Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

07 December 2018

Poem Sculpture


We were double booked this week and rather than the usual sanctuary of a quiet room for scribbling, discussion and feedback we were cast out on a table in the choppy sea of our community cafe.


The sizzle of the banger, the comings and goings of new and old faces, the murmur and snatch of conversation, children zigging, hot breakfasts zagging, scarfs unwinding, catching a chorus you hum along to on the radio, and no chance of hearing that particular itch and scratch of pen on paper.


By luck, or maybe it was those capricious workshop gods, I'd picked an exercise that didn't require monastic silence, or much explanation.


It required an old book, some scissors and a few highlighters.


Only an example was needed. I chopped a page at random, snip snip, then read and highlighted the words and phrases that stood out to me. Having finished I read out the highlights. It was as if a poem had been hiding in the page all along. It wasn't the greatest poem, but the sense of transformation was delightful and satisfying, and transformation is the heart of a poem.


Poem Sculpting is a fascinating way to work, demanding closer reading and a sense of articulation that reminds me of the editing process.


Poem Sculpting also cuts through the preciousness of a text; words, even printed words in a bound book, can be ripped out and repurposed. It echos Pound's maxim, ‘make it new.’


What's more there was conversation and the exchange of ideas. A buzz built around the table. We swapped our poems, read them out, ‘Here, have a listen to this one!’ Other people, customers at the cafe who've never been to a 'creative writing’ group, and describe themselves as ‘not creative’, became interested and had a go.







Archive

Back to blog

What's on

Find out more

Our projects

Find out more

Our workshops

Find out more

Our films

Watch now

Headlight Press

Find out more

Latest news

04 August 2020

Life in Lockdown Competition Results

Life in Lockdown Competition Results  19-25 Category – Judge Susmita Bhattacharya 1st Place – This is Something to Tell the Grandkids – Olivia Tuck2nd Place –...

Read more

Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

Find out more

Resources


Why not get in touch?