Whether poems are written about parents or children, neighbours or uncles, bosses or serfs, whether they say ‘I love you’ or ‘I hate you,’ people are the inspiration for so much great poetry. As readers, we are moved by poems which explore the connections between us as humans. And people offer such a rich range of ways into poetry.
From the character sketch to the monologue, from the real to the surreal, from poems about historical folk to poems in praise of pop culture figures. The narrative, the lyric, the serious, the comic, the sonnet, the epic – this course will explore a rich range of ways in which we can people our poems, or how we can make poems which are worthy of our people.
We’ll be writing poems with beating hearts, sing-songing voices, bellowing laughs, poems which strut into a room and announce themselves loudly, or else sit down beside us, and whisper their shy words into only our ears.
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. Jonathan is the editor of Poetry Wales.
Guest, Wednesday evening: Jacob Polley – Poet
Jacob Polley was born and grew up in Cumbria. His fourth book of poems, Jackself, won the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry, the judges describing it as ‘a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling.’ His three previous books of poems, The Brink (2003), Little Gods (2006) and The Havocs (2012), are all published by Picador, UK. Both The Brink and The Havocs were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and The Havocs won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Jacob’s first novel, Talk of the Town, a fiercely demotic coming-of-age murder mystery, won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award.
Jacob has held residencies in Queensland, at the Wordsworth Trust and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and he was Visiting Fellow Commoner in the Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2005-7. In 2004, he was named one of the ‘Next Generation’ of the twenty best new poets in Britain, and in 2002 he won an Eric Gregory Award. He lives in the North East and teaches at the University of Newcastle.
|PRICES||Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £845
Single – Shared bathroom £795
Shared Room (2 Beds) £745pp
Non-residential (inc. lunch and evening meal) £605
|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 5:00pm on Monday 1st March 2021
Tea and cake 4.30pm
Introductory workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm
After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 6th March 2021
|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 – 5.00pm. On this first day, tea and cake are at 4.30pm followed by an introductory/ice-breaking workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm. 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 and participants will have a daily 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.