Monday, 17 March 2014

Lots of doors opened

Words on Tap Survival Kit
Workshop with Matthew Hedley Stoppard
Saturday 15 March 2014 2-5pm HEART Ridge Room

Sheila Chapman writes:
                                   Photo:  Matthew Hedley Stoppard
The workshop took place in the lovely Ridge room at HEART, an inspirational setting. Matthew was a genial and encouraging workshop leader and we all relaxed and felt at ease with him. We began with a simple writing exercise during which, I’m pleased to say, we all manifested some degree of ‘zeug’ – we than began to discuss Zeugma (I’m not going to tell you what it is you will have to come to one of Matthew’s workshops!) and its use in poetry. We read several poems looking in particular at ‘voice’ and finished off by writing responses to Dead Bride by Geoffrey Hill – I never thought I would do something like that.

This was a really interesting and productive workshop and I’m very glad I went.

Here’s what the rest of the class thought:

1.     Surprised at the amount and quality of work produced in such a short time. Lots of ‘doors’ opened and lots of amazing poetry poured out from attendees. Would have liked to have been introduced to everyone at the beginning; names, who’s who (briefly) – and seen Matthew’s book.
2.     Very thought provoking. I have the skeleton of a poem and the knuckle of another! Enjoyed learning about zeugmas and close-readings.
3.      A really enjoyable and productive afternoon, and Matthew’s approach is varied, so I felt as fresh at the end as I did at the start.
4.     Really nice to focus on a discipline I am not really familiar with – it was relaxing, informative and enjoyable.  
5.     Have now built up another stock of poems and exercises to unblock the flow of lines and rhymes and Zeugma. So hold that picture and see the means to write and hold oranges up to goddess and sing.

PS We were also surrounded by the photo exhibition set up by Headingley LitFest as part of its Stories from the War Hospital project – don’t forget the book launch and performance –Friday, 21 March,  7.30pm at New Headingley Club

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