What we make from nothing

Reflecting on some of the creative writing workshops that I’ve been a part of lately. There is such a variety out there at the minute. The few I’ve recently been involved with I’ve written quite strange pieces from, one of which you can find online here in The Rag-which describes itself as:

Ranty feminist poetry that doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

We enjoy a joke with our anger. The poem was written in the Stirred: Riot workshop and the exercise was to take the title of the poem Themes for Women and write from that. The last line of the poem was ‘the smell of blood’. The last line became my starting point for the poem I began.

The results of group poems from two other workshops are here:

The Suffragette conference-Landays

These landays were prompted by google auto complete poem which I had made before the workshop, so are a combination of found poetry and fresh words. It also makes a nice pattern through the repetition with some phrases being more popular than others so that the verses are like echoes that bounce back and forth and become more resilient.

Full Steam Ahead workshop-group poem

This is one of my favourite group poems with its topicality and freshness. I also loved the way people were engaging with the artwork, just as we sat around people were exploring in depth the metal hooks that attach the piece to the wall and the juxtaposition of old paintings with this modern new piece.

Breathing Lightly prose and poetry workshop-collaborative poem 

This piece has wonderful variety from line length to focus, the theme was joys of the body and the range of voices ensured a really vibrant piece of writing. Other tasks in the workshop focused on the body as a vehicle, body as a series of choices, body as a rite of passage from one form to the next. Everyone responded really well to the task, you wake up, you are an insect, start writing.

Anna Percy, Steph Pike and myself are working on a collaborative set of poems which look at themes of violence against women, suffragette history and the pursuit of beauty. We all contribute a stanza or couplet, working with found poetry, more form based poetry and the latest one is free verse tied together by a repeating phrase.

The workshop this Sunday is Stirred: Phoenixleading up to Stirred: Transformations performance night on Monday. Click on the below image to go through to the facebook event.  What words will we drag out from the nothing…  

Cycnus and the Heliades

The next big full day QUIMPERFECT TENSE workshop is on May 10th, theme:

Making Ourselves Heard. 


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