Mimi Khalvati – Tutor
Tutor
John Alexander Scott – Guest Reader
Guest Reader
7th – 12th September 2020
Course Date

Robert Frost said: “It begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” In this course we will delight in the variousness of the figures that poems make by exploring a wide variety of styles, forms, writing processes and techniques. In the beautiful surroundings of Garsdale, we will expand our own horizons, build on our repertoire, and practise new ways of developing and editing our poems. We will discover how, by shaping the figure a poem makes, its true nature is revealed.

Tutor: Mimi Khalvati – Poet

Mimi Khalvati was born in Tehran, Iran and has lived most of her life in London. She has published nine collections with Carcanet Press, including The Meanest Flower, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2007, and Child: New and Selected Poems 1991-2011, a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. Her Very Selected Poems appeared from Smith/Doorstop in 2017.

She has held fellowships at the International Writing Program in Iowa, the American School in London and at the Royal Literary Fund, and her awards include a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors and a major Arts Council Writer’s Award.

She is the founder of the Poetry School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of The English Society. Her new book of sonnets, Afterwardness, published by Carcanet in October 2019, is a Poetry Book Society Winter Wild Card.

Photo: Caroline Forbes

Guest, Wednesday evening: John Alexander Scott – Performance Poet

John Alexander Scott was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up in Aberdour, Fife. A graduate of Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, career-wise, he’s had more sideways moves than a line-dancing spider. He has lived in Kendal, England for ten years.

A Performance Poet, he regularly appears at Kendal Brewery’s “Verbalise,” Lancaster “Spotlight” and solo spoken word shows at the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2017 & 2018 and Bearded Theory Festival in 2019.

He’s written a novel “The Cold Glass Star”; two books of poems and monologues; ”One Precariat Place” and “Voodoo Nation” and also written a couple of short plays.

His poems and monologues are a mix of personal and political, accessible yet thoughtful, serious and comic, usually reflecting on life in the UK. His latest project is a collaboration with musician friend Martin Dewar, putting music to some of his spoken word poems.

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

Single – En-suite room £805

Single – Shared bathroom £755

Shared Room (2 Beds) £705pp

Non-residential (inc. lunch and evening meal) £565

TO BOOK £150 deposit payable on booking by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque, to secure place, balance due six weeks before start of course.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
INCLUDED
Accommodation Professional tutor and mid-week guests
All Meals Sheets & Towels
WHAT TO BRING
Boots/outdoor shoes/trainers suitable for walking on rough paths.
A waterproof jacket or coat.
Torch
Warm Clothes
Toiletries – we do have one hair dryer available
Writing materials: your personal writing preference – laptop, paper, pens etc.
USB memory stick: for printing your work. (We do have air printing so may not be necessary)
Musical instruments and drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc. (optional!)
Cash: for books written by the tutors, alcohol or sundries. The nearest cash machine is in Hawes, six miles away.
START TIME

Please arrive between 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Monday 7th September 2020

Tea and cake 4.30pm

Introductory Workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm

END TIME

After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 12th September 2020

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

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).

Course Structure

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

7.00pm: Dinner

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.

Tutored Retreats

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.

Untutored Retreats

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.