Our first ‘Writing for Well Being’ workshop got underway at the Jubilee Store in Newport, on the banks of the tidal River Medina which inspires sea-going thoughts. Our focus was the idea of leaving behind places we especially love. W.H. Auden’s Look Stranger on this Island Now, suggested how we might remember a place through our senses, and with this in mind we wrote individually, then made a collaborative poem about a particular place which each one of us might find hard to leave behind.
In the second part of the workshop, we explored the idea of boats – real, as in those moored close by outside the building – and boats of the mind, or ‘Curious Craft’ as created by poet Philip Gross… a boat made of poems… a boat made of second thoughts… An example of one of these poems written by one of the group will follow.
In our next workshop, we started with Emily Dickinson’s exciting poem Exultation is the going of an inland soul to sea. This sparked discussion and thoughts about our own feelings on the different occasions when we leave the island. Completing the sentence ‘Leaving Port is…’ led us into individual flow writing, then a collaborative poem.
We also took a light-hearted alliterative look at what we might do on board, or take with us on the voyage and some of these ideas became part of the poem Forgotten.
Lydia Fulleylove (Workshop leader)