‘Topping Up My Well of Creativity’ (honest..!)

Last week I was invited to take part in a poetry workshop in Stratford’s Guildhall (and Shakespeare’s schoolroom).

It’s an amazing place. If you’re ever in Stratford, don’t miss it. Historian Michael Wood called it, “one of the most atmospheric, magical and important buildings in the whole of Britain.” Wow!

The workshop was led by poet and academic, John Wedgwood Clarke (you have to have a middle name like that if you’re going to be a poet, right?) and he was great. All the old school desks in the building are riddled with signatures and initials, engraved (no doubt with compasses and pen knives) by former pupils.

So, after a little warm-up exercise in which we roamed the building and wrote down everything we saw, the workshop was about ‘signatures’. We started by choosing one of the signatures in the desk in front of us and writing a short description of it and then we went on to think about our own signatures and the occasions on which we’ve used them.

Everyone in the group ended up with a beautiful poem (I know because they were all read out). A really inspiring way to spend an afternoon!

Today, by the way, it is my birthday (thank you, thank you!) and I’ve had a very relaxing day.

We don’t have Netflix and actually use DVDs (apparently, that’s hilarious. Tell me I’m not the only one?) and my OH bought me the first series of ‘The Crown’ which I’ve been dying to see. Oh-my-God it is brilliant! (if you like the Royals, which I do). We’ve already watched 3 episodes today (yes, they are an hour long! But I have also walked the dog – twice!) and I reckon we’ll probably squeeze in a fourth this evening.

I’m also reading a really good book – Robert Harris’s ‘Munich’, set just at the start of WW2. Writing has gone a bit ‘by the by’ just lately but I will get back into it. All this reading and viewing is topping up my well of creativity! (That’s my excuse, anyway and I’m sticking to it!).

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10 Responses to ‘Topping Up My Well of Creativity’ (honest..!)

  1. Carrie says:

    Happy Birthday Helen 🙂 And I still have dvd’s…..and …hold your breath…videos! lol Glad you’ve had a good day! Carrie

  2. Dorinda Cass says:

    John Wedgwood Clarke was my poetry tutor on my Creative Writing degree. He fired up my interest in poetry. Up until then I’d given it a very wide berth. I still don’t understand every poem I read, but at least I give it a go! And I’ve written a few, too. I’m sure you had a fruitful, creative time with him.
    PS NETFLIX – Che?!

    • Ooh Dorinda, isn’t it a small world? Yes, I thought he was great. Very insightful and kind and encouraging too. I hadn’t been able to write a poem for ages, so it was just what I needed. I think Netflix is a ‘young person’s thing’! My friend, who has teenage sons, is one of the people who laughs at me for still watching DVDs!

  3. juliathorley says:

    Belated happy birthday. We still use DVDs, too, and vinyl records. I don’t think it matters that you’ve eased up on the writing for a while. You’re clearly immersed in creative thoughts, which will be swirling around in your subconscious and will emerge in due course.

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    We don’t have Netflix either and devour DVD box sets 😀

  5. Kate hogan says:

    Belated Happy Birthday wishes, Helen. I’ve never even heard of Netflix – being able to put on an old video tape or DVD is still a feat for me! Enjoy your creative rest. Good wishes Kate Hogan.

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