Simon Williams, Susan Taylor
Tutor
18th – 23rd September 2017
Course Date

In its earliest form a poem was any ‘thing made or created’ and it’s the making of new work and its presentation that we’ll concentrate on in this course. Through the study of surprising poems and writing from prompts of all kinds – including the beautiful surroundings of Garsdale – we’ll share our new work on the page and out loud. In individual tutorials and group workshops, we’ll focus on sharpening our techniques, liberating our voices and enjoying the buzz of creating new poems.

simon-williams Tutor: Simon Williams – Poet

Simon Williams has written poetry since university days, when he was mentored by Roger McGough and Pete Morgan. For the last 30 years he has made a living from writing about technology, in tandem with his poetry. He has seven published collections. His latest pamphlet, Spotting Capybaras in the Work of Marc Chagall, launched in April 2016 and his latest full collection, Inti was published three months later.

Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013 and founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet, now in its fourth year. He co-organises two poetry-based cabaret-style events each month, and has tutored many one-off and ongoing poetry workshops.
Photo: Emma-Louise Bullions

susan-taylor Tutor: Susan Taylor – Poet

Susan Taylor is a life-long poet, with seven collections and a number of pamphlets, as well as being published widely in anthologies and magazines. Her most recent collection is Temporal Bones, from Oversteps Books in 2016. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she led poetry workshops on the Undergraduate programme. She has also run many workshops and courses at other venues.

Originally a farmer in the Lincolnshire Wolds, she enjoys exploring the landscape, with a mind towards its ecology and human history, linking these journeys into resonant local myths and legends in her poems.

Her website is www.susantaylor.co.uk
Photo: Amy Boswood

PRICES Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).

Single – En-suite room £750
Single – Shared bathroom £700
Shared Room (2 Beds) £650
Non-residential (inc. lunch and evening meal) £500

INCLUDED
Accommodation Professional Tutor
Meals Sheets & Towels
WHAT TO BRING
Boots/outdoor shoes/trainers suitable for walking on rough paths.
A waterproof jacket or coat.
Torch
Warm Clothes
Slippers or equivalent for main house.
Writing materials: your personal writing preference – laptop, paper, pens etc.
A USB memory stick: for printing your work or for a copy of the audio anthology (musical theatre/play writing courses).
Musical instruments.
Drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc.
Cash: for books written by the tutors, alcohol, taxis or sundries. The nearest cash machine is in Hawes, seven miles away.
START TIME Please arrive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Monday 18th September.
END TIME After breakfast, 10:00 am on Saturday 23rd September.
LOCATION The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW

Courses

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 group work 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 – 5.30pm and finish after breakfast on Saturday, 10.00am

Course Structure

Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course, students can generally expect the following outline.

Writing Workshops

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, nap, 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 vary varies according to the type of course but participants can typically expect a tutor reading on Tuesday followed by a reading from a visiting writer on the Wednesday. 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. This is followed by an informal celebration where participants are welcome to play music or sing etc. The Retreat has a grand piano, key-board and acoustic guitar but students are free to bring any instruments along with them.

After-dinner events for performance style courses will usually involve workshop performances by participants of work accomplished in the day.

All courses will conclude after breakfast on Saturday.

Writing Course Anthology

An integral part of a course, is the production of an anthology of the week’s writing. Tutors and students have an equal allocation of pages (usually two sides ofA4) and select the work they include. These pages can be illustrated or decorated. Each participant takes ownership of their pages and is free to determine the overall look and style which may be hand-written or word-processed. 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.

Musical Theatre Courses

These are essentially the same as the writing workshops in terms of the structure of the day. The main difference is that the evenings are devoted to performance of work produced each day. An informal concert of work produced over the week is given on the Friday evening.

Musical Theatre Course Recording

For musical theatre and performance poetry based courses, an audio anthology is produced. Each student selects work they’ve produced over the week to be recorded. As with the written anthology, the audio version is not expected to be a complete and polished work but more of a work-in-progress which reflects the week’s endeavours. A copy of the anthology recording is given to each student at the end of the course. The Garsdale Retreat will archive the anthology, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.

poetry-the-joy-of-making