Well, it seems some of us Wrekin Writers have been off into the big wide world over the past couple of weeks. There was Carole at her book signings, Sue at a couple of writers' workshops, and yesterday it was the turn of Nicola, Fee and I.
Torrential rain poured down, but it did not deter us determined Wrekin Writers from getting to our destination of Attingham Park. Our mission was to take part in a poetry writing workshop there, run by Bill Podmore from Border Poets. It seems the rain put the rest of the group off as he was expecting six people to turn up but only the resilient Wrekin Writer trio pitched up!
The idea of the session was for us to wander around, and talk about Attingham Park. The weather prevented us from exploring the grounds so we went into the education room first for a couple of cups of Lady Grey tea (well we had to remain in keeping with our rather grand surroundings!) and choc hobnob biccies! (Oh it's a writer's life for me!) He'd bought in some big display boards with work the border poets had done from their visit to Attingham. It seems they'd done the same as Wrekin Writers had done in March by having a meeting there and a look round. As we did a Chairman's challenge on the experience, so did they.
It was interesting to note how just one place can fire up people's imagination and creativity in so many different ways. Some had focussed on the sculptures they have in the grounds of Attingham, and some looked into the scenery, whilst others were taken by the history and architecture of the house.
The plan is for this poetry writing workshop to feed into National Poetry Day on Thursday 8th October 2009. On the day our poems and images of Attingham will be displayed at a special evening event at Attingham where it is hoped we will read out our poems to an audience. There will also be music and a good time to be had by all!
It's a national thing, with events happening up and down the country, and I think it's going to be brilliant. We certainly enjoyed our day and the discussion we had with Bill at the end o what Attingham said to us. Again we all came up with something looking at Attingham from completely different angles. It will be interesting to see the finished poems. So thank you, Bill, for an interesting and inspiring day. Though when I'll get time to go through my many notes and actually write the poem I don't know! I have to be in certain mood for poetry. As I said to Bill, you don't go looking for poetry, it finds you! But I have plenty of information and photos to be going on with.
What do you find inspiring about historic places like Attingham? Castles, manor houses, stately homes, that sort of thing - what is it about them that switches you on - atmosphere, architecture, history? Have a think about it, and next time you go to such a place take a guided tour, if offered, then have a look around at your leisure, take photos from interesting angles, take lots of notes, and see where it takes you.
Happy historic writing! Julie xx
PS if you want to get involved with National Poetry Day take a look at their website and you can subscribe to their on line newsletter and receive up dates via email.