I have experience of devising and delivering workshops in writing and performing poetry, for ages 14+, and for dementia sufferers. I’m currently working with Just For Women, an informal crafters group in Stanley, Co. Durham, on behalf of Northern Writes Festival. Here are some examples of workshops I could deliver for your group.
Eyeball Kicks – 30 mins
Quick, high-energy, half-hour pop-up workshop ideal for use in libraries. Using randomly selected non-poetry texts, participants will construct surreal metaphors in the style of Allen Ginsberg, which they will craft into a collective poem. (With thanks to the awesome Ross Sutherland for teaching me this technique)
What I See In You – 1 hour
In which we use a fantastic stash of postcards to imagine characters and take on new voices. Using ‘personality questionnaires’, participants will create poems that speak to the people in the pictures, and give them a voice to answer back.
Well, Will You Look At That! – 2 hours
In which we explore the use of observation and visualization as tools for generating writing. Using free writing and list-making, and a special box of treasured objects, participants will emerge with both ‘small stone’ poems and a pantoum.
Beloved Bodies – 2 hours
In which we experiment with simile, metaphor and ‘groups of three’ to structure poems that describe and celebrate our physicality. Using games and colourful mind-mapping, participants will leave with two poems.
Colourful Language – 2 hours
A workshop of two halves, using ‘untranslatable words’ from other languages to create acrostic poems, and the names of paint shades to inspire purple prose-poems.
Performing With Confidence – 2 hours/up to full day
This extendable, adaptable workshop can be configured to suit any group from total beginners to open-mic regulars. Covering topics such as physical and vocal warm-ups, microphone technique, confidence-boosting tricks, and use of body language, the session will also provide individualised feedback designed to move any performer up a gear.
There Are Places I Remember – full day
Using map-making to stimulate detailed recollection, this workshop examines different modes of anecdote from descriptive to narrative to magical realist.