Poetry is invaluable for addressing the most important things in life: love, loss, joy, sadness, the family, the natural world. But how can we use poetry to best allow the reader to share the emotions and experiences that are most important to us? On this writing week, we will think about how starting small, with an object or item of clothing, may lead us to say something big about the family and relationships, how a vernacular phrase or specific location can allow us to say something about community, how playfulness can be the surest route to serious achievement. If there’s an important subject you just can’t find the way to write about, or even if you’re looking to discover new subjects, this course will give you a wide range of strategies to take all that beauty, humour and personality inside us and allow the reader to make it their own.
|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: Steve Pottinger – Poet
Steve Pottinger is a founding member of Wolverhampton arts collective Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists. He’s an engaging and accomplished performer who has performed the length and breadth of the country. His work regularly appears online in Culture Matters and the Morning Star, and has won prizes or been commended in Bread & Roses, Prole, Poetry on Loan, Plough, Guernsey International, Arran, Verve, and Poets & Players poetry competitions. His sixth volume of poems, ‘thirty-one small acts of love and resistance’ published by Ignite Books, is out now.
What other poets have to say about Steve:
‘muscular, passionate, emotional, rational, compassionate’ Brenda Read-Brown
‘pathos, grace, and stone-cold contempt for the powerful and immoral’ Laura Taylor
‘ready as needs be to caress or deck humanity in all its beautiful stupidity’ Jonny Fluffypunk
|PRICES||Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £990
|TO BOOK||£150 deposit payable on booking by bank transfer, PayPal or cheque, to secure place. Balance due six 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 25th November 2024
Tea, cake and housekeeping notes 4.30pm
Introductory Workshop 5.30 – 6.30pm
After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 30th November 2024
|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.
Courses (Tutored and Untutored Retreats – see below)
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 participants, tutors and the landscape itself.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 3.00 – 4.30pm.
4.30pm – Housekeeping information, tea and cake
5.30 – 6.30pm – Introductory workshop
6.30pm – Complimentary welcome drink
7.00pm – Dinner
All courses end after breakfast on Saturday (10.00am).
Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course (see below), participants can generally expect the following outline:
8.00 – 9.00am: Breakfast
9.30 – 11.00am: First workshop – Participants explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. All participants 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, read or work on individual writing projects.
4.30pm: Tea and cake
5.30 – 6.30pm: Third workshop
All participants on a course have one individual tutorial of 30 minutes with the tutor in the course of the week. These will take place in the afternoons.
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 writing game or a poetry/music performance from Hamish and Rebecca. On Friday, there is a shared reading of ‘work-in-progress’ 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 participants.
These follow the same basic structure as above except there is only one workshop in the morning 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, there are optional events such as writing games and poetry/music performances from Hamish and Rebecca. Participation in such events is entirely voluntary and people are free to continue with their writing in the evenings if they prefer. However, we do like to end the week on Friday evening with a shared reading of work-in-progress as a celebration of the week’s writing.