classes & courses

(image: Moritz Aust)

sun 16 jan—sun 20 mar, £180: taking a walk — the poetry of footfall: 9-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe

Many of us have valued the joys of striding out in the past two years. So here’s a chance to step outside yourself (alone!), literally or virtually, & let wandering lead where it will, get you lost or find your way home, heading-somewhere/going-nowhere perhaps, on pilgrimages & peregrinations that are directional, orbital, exploratory & immersive, subconscious or psychogeographic.

On foot (in both imagination & actuality, though nothing too demanding) at various hours & several weathers, by familiar walkways, urban alleys & riverbank towpaths, on routes subterranean or sublime – & ever, as poets, witnessing, creating, inventing, simply being present.

Your perambulatory ‘itineraries’ (with exercises, images, inspirations & observations on the history, psychology & philosophy of walking) will pop up in your inbox twice a week (one real, one virtual) for six weeks, ending with a (week seven) module on shaping/structuring/polishing your work. Two weeks later there’ll be a written appraisal of your submitted excerpt, followed by a chance to share/discuss in a Zoom end-of-course reading/critical session!

Numbers limited, email info@coffeehousepoetry.org to apply, & PayPal booking link will be forwarded if place available.

fri 28 jan–sat 19 mar, £130 between the lines #9, a 7-wk close reading & critical masterclass with cahal dallat

Spend spring reading between the lines… discovering not just what poems ‘mean’ but how they achieve their effects — through form, structure, sound, imagery, etc, what they reveal about poet, identity, context, language, about the art & craft of poetry itself.

Explore chosen poets & their poems in each week’s ‘guest-poet’ handout (inc. tutor comments, analysis, context etc), hone your own critical faculties on fellow workshoppers’ latest poems, & be poetically inspired to write great new poems as your weekly assignment!

Join poet & critic Cahal Dallat, & his limited-numbers workshop group, in the ninth new episode of this exciting exploratory/critical course… all via e-mail, with an online post-final ‘wrap’ reading/get-together.

On six Fridays you’ll receive Cahal’s low-down on the week’s hand-picked paragon poet plus — after week-one — your own & fellow-workshoppers’ new poems, critiqued, plus the group’s collated critical responses to your week-before poem, each other’s, & the week’s poet-of-choice… all triggering the creative process for your next Friday poem submission!

Numbers limited, email info@coffeehousepoetry.org to apply, & PayPal booking link will be forwarded if place available.

archive

sun 10 oct—sat 11 dec, £180: taking a walk — the poetry of footfall: 9-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

fri 17 sep—sat 6 nov, £130: between the lines#8 — focus on form, a new 7-wk critical/craft masterclass with cahal dallat (see above)

sun 12 sep—sat 20 nov, £180: taking a walk — the poetry of footfall: 10-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

(pic: The Visitors: Andrea Kowch)

sun 20 jun—sat 24 jul, £120: the avian eye: 6-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe

The strange charm of the avian eye: ever been transfixed by that steady gaze, wondered why the ancients believed birds symbolised the soul, why legend insisted on transforming humans into flighted things? Perhaps you recall the simple wonder of a bird’s nest accidentally discovered, of watching flapping wings take off, of tracking bird footprints in wet sand?

Take wing on this intensely focused six-week flight into birdworld mystery & myth, image & imagination – from archaeopteryx to Aristophanes to Anne Carson & Alice Oswald – where we’ll explore, from every altitude & angle, how these feathered ‘familiars’ hover over the psyche, roost in the atavistic self, enchant the auditory airscape with their irrepressible music & much more!

Your Avian Eye exercises, images, ideas and inspiration will arrive in your inbox every few days ending with a module giving advice on editing your work & shaping/structuring your night poems/sequence. After two further weeks writing & revising, there’ll be a chance to share your work in a Zoom end-of-course wrap-reading!

(pic: Urban Camouflage, Keith Thomson)

mon 14 jun—sat 24 jul: between the lines 7, a new 7-wk critical/craft masterclass with cahal dallat (see above)

(pic: Moonlit Night, Patrick Lopez)

sun 13 jun—sat 17 jul, £120: nocturne: a 6-wk creative-writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Take a walk on the dark side, discover day’s other half, literally or as state-of-mind, a slippery terrain of secrets, allure, mystique & shadow-play.

Sign up for the night-shift, board the night-bus, sleepwalk your creative inner self through moon-dark woods or street-lit cities, be prepared to lose yourself in an astronomical night-sky of galaxies & lunar magnetism.

Explore those pitch-dark, ticking, dusk-to-dawn hours as both lacuna & otherness, as somnolent or turbulent, as nightmare or night-music, just as writers, artists, musicians & philosophers have always probed the night’s depths. The dark, Rilke says, embraces everything.

Your Nocturne exercises, images, ideas and inspiration will arrive in your inbox every few days ending with a module giving advice on editing your work & shaping/structuring your night poems/sequence. After two further weeks writing & revising, there’ll be a chance to share your ‘nightwork’ in a Zoom end-of-course wrap-reading!

(pic: Refuge: Andrea Kowch)

sun 2 may—sun 20 jun: the avian eye: 6-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

(pic: Swim Slowly (Cover), Meltt)

sun 18 apr—sun 30 may: solitary spaces: 6-wk creative-writing workshop series on solitude, with anne-marie fyfe

There is a solitude of space Emily Dickinson

A time to be silent & a time to speak Ecclesiastes

Seclusion, silence, isolation: so often creativity’s spur, but how much do we really speak, in our poems, of the intensity of solitude, its potential for deep reflection, for solace, for the prospect of insights into both an interior universe & the busy outer world from which we find ourselves in retreat, absented from the constant buzz of the everyday & social interaction.

Isolation’s been a key word in the current crisis, but we’ll be exploring the much wider positive (& sometimes negative) implications of being confined, detached, of waiting for both endings & beginnings.

Your Solitary Spaces exercises, images, ideas and inspiration will arrive in your inbox every few days, ending with a module on shaping/structuring your solitude poems/sequence in the (fourth) week’s editing. Two weeks later there’ll be a written appraisal of your submitted work, followed by a chance to share your ‘solitary’ work in a Zoom end-of-course wrap-reading!

sun 14 feb—sun 28 mar: nocturne: a 6-wk creative-writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

mon 25 jan—mon 15 mar: between the lines 6, a new 7-wk critical/craft masterclass with cahal dallat (see above)

(pic: Private Moon, Leonid Tishkov)

sun 24 jan—sun 7 mar: nocturne: a 6-wk creative-writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

2020

mon 12 oct—mon 23 nov: between the lines 5: focus on form, a new 7-wk critical/craft masterclass with cahal dallat (see above)

(pic: No One’s Watching, Andrea Kowch)

sun 8 nov—sun 6 dec: the avian eye: 4-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe

sun 4 oct—sun 1 nov: the avian eye: 4-wk creative-writing workshop series with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

(pic: Surreal Solitude, Philip McKay)

sun 6 sep—sun 4 oct: solitary spaces: 4-wk creative-writing workshop series on solitude, with anne-marie fyfe

sun 23 aug—sun 20 sep: solitary spaces: 4-wk creative-writing workshop series on solitude, with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

mon 10—sat 15 aug: summer poetry in the glens of antrim with anne-marie fyfe & cahal dallat

(2020 course cancelled)

(see gallery below course description)

After the success (& fun) of the past two years’ Summer Poetry in the Glens of Antrim, your chance to join Coffee-House Poetry tutors Anne-Marie Fyfe & Cahal Dallat in August 2020 for another inspiring, lively, productive (!) residential poetry week, & enjoy the classic comforts of full-board hospitality in the historic Londonderry Arms (built 1847), a traditional family-run hotel, at Carnlough Bay on the dramatic Coast Road in the heart of the Nine Glens.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, WM Thackeray thought Antrim’s coastal route, through the nine deep glens & their high headlands, more sublime than Monaco’s Grand Corniche, & described the Glens themselves as Switzerland in miniature.

Daily sessions will include new themed creative workshops, editing/polishing masterclasses, assignments, discovering poets/poetries, traditional forms vs freedom, shape & shape-shifting, & — at the cutting edge of contemporary writing — crossing poetry/prose/lyric-essay/creative-nonfiction boundaries.

With ample time to write, walk, explore & simply enjoy: plus after-dinner pleasures including poetry readings/games/challenges, & music in the Londonderry’s Coach House bar.

Mid-week our poetry outing takes us to Ballycastle Harbour where we board the fast (25-minute) ferry to Rathlin Island (pop. 150), the Enchanted Island in Longfellow’s Poems of Place anthology, long an inspiration to poets & novelists, with its dramatic scenery, three lighthouses & RSPB seabird sanctuary, a fascinating history including Marconi & the world’s first commercial wireless link, the quiet pleasures of Church Bay, & lunch at the island’s Manor House (see gallery below).

Course tutors Anne-Marie Fyfe & Cahal Dallat were Spring Semester 2019 joint Writers-in-Residence teaching poetry at Lenoir Rhyne University in North Carolina.

Anne-Marie after five poetry collections including House of Small Absences (Seren Books, 2015) has just published a literary/travel/personal poetry-&-prose memoir, No Far Shore: Charting Unknown Waters (Seren Books, 2019). Born in Cushendall, Co. Antrim, Anne-Marie lives in London where she works as a writer, arts organiser & creative-writing teacher. She has run Coffee-House Poetry’s readings & classes at London’s leading live literature venue, The Troubadour, since 1997, is a Poetry Co-ordinator for the annual John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh, has been awarded the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Prize, & is a former chair of the UK’s Poetry Society. www.annemariefyfe.com

Cahal, is a poet, musician & critic (b. Ballycastle, Co. Antrim), a BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review contributor since 1998, reviews for TLS, Guardian & others, is WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project founder/organiser, a 2018 Harry Ransom Center Research Fellow (University of Texas in Austin) & 2017 Charles Causley Trust centenary musician/poet-in-residence: awards include Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize & Strokestown International Poetry Prize. Latest poetry collection, Beautiful Lofty Things due from Salmon Poetry in 2021. www.cahaldallat.com

  • advance booking only, e-mail coffpoetry@aol.com for course booking details

mon 20 jul—mon 24 aug: between the lines #4, a new 6-wk close-reading & critical masterclass online course with cahal dallat (see above)

sun 12 jul—sun 9 aug: solitary spaces: creative-writing workshop series on solitude, with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

thu 14 may—thu 18 jun: between the lines #3, a new coffee-house poetry 6-wk close reading & critical masterclass course with cahal dallat (see above)

sun 1 mar & sun 15 mar, 12—4pm: memory cloud: family montage, poetry workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Family Montage: editing/splicing those fading snapshots, snatches of chatter (or loaded parental silences), antics of siblings – or absence thereof – to torment us; collaging the clips, audible, visual & emotional, of family life & its wider circles; piecing together the mosaic fragments of chaos, joy, security, relationship, confrontation, that make up a life, shape us, become poem, sequence, autofiction, micro-memoir…

Next two-parter in the Memory Cloud series, Anne-Marie Fyfe’s new creative-workshop strategy, with both Sundays featuring exciting current writers (esp. from US) in poetry & creative-non-fiction genres. Plus homework – how can we think of family without homework evenings? – to bring back to the second session. With tasks & talk, & visual, literary, & cultural sources of inspiration that’ll spark creativity, generate both finished work & drafts, in both sessions, & leave you buzzing with new ideas, new directions.

  • two Sunday 12—4 pm workshops @: ArtsEd, 14 Bath Rd, London W4 1LY, 2 mins from Turnham Grn Tube Stn (District Line)

thu 27 feb—thu 2 apr: between the lines #2, a new coffee-house poetry 6-wk close reading & critical masterclass course with cahal dallat (see above)

sun 19 jan & sun 2 feb, 12—4pm: memory cloud: house — the home movie, poetry workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Next two-parter — new theme, new techniques — in Anne-Marie Fyfe’s creative-workshop concept developed through two years’ work on her own literary/travel/memoir No Far Shore: Charting Unknown Waters (Seren, 2019).

In Memory Cloud we’ll access the assorted home-movie/video clips of memory, exploring new ways of editing/splicing flashback cine-fragments into our own bio-pics/drama-docs, as poem sequence, autofiction, micro-memoir & lyric essay.

Both sessions feature exciting current writers (esp. from US) in both poetry & in creative-non-fiction genres. And a writing assignment between parts #1 & #2! With tasks & talk, & visual, literary, & cultural sources of inspiration that’ll spark creativity, generate both finished work & drafts, in both sessions, & leave you buzzing with new ideas, new directions.

House — The Home Movie: like we tried to capture the meanings of ‘home’ in those first hand-drawn houses psychology now tells us are as pivotal to self-definition as every hallway, staircase or window-frame we’ve lived with since; like our recalling rooms with their significant objects, furniture, wallpaper (remember that wallpaper?) — all chosen or haphazard, contingent or imposed.

Are living-spaces mere stage-set, the backdrop to a life? Or are they constants in the subconscious? Do they revisit in familiar or estranged forms? Time for us to piece together, in new & exciting forms, our own authentic ‘home movie’ scenarios from the liminal world of the cutting-room floor!

  • two Sunday 12-4 pm workshops

tue 14 jan—tue 18 feb, 7—9pm: between the lines #1, a new coffee-house poetry 6-wk close reading & critical masterclass course with cahal dallat (see above)

2019

sun 24 nov & sun 8 dec, 12—4pm: memory cloud: house — the home movie, poetry workshop with anne-marie fyfe (see above)

sun 20 oct, 12-4pm memory cloud: complexities of blue, poetry workshop with anne-marie fyfe

In Complexities of Blue we’ll find a way into our own dominant colours of memory; we’ll discover the meanings/responses we associate with each band of the spectrum, each element in our psychological palette; we’ll explore how particular colours govern our individual emotional mindscapes; & we’ll arrive—at the end of all our exploring—at a focused study of shades of blue in all their complexity, reflecting how variations, subtle, moody or exuberant, can touch on the deeper subterranean-blue regions in our psyche.

Memory Cloud: a new creative concept developed through Anne-Marie Fyfe’s work on her literary/travel/memoir (No Far Shore: Charting Unknown Waters, Seren, 2019): in each workshop we access the assorted pics/video clips of memory, exploring new ways of sorting those images/fragments, hazy or focused, sharpened or softened into our own album/storylines as poem-sequence, autofiction, micro-memoir & lyric essay, weaving in & out of our personal pasts & presents…

…featuring excerpts from current writers (esp. from US) in poetry/creative-non-fiction genres, plus tasks & talk, & visual, literary, & cultural sources of inspiration that’ll spark creativity, generate finished work, outlines & drafts, & leave you buzzing with original ideas & unexpected new directions.
           

sun 20 oct, 2.30-5pm, £22, land of heart’s desire: wb yeats literary walk with cahal dallat

Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For Nobel-Prize-winning poet WB 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’s 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 (founder/organiser of WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project, who has lectured on WB Yeats for Poetry Society, Sligo’s Yeats International Summer School, Mapping Yeats 2015 at UMKC, WBY Society at NYU etc) on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) round Yeats’s favourite haunts, by way of Upper Mall, along Thames riverside by 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.

mon 26 aug to sat 31 aug, summer poetry in the glens of antrim

After the success (& fun) of last year’s first Summer Poetry in the Glens of Antrim, your chance to join Coffee-House Poetry tutors Anne-Marie Fyfe & Cahal Dallat in another inspiring, lively, productive (!) August 2019 residential poetry week, & enjoy the classic comforts of full-board hospitality in the historic Londonderry Arms (built 1847), a traditional family-run hotel, at Carnlough Bay on the dramatic Coast Road in the heart of the Nine Glens.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, WM Thackeray thought Antrim’s coastal route through the nine deep glens & their high headlands, more sublime than Monaco’s Grand Corniche & described the Glens themselves as Switzerland in miniature.

Daily sessions will include new themed creative workshops, editing/polishing masterclasses, assignments, discovering poets/poetries, traditional forms vs freedom, shape & shape-shifting, & — at the cutting edge of contemporary writing — crossing poetry/prose/lyric-essay/creative-nonfiction boundaries.

With ample time to write, walk, explore & simply enjoy: plus after-dinner pleasures including poetry readings/games/challenges, & music in the Londonderry’s Coach House bar. And as we’re in the middle of legendary poetry country, there has to be an outing to Cushendall, Cushendun & the Middle Glens much loved by poets Moira O’Neill, John Hewitt, Louis MacNeice, & Californian, Robinson Jeffers, with a visit to the final hilltop resting-place of Ireland’s greatest poet & hero, Oisín.

This year’s mid-week trip will be to Belfast’s famously cultural Queen’s Quarter that fostered The Group & so many contemporary poets from Seamus Heaney to Sinead Morrissey, taking in Queen’s University, MacNeice House, Malone Road &, in the elegant Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum, whose Art Gallery was curated for many years by Belfast poet, John Hewitt. With a writing task & a short talk/introduction to the painters who were an integral part of the North’s 60s & 70s cultural renaissance, & who continue to inspire poets & writers today, & a writing break (coffee/lunch?) in the inspiring Café Conor opposite, or on Stranmillis Road’s café area.

mon 22—sat 27 jul, john hewitt international summer school 2019

…a week of readings, talks, lectures, discussions, creative writing, drama, music, with poets including Billy Collins, Kathryn Maris, Mona Arshi, Kerry Hardie, Fiona Benson, Mary Jean Chan, Tamar Yoseloff, Billy Ramsell, Sarah Clancy & Zaffar Kunial, plus novelists, playwrights, musicians, political thinkers and much more…

Booking: John Hewitt Society
Venue: Marketplace Theatre, Armagh BT61 7BW

may-jun 2019


           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
                       
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

sun 2 jun & sun 23 jun, 12-4pm: memory cloud: retracing steps, poetry workshop with anne-marie fyfe

A new poetry-workshop concept from Anne-Marie Fyfe (following two years work on her own hybrid memoir, No Far Shore, due Seren, Sep. 2019) Memory Cloud will offer new ways of accessing the randomly stored ‘snapshots’ in our virtual cloud, & original ways of re-playing those re-sequenced, re-invented fragments into the exciting writing-space where poetry embraces elements of creative non-fiction including prose-poem, auto-fiction, micro-memoir & lyric essay… (looking at handouts/examples from the finest writers in those genres!)

Retracing Steps: TS Eliot wrote all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. Explore — in this Memory Cloud workshop — how we can use spatial memory to chart familiar or imagined routes, to map recalled/forgotten incidents & experiences, to sequence visual images, the film-clips of memory: to discover & create vivid & sharply-focused writing about our past, our present, ourselves. Join us on the journey!


           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

pic of bath road, bedford park, london by camille pissarro, wb yeats by john butler yeats

sun 9 jun, sun 16 jun & sun 23 jun, 2.30-5pm: land of heart’s desire: wb yeats literary walks with cahal dallat

Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For Nobel-Prize-winning poet WB 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’s 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 (founder/organiser of WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project, who has lectured on WB Yeats for Poetry Society, Sligo’s Yeats International Summer School, Mapping Yeats 2015 at UMKC, WBY Society at NYU etc) on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) round Yeats’s favourite haunts, by way of Upper Mall, along Thames riverside by 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.

workshops & seminars, aug-dec 2018


           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
                       
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
                       
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

sun 14 oct & sun 28 oct, 12-3.30pm: minds of snow: two-part themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

sun 11 nov & sun 9 dec, 12-3.30pm: minds of snow: two-part themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

One must have a mind of winter… (‘The Snow Man’, Wallace Stevens)

Perhaps snow begins deep inside the mind, long embedded in the genetic memory, a pristine enchantment even before you witness the first slow falling on rooftops. That familiar white stuff can be be both desolate & transforming, both nostalgic & exhilarating. This two-part #sundaygallery workshop takes us to sub-zero snowscapes, to distant winters of the imagination, in a searching expedition to Antarcticas of the mind, to depth, isolation, inner vision, & solace. Join our polar exploration, join the snow party…

And a new format: this workshop is in two parts, on Sun 11 Nov & Sun 9 Dec, plus homework. In both #sundaygallery sessions there’ll be much writing, discussion, handouts, inspirations from Europe, US & beyond (those snowbound regions where snowfall can be more exciting & ubiquitous than here), from poetry, novels, folktale, memoir, visual arts, music etc, & a reading list for you to take away. On top of workshop exercises, responses, & discussion there’s an assignment (your #coffeehousepoetry homework!) given in the first workshop, that’ll introduce you to a specific new & exciting format/way-of-writing, homework that you’ll share at the second workshop session for supportive critical feedback.

mon 27 aug to sat 1 sep, summer poetry in the glens of antrim

Join Anne-Marie Fyfe & Cahal Dallat for Coffee-House Poetry’s 2018 residential poetry course in Carnlough, a picturesque harbour village on the Antrim Coast Road set in the beautiful Glens of Antrim … and enjoy the classic full-board hospitality of the historic Londonderry Arms, a traditional family-run hotel built for Lady Londonderry & once owned by Winston Churchill (which is where the annual John Hewitt Glens of Antrim Literary Festival was hosted for many years).

Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Glens were described as Switzerland in miniature, by WM Thackeray, who thought the 19c Coast Road, between the nine deep glens & their high headlands, more beautiful than the Grand Corniche at Monaco.

Daily themed workshops & masterclasses, time to write, of course, & evening entertainment plus, as we’re in the heart of poetry country, a trip to Cushendall (Anne-Marie’s home town & inspiration to poet John Hewitt), Cushendun (favourite haunt of poets Louis MacNeice, John Masefield & Californian Robinson Jeffers), to Heaney Country, & to the Seamus Heaney Homeplace arts & literary centre.

workshops & seminars, may-jun 2018

sun 24 jun, 12-3.30pm: of night & light & the half light: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Of night & light & the half-light… (WB Yeats) What better opportunity than a Troubadour Gallery Sunday just after the shortest night (& last workshop Sunday until mid-autumn!), right after the nearly no-night of the summer solstice, to explore how we need, want, & on occasion miss, the enveloping night-sky with its mysteries & revelations; to discover how we’ve projected – onto the vast dome of the heavens & from the earliest times – our myths, metaphors, omens, fantasies & scientific theories; to meditate on light years & parallel universes, & on the clusters of satellites & asteroids, space stations & black holes, with which we’ve cluttered the dark vacuum above us.

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-starship-troopers.

sun 10 & sun 17 jun, 12-3.30pm: louder than words: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Silence can speak with astounding clarity in our poems, as in our lives, not just of absence, emptiness, loss, but of the positive virtues of calm, of pause, of solitude, of escape, of quiet contemplation, of absenting oneself from the clamour of the quotidian, in order to reflect, recall, & create.
Discover how the unsaid, & the almost inaudible, can convey silence, both as tranquility, & as eeriness & trepidation: explore how writers, visual artists, even composers, capture the essence, the aura, of silence.

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 10 jun & sun 17 2.30-5pm: land of heart’s desire: ‘wb yeats’ literary walks with cahal dallat

Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For Nobel-Prize-winning poet WB 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 (who has lectured on Yeats for Poetry Society, Sligo’s Yeats International Summer School, Mapping Yeats 2015 at UMKC, WBY Society at NYU etc) on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) round Yeats’ favourite haunts, by way of Upper Mall, & along Thames riverside by 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.

workshops & seminars, jan-mar 2018

sun 11 mar nov, 12-3.30pm: 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.

sun 18 feb & sun 4 mar, 12-3.30pm: and the rains came… themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

From floods of biblical proportions to nightly radio warnings of precipitation within sight, rain remains a persistent feature of both everyday life & distant memory. Changing — in a flash, cloudburst or sunshower — our visual & emotional experience of the real world around us, mysterious, penetrating, arbitrary… rainfall is deeply embedded in the mindscape both as both longed-for antidote to metaphorical drought & as relentless spoiler of so many dreams & schemes. A chance to explore the richness of rainwater, the endless, relentless, ubiquitous, poetic possibilities…

sun 21 jan & sun 4 feb, 12-3.30pm: smoke & mirrors: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

Illusion or reality, mirror images are everywhere – in stores, lifts & lobbies, in bathroom cabinets, periscopes, kaleidoscopes & powder compacts. A looking-glass world of image & imagination seen through rear-view mirrors, wing mirrors, mirrors in science & superstition, fairytale & fact, always replicating reality in reverse, dazzling, distorting, or, angled just right, multiplying images to infinity. A chance to explore the poetic potential of our much-mirrored world, to reflect on anything & everything – from a rain-puddle to a polished hub-cap to the mirror-walled office-block – that reflects us & the world around us!

workshops & seminars, oct-dec 2017

sun 26 nov, 12-3.30pm: 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.

sun 15 oct & sun 29 oct, 12-3.30pm: river deep: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

From secret sources & murmuring hill-streams to the wide Missouri, the majestic Loire, the working Thames & Tyne, rivers carry all of life, & our histories, public & personal, before them, together with their own esoteric collections of this & that swept from banks & woods, junkyards & tributaries. Sign-up for our virtual river-trip where we’ll be messing about in the rowboats of recollection, relaxing on the riverbanks of the familiar, dipping a toe in the freshwater of inspiration, wading into metaphorical shallows, exploring allegorical estuaries, or heading upriver into the heart of darkness & shooting the rapids on the river of life …

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.

workshops & seminars, may-jul 2017

sun 21 may, sun 18 jun, & sun 2 jul 12-3.30pm: 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, 12-3.30pm: 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 25 jun, 2.30-5 pm: 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.

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.

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