Osteochondritis Dissecans

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“desecrated spaces, the rivers
of me, these capillaries drying up
at their tips”

Last Wednesday, I ran the last workshop (of four) at M Shed museum, around their excellent Skeletons exhibition.

As well as spending time with loads of brilliant young writers, from three schools and those who’d come to the summer holiday workshop – I felt like I’d gotten to know those bones rather well.

Being as I like to model reading out writing I’ve just written, I did a lot of it before and during the sessions. We looked at Simon Armitage’s poem Ankylosing Spondilitis (which appears in the anthology Signs and Humours: The Poetry of Medicine) during the workshops – and I encouraged participants to find a term in the exhibition and write around it. This is what I came up with:

Osteochondritis Dissecans
– after Simon Armitage, Ankylosing Spondylitis
– for all the Skeletons.

Osteo – relating to the bones
chond – conned – chondritis – itis
which makes things inflammatory
and dissecans – like desiccated coconut
like desecrated spaces, the rivers

of me, these capillaries drying up
at their tips, ceasing to flow, ground
of my bones splintering, tilting up
sharp fragments of bark
into the soft skies of my muscles
which mutter a low moan of it,
swear, quietly, with every step.

Can you help me? I’m shattered,
shattering – an intricate vase
hitting the ground in slow-motion.
Maybe you can hit pause, press stop.
Maybe some day you’ll be the one
to find some new language, a spell
before I am too broken
for superglue, to tape up.

Please: find the words. Speak them, a titanium prayer.

BONES

A room with twelve skeletons; skulls all facing the same way. A bony choir: but what songs will they sing us? Songs from long ago – and songs of struggle, murder and conflict. Through poetry, flash fiction and discussion we’ll be inspired by craniums, tibias and mandibles, exploring what we feel in our bones. All skeletons have a tale to tell – what’s yours?Skeletons M Shed Workshop YP Info 2.8.17I’m running a young people’s workshop for young people aged 14-17 years at M Shed Bristol on 2nd August, exploring their Skeletons: Our Buried Bones exhibition…

It’ll be a rich & strange day, where I’ll be inviting the group to really get to know the bones on display and what they might think about all this, as well as thinking about our very own skeletons – we’ve all got one. Details above: please pass them on…

 

 

WRITE OFF from June 7th

Write Off Poster - JUNE 2016

The next WRITE OFF sessions start Tuesday June 7th at Beatroots Cafe, Lower Park Row, 17.00 – 18.30, for six weeks.

The young people who attend the group rephave been really enjoying the mix of reading and writing for wellbeing and fun.
We try out new activities, experiments and styles – working with words in the very broadest way!  We’ve done everything from experimental sound poems to third-person stories about our morning routines, to ‘story hot house’ verbal storytelling, and ‘subvertising’.

I plan sessions based on what the group members would like to do (or try, or re-try). And for anyone anxious about reading together in this kind of group: we don’t schoolsplain (a word I’ve picked up through it) and you never have to read anything aloud you don’t want to.

All are welcome, from aged 16 – 25. If you can email ahead, I’ll make sure there is enough cake – but no problem if you can’t.
Email: Caleb@otrbristol.org.uk
Look forward to seeing you there!

Write Off (Spring)

A quick note to say my Write Off sessions will be starting again on Tuesday 1st March.

The sessions are open to all young people from 15 – 25 years old. As in the last sessions  (where we tried everything from haiku to surrealism and concrete poetry) we’ll be exploring different creative reading and writing approaches for fun, confidence-building, self-expression and reflection.

April is also National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) – so we’ll be delving into the prompts and resources on offer to see how they might inspire our own writing experiments!

Write Off Info Poster March 2016

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…

 

Write Off!

Starts Tuesday 3rd November

NEWS: I’ll be piloting a creative writing group for young people in partnership with Off The Record Bristol – starting on Tuesday 3rd November.

It’s part of their therapeutic and wellbeing choices for young people, and I’m really looking forward to facilitating enjoyable and illuminating writing (and reading) sessions with those who attend.

Pass it round, see you there. There will be cake – but Taylor Swift is not yet confirmed.