I am incredibly grateful and excited to be funded by Arts Council England as part of the Developing Your Creative Practice fund for A Year’s Immersion in Poetry.
From May 2021 I have been able to spend dedicated time exploring my practice as a poet – how do I do it? when? where? why and for whom? what do I have to say? – with support from my mentor, playwright Anita Karla Kelly, and with creative facilitation from Holly Stoppit. Massive thanks to both of them.
Friday Is Poet’s Day
When I can, I spend my Fridays being a poet.
As part of this project I have committed to writing a poem a day, expecting to fail in the attempt. Find my short daily poems on Instagram at @FridayIsPoetsDay.
The name is inspired by the acronym POETS day – Push Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday.
Poet-in-residence for Holly Stoppit
I am Holly Stoppit’s poet-in-residence. Holly is a facilitator, performance skills teacher, theatre director and dramatherapist, specialising in live, interactive, improvised and devised performance. At the heart of all of Holly’s work is a desire to promote creative discovery and connection through play.
In my role as her radministrator, Holly has supported and nurtured the creative part of me. In 2019 she paid for me to attend a 5-day poetry retreat at renowned creative writing organisation Arvon. I spent a week at the spectacular Lumb Bank in Yorkshire, formerly the home of poet Ted Hughes, and frequented by a cat named Ted. The tutors and fellow students massively inspired me to further delve into the possibilities of poetry.
Following the retreat I became Holly’s poet-in-residence. I have written live poetry during performances, using my embodied experience, incorporating the improvised words of performers and quotes and feedback from audience members, presenting them at the end of the show, and written other poems reflecting on courses I have attended or assisted on.
These poems are published on the Holly Stoppit website here.
Readings of some of these poems available to watch here.
As part of my DYCP grant I have 12 hours of Creative Consultations with Holly to support my creative development.
Workshops with Anita Karla Kelly
While I am writing thank yous I must say thank you to Anita, currently my poetry mentor. I asked her to accompany me on this year’s journey into poetry having attended a series of her workshops and courses from 2018-2020. Her talent at writing – she is a poet, writer, playwright – her skilled teaching, and her down to earth style inspire me, help me to believe in myself and make me want to strive for more.
Courses & workshops
In 2021, to support my creative practice, I have undertaken the following courses and workshops:
- Mindfulness & Writing 6-week course, with Lapidus Scotland
- Mindful Play Inquiry 5-week course, with Holly Stoppit
- Film, Body and Space movement & words workshop x2 with Brenda Waite and Anna Cady
- Spoken Word Writing and Performance 6-week course, with Chris Redmond of Tongue Fu
- Get Your Words Out: a 21 day programme for writers with WriteClub