I went to a Creative Writing Workshop at Garth Olwg Lifelong Learning Centre in Church Village today and, shortly after sitting down in the classroom, I almost bolted out of there and ran home. What was it that caused me to do this? Those fateful words of the tutor’s: “Today, we’re going to be working on some poetry.” Poetry. The one word guaranteed to strike fear into my heart and make me break out into a cold sweat.
However, I managed to contain myself and stay put and I am so glad I did. It turned out to be a stimulating and inspirational afternoon and I came away from it buzzing with ideas and slightly less afraid of poetry than I had been. This was in large part due to the tutor, Patrick Jones, who gently guided us into writing our own poems by reading a couple of his own, as well as those by Pascale Petit, Adrian Mitchell and Carol Ann Duffy, to show us the effect he was hoping us to achieve. That worked really well and I was surprised to find that, at the end of two hours, I had two rough drafts of poems that I could take home to work on. Yes, not one, but two! We also had to do an exercise where we all sniffed a scent and jotted down our thoughts on what it evoked for us. This was so interesting. In a group of ten people, no one person came up with the same image or memory, something I have to remember in future when I can only see one solution or way of seeing something in my own writing.
It was an excellent afternoon and I’m so glad I didn’t know in advance that it would be a poetry workshop. Had I known, I almost certainly wouldn’t have booked a place and I would have missed out.
Find out about the work of Patrick Jones, poet and playwright, on his website: Patrick Jones.