We are living in an age where poverty is persecuted and hate is loud and proud. How do we document this? How do we protest this? It has always fallen to writers, especially poets, in times like these to make the political personal. To reveal the day to day experience of living with political fall-out; whether that is making and mending or sharing encounters with abuse. In times like this, writing becomes an act of survival and resistance.
In this workshop you will discover how writers, past and present, have done this and how you can witness your world through poetry, taking the headlines and flipping them to tell your story. These witness poems create a deeper truth against the fake news and denials of our politicians who say that they can't see the poverty, struggle and oppressions we live with.
Wherever there are bodies of water, there are stories about strange creatures and spirits who live within it, guard it and avenge it. These are the kelpies, the sirens, the finkfolk of Finfolkaheem. And the water hags who mistake human children for their own lost babes. From Beowulf to Hemingway storytellers make myths to teach us respect for the power and vulnerability of the sea.
Today, more than ever, as humans we have the choice to protect, harm or be destroyed by the sea. Every day 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into our oceans. The sea level is rising due to global warming at a catastrophic rate. In this workshop we will explore traditional myths and legends of the sea and update them as warnings to protect this most powerful force of nature.
Carmen is an award winning author and poet. Her debut novel, HOW SAINTS DIE, won New Writing North’s Northern Promise Award and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Her poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, The Royal Festival Hall and Durham Book Festival. She regularly runs workshops on the writing craft for festivals and writing organisations. Carmen believes that biscuits are integral to the creative process. Her first work received ‘Weird minus one housepoint’ from her primary school teacher. This was enough to encourage her to keep writing weirdly.
Please note these workshops are suitable for ages 18+.