In this course we will read and write poems that make the ordinary extraordinary through the medium of poetry. We will consider poems of domesticity, family and work, and look at strategies for celebrating and commemorating our everyday experiences.
Open to all, the course will offer both writing activities and feedback on poems-in-development.
Tutor: Helen Mort – Poet/Novelist
Helen Mort is a poet and novelist. She is a five-times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award, received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2007, and won the Manchester Poetry Prize Young Writer Prize in 2008.
Her collection Division Street is published by Chatto & Windus and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her second collection ‘No Map Could Show Them’ was shortlisted for the Banff Mountain Literature Award in Canada. Helen’s first novel ‘Black Car Burning’ was published by Random House in April 2019.
In June 2018 Helen was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lectures in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Guest, Wednesday evening: Fleur Adcock – Poet
Fleur Adcock was born in New Zealand but has lived in London since 1963. Her books of poetry, all published by Bloodaxe Books, are: Poems 1960-2000 (2000), Dragon Talk (2010), Glass Wings, (2013), The Land Ballot (2015), Hoard (2017) and The Mermaid’s Purse (2021).
She has also published translations from Romanian and medieval Latin poetry, edited several anthologies, including The Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, and written libretti and texts for a number of musical works. In 2006 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and in 2019 the NZ Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry.
Photo: Jemimah Kuhfeld
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 23rd May 2022
Tea, cake and housekeeping notes 4.30pm
Introductory Workshop 5.30 – 6.30pm
After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 28th May 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.