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Writer’s Residency: Day Three

August 8, 2013

Fortunately we were blessed with good weather for today’s poetry workshop which involved participants getting out of doors to explore historic buildings in Barnard Castle including the Bowes Museum, the Buttermarket and the castle from which the town takes its name.
Before leaving the art gallery we sharpened our senses with a warm-up exercise which involved making mental notes of what we could smell, taste, see, touch, hear, sense in the silence and sense overall in that location.
We read quotes by Ted Hughes about the importance of letting words that ‘live’ into our writing i.e. words: “which we hear like ‘click’ or ‘chuckle’, or which we see, like ‘freckled’ or ‘veined’ or which we taste, like ‘vinegar’ or ‘sugar’, or touch, like ‘prickle’ or ‘oily’, or smell, like ‘tar’ or ‘onion'”. (Ted Hughes, Poetry in the Making, Faber and Faber Ltd. 1967)
We also discussed his reference to the fact that many words belong to several senses and that it is these words which give life to our writing – what he calls the ‘goblin’ which we have to capture and control.
We then visited our chosen locations and collected images and other sensory details such as light, colour and personal impressions of the place.
Back in the gallery these notes were the basis for creative pieces which are being developed for the ‘One Poem for Teesdale’ project.
Next Thursday’s workshop involves rewriting local myths and legends. If you wish to take part, come to NeST gallery, 25 Newgate, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 8NG for a 10a.m. start.
The session lasts two hours and costs £9 per person.

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