Brian Evans-Jones Hampshire Poet Laureate 2012 came to give a workshop at The Writers @ Lovedean this morning. It was a truly awesome activity on 'poetry and place'. He asked us to think of five locations to write about and stressed that they didn't have to be natural beauty spots.
I choose Winchester Council Car Park. I don't mind driving but I do have a phobia of parking, in fact I don't think I do park, but merely abandon my car as close as possible to the location I want to visit. However, I don't mind circling Winchester's small short stay car park. It may be because it backs on to the Cathedral but I find it a small oasis of calm. I have never thought about immortalising this experience in the form of a poem until I met Brian.
Next we looked at how to make comparisons in our writing and learnt a little on how to structure the poems.
I've been a little apprehensive about this weeks session, mainly about the turn out of the group. I shouldn't have worried and I would like to thank all the members for a great show of numbers and support. I knew I needed to charge more for a speaker and since the workshop was about poetry, a term that strikes fear into most short story and novel writers, I worried that some would back out at the last minute. Oh me of little faith, how could I forget what a great group of people The Writers @ Lovedean are?
I think we collectively as a group were unsure what to expect. But Brian quietly guided us through the process of writing a poem. Lynne Stone a long term member said to me later, 'I'm would never describe myself as a poet, but I enjoyed the session. I managed to write something I was pleased with even though I was desperate to write the story behind the idea. And I understand more about how to approach poetry now.'
And I completely agreed with her sentiments. This workshop came at the right time for me after the discussion on poetry on Monday. I would definitely recommend Brian as a tutor, he listened carefully to our writing and gave excellent feedback. Best of all he let us know about the 'Writing Hampshire' Project. Writers can submit their poems to the Writing Hampshire website: http://www3. Hants.gov.uk/writing-Hampshire and (council money permitting) if your poem makes it on to the website it may be considered for the printed anthology.
Brian is also running some courses for National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo in October and December at The Winchester Discovery Centre.
If you are interested in learning more you can find more details www.brianevansjones.com