Write Off returns…

Write Off Info Poster 2016A quick note to say that my young people’s writing group Write Off is carrying on, on Tuesdays 17.00 – 18.30 at Beatroot Cafe on Lower Park Row.

The group is for anyone aged 16-25 who feels their writing, wellbeing and creativity would benefit from taking part. It’s a small and friendly group, in a cosy setting (with great tea and cakes).

We’ve been exploring a wide range of approaches to writing and reading; different ways to stimulate our creativity, reflection and play.

If you or someone you know would like to join – then see you there! My Off The Record email is on the poster above, so get in touch with any queries…

 

Why ‘Could Be The Moon’?

Well then: new year, new website. And a new name for my (un)creative writing & facilitating endeavours. But why ‘Could Be The Moon’?

‘Could Be The Moon’ was a label on one of the sculptures, in an exhibition of Robert Filiou, ‘The Institute of Endless Possibilities’, at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. A series of objects were given ‘could be…’ labels and this particular assemblage was given the potential to be the moon…

I already had the ‘Possibilities’ part in my four-word mission statement (Poetry. Performance. Participation. Possibilities.) – and loved Filliou’s take on all art and creativity as process. (Whether ‘bien fait’/well made, ‘mal fait’/poorly made or ‘pas fait’/not made, as above.)

As the Henry Moore Institute put it: “Play and joy occupy crucial roles for Filliou, who believed art making was part of a permanent, universal and endless process deeply embedded in everyday life”.

So here’s to play, joy, and the permanent, universal and endless process in 2015: could be…who knows….(yes, that’s a West Side Story reference).

NaPoWriMo 12: Want/Need

A magick key (for an inadvertently key-shaped poem)

 

A quick one this: I don’t often get slushy and when I do, it tends to be short! And this is very much in that vein.

The prompt for the 12th was to write a list of things you would want to say but would never (thereby, of course, saying them) – so this started from there and became a brief love poem of things unsaid:

 

Want/Need

or, Doors/Keys

 

I want to say

I didn’t know that before

you, I didn’t realise

there was so much

I didn’t know that

I thought

I couldn’t do. But

you,

you and me,

both glass doors,

both lost keys:

you don’t need

to hear it.

Card-board Word-hoard: Sunday 17th March

Sunday, 2pm at Melbourne Street Studios, Leeds

Sunday, 2pm at Melbourne Street Studios, Leeds.
YOU SHOULD COME. IT WILL BE FUN AND MESSY.
Bring: glue sticks, scissors, old newspapers and packaging (clean not skanky!).

On Sunday 17th March at 2pm, I’ll be running a workshop at 2pm at Melbourne Street Studios (Melbourne St, Leeds – address here) as part of The Fabulous Recycling and Discourse on the Environment Exhibition (about which, more information here) working with old newspapers and packaging to create found (and concrete) poems.

The exhibition is by artists Donna Bramall and Rachel Hinds – the exhibition aims to show their “individual responses to the realities of how the waste created by society effects the environment we live in”.

Whether you’re an experienced writer or have never written a poem before, it’s a great way of working with form and enjoying words for their sound, as objects and in their arbitrary (but often intriguing and beautiful) collisions with other words. That’s the fun of found poetry of this kind: you choose the words ‘off-the-shelf’, someone has already written them down – you’re collecting, curating and creating with them. And whatever the self reveals, even through ‘randomness’, still reveals the self – the theory goes.

You can lay them out in interesting and peculiar ways, in shapes and with images – along the lines of Concrete Poetry.

Finally, as an example – here is a found-poem I made working with some students (when teaching):

A found-poem, mainly from Metro headlines!

A found poem, mainly from Metro headlines!

And here’s the poem typed out:

 

Summon The Urban Future…

 

…naturally adaptive,

the sirens tumble

unsupported patterns.

 

Now meet the Ultimate

30-month low you’ll treasure,

transforming a perfect A-Lister.

 

Buy the £440,000 art cakes

inside the new blue red carpet,

as accidental tech-scents

hit

the flawless box triumphs.

 

 

(My favourite is the ‘accidental tech-scents’ – I would never had come up with that without Metro’s assistance! It’s not often you can say that about poetry…)

 

Hope to see you Sunday for some cut-and-stick fun…