Friday, 2 November 2012

Fiesta Time: the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival

The Aldeburgh Scallop

I have just returned from a brilliant day at the festival. The weather was chilly, with east coast temperatures, but the bright sun more than made up for the wintry feel.

My congratulations to The Poetry Trust for arranging excellent workshop leaders. I spent the morning in the Aldeburgh Music Room, in Val Bloom's workshop on poetry forms (right up my street!). We drafted poems from word associations and from Imagist ideas. We attempted a Nonet, and considered its inverted form, the Tenon.

There was just time to move the car and have a quick lunch (sadly no time for the famous fish and chips today!) before heading off to the Peter Pears Gallery for a worshop on 'Elsewhere', led by Dr David Wheatley. I have to confess that I just found (or made) time to slip into Reed Books, where I bought a copy of Swithering by Robin Robertson.

David Wheatley introduced us to Larkin's concept of 'elsewhere', and guided us as we explored possibilities of 'mapping out' an elsewhere poem for ourselves. We soon had rough drafts (though some sounded very polished to me), which we read out and offered for group discussion.

I wandered back to my car, passing - or rather, failing to pass - a delicatessan, where I bought a delicious chocolate and walnut brownie. The sunset was stark and beautiful; the sea, crisp and calm.

Roll on tomorrow when we go to Snape for a discussion of short poetry. And if you are heading in that direction, copies of my chapbook, 'The Holy Place' (co-authored with John Dotson) can be bought from the Festival Bookstall.

Speaking of 'The Holy Place', do join us for a launch reading on Tuesday 6 November at 7pm at Arlington's in Ipswich. The reading will take place during the monthly Poetry Cafe. All are welcome, and there is a small fee (about £3) to cover Poetry Cafe costs. Why not bring a bonfire poem to share ... 

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