The Poetry School: ‘The Poet in the World’

In July I’m running a workshop for the Poetry School in Manchester, as part of a series, entitled ‘The Poet in the World’

‘Recreating the World’ with Cliff Yates (Friday 23 July 10am-4pm)

‘The human mind makes the world’ – Roy Fisher. Poets invite us to see the world through their eyes; this is true of the least autobiographical writers. This workshop explores the way in which poets construct a world through their writing. It considers the world that is articulated in the work of a variety of contemporary writers, and the ways in which this world is articulated. The workshop includes a series of lively, stimulating writing exercises in response to the work under consideration, whilst acknowledging that the very act of writing ‘about’ something invariably changes it. Poems don’t merely describe the world: they re-create it.

‘Writing the Big Ideas’ with Bernardine Evaristo (Saturday 24 July 10am-4pm)

What is important to you about the world today? How do you feel about living in the 21st Century? What do you love, hate, adore or worry about? This workshop will explore issues that are important to you; issues to do with our contemporary world at large – the environment, celebrity culture, politics, the internet, sex-trafficking, international politics, the Olympics, war, terrorism for example. Come along with an idea, a topic, maybe some newspaper cuttings or photographs and let’s see how we can turn the big idea into poetry that explores big ideas.

‘Astonishing World’ with Jane Draycott (Sunday 25 July 10am-4pm)

‘The world,’ as poet Wislawa Szymborska said, ‘is astonishing.’ This workshop will encourage you to lose yourself in it and find yourself there again, using audio and other documentary material as a starting point for discussion and new writing. Curiosity and a desire to push your poetry that bit further beyond the self is all that’s required.

Cost of each workshop: £60 (£42 concs).  All three workshops can be booked for £170 (£120 concs) or individual workshops for £60 (42 concs). Prices include lunch.

Where: Tai Chi Village Hall, 163 Palatine Road, Manchester, M20 2GH

Level: open to all

Between now and July, the Poetry School in Manchester are running courses led by Alicia Stubbersfield, Clare Shaw, Barry Wood, Jeffrey Wainwright, Adam Strickson, Matthew Welton and Rommi Smith.


One thought on “The Poetry School: ‘The Poet in the World’

  1. Colin Edwards April 6, 2010 / 6:46 pm

    Hi Cliff, I agree with this about writing being an act of re-creation. My own writing tends to be anecdotal, my angle on events I was involved in, things I observed happening without being closely involved, writing does re-create for me, I draw some meaning out of the memory, and we all know how fallible the memory can be yet I trust that even if I get some details a bit wrong, the meaning these past events had for me is what I remember so vividly. I guess I learn from reading other people’s anecdotes and short stories.

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