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'The Meeting': Reading and Writing through John Clare

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Manchester Central Library

Manchester

M2 5PD

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We're celebrating the 19th-century poet John Clare at Central Library!

Join North West poet Clare Shaw for a programme of creative writing workshops exploring John Clare's work.

Overview.

Does poetry have a purpose? John Clare thought so. Not just to capture the English landscape and the love and wonder he experienced there; not just to represent the losses and hardships of his life; but also to shape society. By giving voice to the silenced poor, by writing about the forces of wealth and power from the perspective of the people and places most adversely affected, he believed that he could make the world better.

Poetry is powerful: that's why poets continue to face imprisonment in oppressive regimes to this day. In a series of day-long workshops inspired by the poetry of John Clare, we will work with the power of poetry to examine place, voice, identity, nature and work. Drawing on a range of contemporary poets, we'll follow John Clare's lead in celebrating our homes, communities and landscapes in poetry. Using a range of writing exercises and techniques, we'll explore how we can represent ourselves and our experiences in language. And all the time, we'll be alert to how poetry has the power to save us: as individuals; as a society; as a world.

Workshops are suitable for all, including experienced writers, shy writers, and writers who don't yet know they are writers.

Dates for the workshops are -

Saturday 15th June - poetry of place
Saturday 29th June - poetry of identity
Saturday 13th July - poetry of work and labour

Each workshop runs from 10.30 - 4pm with a lunch break*.

All workshops are free to attend and can be registered for above.

*Please note lunch is not provided.

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Clare Shaw's first poetry collection, “Straight Ahead” was described by Jackie Kay as “an emotional blast of a book”. Her second collection “Head On” is, according to the Times Literary Supplement: “fierce, memorable and visceral”.

Clare Shaw is a regular tutor with Arvon, Ty Newydd, The Poetry School, the Writing Project and The Wordsworth Trust. Clare has worked for many years as a mental health trainer, activist and author; she is passionate about the meeting ground between poetry and emotional wellbeing.

This project is led by Professor Simon Kövesi of Oxford Brookes University, and is funded by his university in collaboration with Manchester Libraries. Simon has published widely on Clare. As part of this project, workshops are being run by celebrated poets in Peterborough, Bradford and Keighley, as well as Manchester. The plan is for all participants to do something special in 2020 with all of the work produced by these workshops, to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Clare's first book of poems in January 1820.


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Manchester Central Library

Manchester

M2 5PD

United Kingdom

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