I discovered there was a creative writing workshop to be held at my local library. I was excited by the prospect, and put my name down.
The workshop was held today, and was led by the current Fenland poet laureate, Jonathan, and the first Fenland poet laureate, Elaine. Before we got down to writing anything, we were taken on a tour of the village, learning about the riots and the connection to Harley Davidson. After lunch, we did a couple of exercises designed to inspire us to use our imaginations and let them flow. The first one involved pieces from Elaine’s mother’s old sewing box.
Elaine said there were a few pieces she didn’t recognise, but I was delighted to be able to tell her what some of them were: they were tools for making rag rugs. In particular, there were two tools for making hooky mats (latch hooks) and one bodger, although I couldn’t remember the names at the time. But I did try to explain how to use them, and she seemed keen.
We each picked an item, and wrote down a few words and phrases that occurred to us while thinking about the item. I picked the rag rug tools, of course. Then we thought about more surreal things about the item, and used what jumped out at us from all those things we’d written down to write a piece of prose or poetry or something in between. I enjoyed hearing the work the others had done, and they seemed to like my piece of prose.
Next, Jonathan asked us to think about food, one thing in particular. Then he asked us to write down the answers to questions about the food: how it smelt, how it felt when you ate it. If it were a person, who would it be? If it were a place, where would it be? What month would it be? What music would it be? And what would it say? Crazy questions, but it produced some good work. I wrote a poem about my favourite food: pie.
Sadly, we didn’t get to the exercise that involved the tour around the village, but we can do that as homework, so that’ll give me something to do tomorrow.