So, we’re two (Post-Symposium) workshops through our programme. And I have thoroughly enjoyed them both. You never REALLY know how a workshop has gone. Unless someone demands their fee back straight away. Or unless someone is driven to denouncing your paltry skills of planning and organisation. Neither of these things has happened yet. I suppose one good sign is in the quality of the work produced. There have been moments in both workshops when the room has been spellbound by something that has just been minted. These are really precious moments; the time constraints of the workshop give everyone the advantage of being able to read without having a preamble of ‘this isn’t finished yet’, because everyone knows it isn’t. That lends work a malleable quality: it might be bent into another shape. And the supportive listening of others is something that I am always impressed by. And if something is really, really good then it has that freshness and free quality that perhaps is most often seen in jazz: something wonderful happening THERE in front of you. It’s even more of an honour to see the work later on the page. Of all the things I do in any creative capacity at the moment, I think the workshop programme is one of my favourites. Probably like you, I have attended some bad workshops. You’ve been at one or two of those, haven’t you? Perhaps with a blockbuster poet who couldn’t be figged. Perhaps not. Time and energy go into these and I hope it shows.
The wonderful staff of Tullie House even gave us a sign at the weekend. Look. here it is. And a word or two for the lovely room: what a great space for talking about poetry.
If you’re interested in coming to either of the remaining workshops you can find the details elsewhere on here, but they are on 25th June and 2nd July.