: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 30 nov, electric light: a seamus heaney seminar with c.l. dallat
  • sun 14 dec, stop all the clocks: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

sun 16 nov, locked rooms: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

The spaces we live in are central to our poems & our psyche: but what part do (or can) forbidden rooms, locked studies, inaccessible spaces, disused lofts, padlocked store-cupboards, & secret staircases (real or mythical), play in our memories, our poetic landscapes? What were those shadowy shapes in a half-lit attic? Who last ventured into this cellar? What do we keep in our own secret den? And where is the missing key?… Dare to explore.

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops (16 nov above & 14 dec below) allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading — through specific exercises and writing time — to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

sun 30 nov, electric light: a seamus heaney seminar with c.l. dallat

A chance to explore the development of an amazing poetic gift from the urgency & innocence of Death of a Naturalist (1966), through the complexities of the middle years in The Haw Lantern & Seeing Things to the emotional riches of Electric Light, District & Circle, & the deeply moving Human Chain (2010): & an opportunity to explore a journey from life on a 1940’s Co. Derry farm by way of Queens University, Belfast, to Harvard, the Nobel prize & international status as the best-known poet in the world (The Independent).

With Cahal Dallat, poet, musician & critic, b. Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, has written on contemporary poetry for Guardian, TLS, Poetry Review, Wasafiri, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London & The North (among others): a regular contributor to Saturday Review (BBC R4) over the past 15 years, he has won the Strokestown International Poetry Competition & his latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009).

sun 14 dec, stop all the clocks: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Horace urges us to seize the day, Kipling recommends filling every second of the unforgiving minute. Baudelaire idealises his isolation At One O’Clock in the Morning, Wallace Stevens registers the Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock, & Medbh McGuckian delights in Four O’Clock, Summer Street: why do clocks, particular times of day, & the inevitable passing of time, slowly or apace, fascinate poets? And what part can time play in our writing, in our memories & imaginings…

workshops & seminars, may-jul 2014

sun 8 jun, stop all the clocks: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Horace urges us to seize the day, Kipling recommends filling every second of the unforgiving minute. Baudelaire idealises his isolation At One O’Clock in the Morning, Wallace Stevens registers the Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock, & Medbh McGuckian delights in Four O’Clock, Summer Street: why do clocks, particular times of day, & the inevitable passing of time, slowly or apace, fascinate poets? And what part can time play in our writing, in our memories & imaginings…

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops (8 jun above & 6 jul below) allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading — through specific exercises and writing time — to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

sun 15 jun, 2.30-5 pm: land of heart’s desire: a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat (for bedford park festival)

Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat, on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) to London’s 19c artists’ colony, Bedford Park, where the young Yeats’ poetry flourished: a walk that takes in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, sundry poetry presses, & much more.

sun 6 jul, locked rooms: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

The spaces we live in are central to our poems & our psyche: but what part do (or can) forbidden rooms, locked studies, inaccessible spaces, disused lofts, padlocked store-cupboards, & secret staircases (real or mythical), play in our memories, our poetic landscapes? What were those shadowy shapes in a half-lit attic? Who last ventured into this cellar? What do we keep in our own secret den? And where is the missing key?… Dare to explore.

workshops & seminars, jan-mar 2014

  • sun 2 feb: dawning reality: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 16 feb, relative values: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 9 mar, electric light: a seamus heaney seminar with c.l. dallat
    easter break

sun 2 feb: dawning reality: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

The meanings of morning oscillate between the freshness of new day and the tristesse of parting, the revitalising of the energies with which we face the world & the drudgery of alarm clocks, bolted breakfasts, missed buses & trains, the jaunty whistle of the milkman or paper-boy & the thud of morning mail delivering some fresh hell! A chance to write of the optimism & pessimism, the exuberance & angst, the joys & dejections of dawn, daybreak, sunrise…

sun 16 feb, relative values: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Parents make frequent appearances in poems, as do, for some poets, children: but there are walk-on parts (& occasional leading roles) for siblings, the older sister, the younger brother, & for aunts, forbidding, gregarious, confidential, for uncles with card-tricks, for distant cousins once- or twice-removed, held up as examples or warnings… Fictional relatives, too, often enliven our lives & our poems, the imaginary brother, the perfect cousin, the long-lost uncle in Machu Picchu… A chance to rediscover much-missed, wilfully forgotten & completely invented family members!

sun 9 mar, electric light: a seamus heaney seminar with c.l. dallat

A chance to explore the development of an amazing poetic gift from the urgency & innocence of Death of a Naturalist (1966), through the complexities of the middle years in The Haw Lantern & Seeing Things to the emotional riches of Electric Light, District & Circle, & the deeply moving Human Chain (2010): & an opportunity to explore a journey from life on a 1940s Country Derry farm by way of Queens University Belfast to Harvard, the Nobel prize & international status as the best-known poet in the world (The Independent).

With Cahal Dallat, poet, musician & critic, b. Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, has written on contemporary poetry for Guardian, TLS, Poetry Review, Wasafiri, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London & The North (among others): a regular contributor to Saturday Review (BBC R4) over the past 15 years, he has won the Strokestown International Poetry Competition & his latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009).

workshops & seminars, oct-dec 2013

sun 17 nov, the eye of the storm themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Storms, with all their suddenness & mystery — in all their various manifestations from mere high winds to tempests, typhoons, tornadoes & blizzards — have a breath-taking, awe-inspiring ability to turn our secure worlds literally upside down, and have long played a significant role in myth, legend, drama & poetry, in addition to their metaphorical & symbolic power. Join us in exploring the poetic power of full-force gales, the swirling of hurricanes, the lyrical calm at the eye of the storm.

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops (17 nov, above, & 1 dec, below) allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading – through specific exercises and writing time – to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

sun 1 dec, seeing red! themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

…a repeat of this overbooked workshop from June…

No single colour is more freighted with universal meaning than the red of hearts, roses & red balloons, the red of dragons, flags & banners, the vividly quotidian red of post-boxes, buses, fire-engines. Discover what red conveys to us in the archetypal colour-scheme, what it tells us, reminds us of, where it takes us…

workshops & seminars, may-jul 2013

  • sun 19 may (rpt) a northern spring: poetry seminar with c.l. dallat
  • sun 2 jun, seeing red! themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 16 jun, to sleep, perchance… themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 30 jun, 12-2.30 pm: land of heart’s desire — a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat
  • sun 7 jul, seeing red! themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 14 jul, mapping the island: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

sun 19 may (rpt) 12-3.30 pm: a northern spring: poetry seminar with c.l. dallat

A new look, not simply at the seismic 60s upsurge in poetry in the North of Ireland through the Heaney, Longley & Mahon years, but also at the quirkily eclectic & postmodern, sometimes obscure, often playful poetry that followed from the North’s ‘next generation’: Medbh McGuckian, Ciaran Carson & Paul Muldoon, some of the key influences on British poetry today. With Cahal Dallat, poet, musician & critic, b. Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, has written on contemporary poetry for Guardian, TLS, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Magma & The North (among others): a regular contributor to Saturday Review (BBC R4) over the past 15 years, he has won the Strokestown International Poetry Competition & his latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009).

sun 2 jun & sun 7 jul, seeing red! themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

No single colour is more freighted with universal meaning than the red of hearts, roses & red balloons, the red of dragons, flags & banners, the vividly quotidian red of post-boxes, buses, fire-engines. Discover what red conveys to us in the archetypal colour-scheme, what it tells us, reminds us of, where it takes us…

Anne-Marie Fyfe’s themed writing workshops (2 jun,above, 16 jun & 14 jul below) allow poets to work through responses to and memories of, and to develop ideas around, the chosen theme, inspired by examples & images from poetry, literature, visual arts & culture generally, leading – through specific exercises and writing time – to new draft poems and a chance to read back & evaluate in a constructive workshop environment.

sun 16 jun, to sleep, perchance… themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Flaubert was dismissive: Sleep: too much of it thins the blood! Yet death-like Morpheus & his mates, (Insomnia, Siesta, Somnambulism, Catnap…) have intrigued, painters, sculptors, myth-makers & poets — along with questions of how, where, when & why we enter this familiar altered state.

sun 30 jun, 12-2.30 pm: land of heart’s desire — a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat

Join Irish poet & critic Cahal Dallat on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) to London’s 19c artists’ colony, Bedford Park, where the young Yeats’ poetry flourished: a walk that takes in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, sundry poetry presses, & much more.

sun 14 jul, mapping the island: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

John Donne insisted no man is an island… Yet the notion of the isle as alternative to — escape from — our reality, continues to inspire writers & poets: from Shakespeare’s The Tempest & Defoe’s Crusoe to Yeats’ Innisfree & Celan’s Isleward… with implications of isolation, exoticism, reflection, mystery, survival, longing & relaxation. Escape the everyday to discover the role of islands in your own imaginative, poetic seascape…

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