How do we decide on the shape of a poem? Where’s the best place to break the line, and what impact does the white space around a poem have on the reader? What’s the relationship between form and content? What is more important – saying what we need to say, or using language to call attention to language? Through discussion and writing exercises we’ll consider all of these questions and more, offering participants the opportunity to explore form, white space and the line break as a kind of playfulness and the door to a different kind of writing freedom.
Tutor: Jonathan Edwards – Poet
Jonathan Edwards’s first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, and was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.
His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. His poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2019, and he has received prizes in the Ledbury Festival International Poetry Competition, the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition.
He has read his poems on BBC radio and television and at festivals around the world, recorded them for the Poetry Archive and led workshops in schools, universities and prisons. He lives in Crosskeys, South Wales.
Guest, Wednesday evening: John Glenday – poet
John Glenday is the author of four collections: The Apple Ghost (Peterloo Poets 1989) won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award; ‘Undark’ (Peterloo Poets 1995) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; ‘Grain’ (Picador 2009) was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the Ted Hughes Award and ‘The Golden Mean’ (Picador 2015) was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year and won the 2016 Roehampton Poetry Prize. His most recent publications are a limited edition artbook ‘mira’, (Coast to Coast to Coast 2019) and a pamphlet, ‘The Firth’ (Mariscat Press). His Selected Poems came out with Picador in 2020.
Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £860
|TO BOOK||£150 deposit payable on booking by bank transfer, PayPal or cheque, to secure place. Balance due four weeks before the start of the course/tutored retreat/untutored retreat.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
|WHAT TO BRING||
Please arrive between 3:00pm and 4:30pm on Monday 28th November 2022
Tea, cake and housekeeping notes 4.30pm
Introductory Workshop 5.30 – 6.30pm
After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 3rd December 2022
|LOCATION||The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW
Nearest railway station: Garsdale, on the Leeds – Carlisle line.
For directions, see Find Us section on the Contact page.
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 3.00 – 4.30pm. On this first day, tea, cake and housekeeping notes are at 4.30pm followed by an introductory/ice-breaking workshop 5.30 – 6.30pm. Dinner is at 7.00pm. All courses end after breakfast on Saturday (10.00am).
Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course (see below), students can generally expect the following outline:
8.00 – 9.00am: Breakfast
9.30 – 11.00am: First workshop – Students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. 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.
11.00 – 11.30am: Coffee break
11.30am – 1.00pm: Second workshop
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.
4.30pm: Tea and cake
5.30 – 6.30pm: Third workshop
All students have one individual tutorial of 30 minutes with the tutor in the course of the week which usually takes place at a mutually agreed time, usually in the afternoon.
Each evening, at about 8.30pm, 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 word/literary game. On Friday, there is a reading of work produced during the week.
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 the writing is essentially work-in-progress. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course and to provide participants 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.
These follow the same basic structure as above except there is only one workshop in the morning 9.30 – 11.00am and participants will have a daily 30 minute tutorial, four per week.
The only formal structure of the week is determined by meal-times (see above), allowing participants to concentrate totally on their own writing. After dinner, participants in conjunction with the course director sometimes organise evening read-rounds of their work /open mics/music /word games. However, participation in such events is entirely voluntary and people are free to continue with their writing in the evenings if they prefer.