Writing Nature Poetry – Winchester Discovery Centre

Well, this was a day that I had looked forward to for some months, and it lived up to my hopes. I was fortunate to have an enthusiastic group of people taking part, who read and discussed and most of all wrote with dedication and thoughtfulness. The debates over what makes up ‘nature poetry’ were particularly interesting, and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition was a wonderful source of stimulation for our writing.

Many thanks to everyone who came to this day course and made it such a success. You all worked very hard and managed to keep going at full pace for the whole day – I was impressed! It was lovely to meet several new people as well as those of you who’d been to my Discovery Centre courses before.

Special thanks and well done to the many of you – Chris, Margot, Trish, Beverley, and Ilse – who were relatively, or totally, new to writing poetry: you were adventurous in your writing and brave in your sharing. I hope the day has encouraged you to keep going, as you all produced work with potential.

Thanks also to Jacqui and Kevin, who now jointly hold the record (3) for coming to consecutive workshops with me! Jacqui, your haiku on the mole was excellent and shows how far your confidence has come since Start Writing Love Poetry back in February. And Kevin, your work was interesting as always – keep working on those purple-hatted flowers nodding.

Arthur, your enthusiasm was great again, and your lament on the hybridisation and destruction of Wordsworth’s daffodils was a good example of how to use poetry to raise consciousness of an issue through careful use of form.

Sonja, you again showed yourself to be a skilled poet and I hope we’ll see you at the Hyde Writers before long.

Helen, it was a pleasure to meet someone so committed to using words to make a difference in how people see the world around them, and I hope your experiments with ecopoetry continue.

Glad to see you again, Miller, and to know that you’re back on form after your long illness. It’s nice to see that your inimitable poetic style is thriving again!

And Tony, even though you found it hard at times, I appreciated your openness to my approaches and I trust they’ll bear fruit when you work on them later.

I look forward to seeing your work on email, and I hope I’ll see you again at other classes, or at the Hyde Tavern.

Next offering from me at the DC is a session on National Poetry Day, 7th October. It will be from 6.30 to 9pm, and will be on the Day’s theme of ‘Home’. I will be helping people think of new and stimulating ways to approach this topic, partly to join in the Poetry Day fun, but also to help local poets get ready for the next Poetry Cafe at the DC, on 20th October, which also has the theme of ‘Home’. Hope to see you there!

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