Participants on this course will learn how to develop and hone the art and craft of performance poetry. Using a range of workshop exercises and tutorials, Lemn will enhance both writing and performance skills, enabling students to conquer fears and inhibitions, gain confidence and to feel at ease with the spoken word. With the recent profusion of slam/open mic events, this course provides great opportunites for writers to deliver their work effectively and ensure their voice is heard.
‘Let there be voice!’ is open to seasoned performers as well as those just starting to find their poetic voice.
Tutor: Lemn Sissay – Poet/Writer
Lemn Sissay MBE is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, ambassador for The Children’s Reading Fund, trustee of Forward Arts Foundation and inaugural trustee of World Book Night and an honorary doctor of Letters. He has been a writer from birth and foremost he is a poet.
Lemn is author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, broadcasts, public art, commissions and plays. Sissay was the first poet commissioned to write for London Olympics. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London. They can be seen in The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. His Landmark Poem,Guilt of Cain, was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu in Fen Court near Fenchurch St Station.
Sissay’s installation poem what if was exhibited at The Royal Academy alongside Tracey Emin and Antony Gormley. It came from his Disko Bay Expedition to the Arctic alongside Jarvis Cocker, Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Leslie Feist and KT Tunstall. His 21st century poem was released on multi-million award winning album Leftism by Leftfield.
A violin concerto performed at The BBC by Viktoria Mullova was inspired by Lemn Sissay’s poem Advice For The Living.
Sissay’s award winning play Something Dark directed by National Theatre of Wales artistic director John McGrath has been performed throughout the world and his stage adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah’s Novel Refugee Boy at West Yorkshire Playhouse toured Britain in 2014. A BBC TV documentary, Internal Flight , and a radio documentary, Child of the State, were both broadcast about his life and his Ted Talk has close to a million views. His documentary on the late Gil Scott Heron was the first pubic announcement of Scott-Heron’s comeback album.
Sissay describes dawn in one tweet every day. His Morning Tweets. One Morning Tweet became an award winning building MVMNT Café commissioned by Cathedral group designed and built by Supergroup’s Morag Myerscough. It is the only building in the world built below a tweet. Cathedral also commissioned a Landmark Poem, Shipping Good, which will be laid into the streets of Greenwich.
He was the first Black Writers Development Worker in the North of England. He created and established Cultureword (part of Commonword) where Sissay developed supported and published many new writers who’ve gone on to a life of creativity. Sissay received an MBE from The Queen for services to literature and an honorary doctorate from University of Huddersfield who run The Sissay Scholarship for care leavers: It is the first of its kind in the UK.
The Guardian newspaper heralded the arrival of his first book Tender Fingers In A Clenched Fist. “Lemn Sissay has Success written all over his forehead”. He was 21. Between the ages of 18 and 32 he tracked his family down across the world. His career as a writer happened in spite of his incredible life story not because of it.
He has made various BBC radio documentaries on or with writers such as Gil Scott Heron, The last Poets, JB Priestley, Edgar Allan Poe and poetry films broadcast to the nation. His head is in London where he’s based, his heart is in Manchester where he is not, his soul is in Addis and his vibe is in New York where his mother lives. He blogs openly for personal reasons. Google Lemn Sissay and all the hits would be about him. There is only one Lemn Sissay in the world.
Photo: Hamish Brown
Guest, Wednesday evening: Ben Mellor – Writer/Performer
Ben Mellor is an award-winning writer and perfomer who has performed his work at theatres, festivals, schools, colleges and prisons nationally and internationally.
He has created and toured a number of solo and collaborative shows incorporating spoken word, storytelling, theatre, live music, beatbox and vocal looping and has produced two poetry collections with accompanying spoken word albums, Light Made Solid and Anthropoetry.
He has also featured on BBC Radio 4, 4 Extra, the World Service and a variety of poetry podcasts and has had poetry, fiction and articles published by Poetry Review, Route, Corporatewatch, Puppywolf, Tongue Fu and Inc Magazine.
Photo: Sam Ryley
|PRICES||Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £760
|TO BOOK||£150 deposit payable on booking by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque, to secure place, balance due six weeks before start of course.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
|WHAT TO BRING||
|START TIME||Please arrive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Monday 23rd July 2018.|
|END TIME||After breakfast, 10:00 am on Saturday 28th July 2018.|
|LOCATION||The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW
Nearest station: Garsdale – direct line from Leeds.
The Garsdale Retreat provides an inspiring place to develop as a writer. Our courses offer opportunities for new, emerging and experienced writers. The tutors, all professional writers, lead workshops and also give one-to-one tutorials to help the individual student. In the remote and beautiful setting of The Yorkshire Dales, The Garsdale Retreat gives a wonderful opportunity to escape from the daily stresses of life and to draw inspiration from fellow students, tutors and the landscape itself.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 4.00 – 6.00pm and finish after breakfast on Saturday, 10.00am
Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course, students can generally expect the following outline:
Each day begins with a morning workshop at 9.30am where students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. Tutors also write alongside the students, sharing and developing work with participants. The immediacy of hearing or reading an expert’s emerging work gives invaluable insight and inspiration into the art of writing. All students have opportunities to share their work with the tutor and fellow writers in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment in which individual work is respected and confidence developed.
There is a mid-morning coffee break and the session finishes at lunchtime (1.00pm)
After lunch, participants are free to do whatever they like, such as: relax, go for walks, enjoy The Dales, draw, paint, read or work on individual writing projects.
All students have at least one individual tutorial which usually takes place in the early evening after tea and homemade cake.
Each evening there is an after-dinner event. The precise nature of this varies according to the type of course but participants can typically expect a tutor reading on Tuesday followed by a reading from a guest writer on the Wednesday evening. There is an informal activity on Thursday such as a student ‘open-mic’ night, or a tutor devised activity. On Friday, students and tutor take part in a reading of their work from the course-produced anthology.
All courses end after breakfast on Saturday.
Poetry Course Anthology
An integral part of poetry courses is the production of an anthology of writing produced in the week. It is, of course, accepted that work may not be completely polished and there is an element of work-in-progress about it. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course by both tutor and participants and to provide them with an attractive record of their time at Garsdale. The Retreat stores copies of anthologies in the library, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.