Update on our March Writing Days

We are very sorry that we have had to cancel tomorrow’s Manchester Art Gallery Writing Day (Saturday 14th March) and our Sheffield Writing Day next Saturday 21st March because of current concerns with the spread of coronavirus.  


This is very disappointing because they are such a pleasure to do, but it seems the most sensible way forward. We will see where everything is next month, and will post updates on our website and social media. 


Meanwhile, we have posted two or three poetry tasks below for those who would like to try them.  

Three Reading and Writing Tasks
1)  Find a poem (from Staying Alive maybe or another anthology). Then learn some or all of it by heart.  Make a start on this for ten minutes or so.  Then choose a phrase from somewhere in the poem to alter and freewrite from — just set off without planning, without thinking, for five minutes or so.  A completely separate poem to the original, may have nothing in common except that altered phrase.  Redraft later if needed in the same mood/state of mind.  That is, trust the process:  don’t over-think or too-consciously move the poem around.  Afterwards maybe go back to learning the original poem.

2)  Look out of the window.  Begin to freewrite a poem that is about something or mentions something out there.  Also if it works for you include two things you can see and one that you can’t. 

3) Read or re-read two books of poems (each by a different author).  You might do this over a few a days perhaps.  Find the poems that stand-out for you and make a note of what it is that appeals to you.  What do the poets have in common and how would you distinguish them from each other?  Are there elements or procedures in any of the poems that you might use in poems of your own?  Perhaps write a poem.