Back in December – on 14th to be precise – it was 100 years to the day since women first voted, and I was back at Croome Court to see the new exhibitions. Having been involved in several projects there as poet and performer, I am proud to be one of the 100 Women of Croome whose portraits are projected in succession alongside Amy Jayne Hughes’ Garniture.
Arriving early, I took the opportunity to wander round the grounds and take a few photos. It’s such a beautiful place and there is always pop-up art inside the building. One of my previous projects was Plumlines, a series of poetry-writing workshops with schools, writers’ groups, history groups and Croome volunteers. Click here to read more about the work and the exhibition of paper poetry saplings.
If you fancy experiencing Croome from your armchair, then do listen to this podcast which I was commissioned to create 3 years ago, featuring some of Worcestershire’s finest poets. And if you would like to read my poems about Croome, you will find them in Don’t Oil The Hinges, published by Black Pear Press.
To mark 100 years since the formation of the Women’s Institute, poetry workshops are taking place across Worcestershire. These are part of an outreach project to create poems for a new art installation at Croome Court from November. Of the poems written by members of 16 different and diverse groups, 100 will be chosen to be included in the installation, and poets are, where possible, writing about the experiences of a female relative during WW1. Participants are being asked to do a little research and bring in mementos, photographs, old family recipes etc about their chosen WW1 woman for inspiration. The workshops are facilitated by either myself or Gloucestershire Poet Laureate, Brenda Read-Brown.
Yesterday I ran one of these workshops for Worcester Writers’ Circle at The Hive in Worcester. I really enjoyed working with the 7 poets who attended and was very pleased with the quality of the poems which emerged during the day.
On the morning of Thursday 16th June I’ll be running a similar workshop in Bewdley as part of Worcestershire Literary Festival. If you’re interested in attending, look out for further information http://worcslitfest.co.uk/
Here’s the feedback from yesterday’s session:
“Excellent workshop Heather, it has given me a new view and incentive to my poetry.”
“Thank you, Heather, for helping to clarify my muddle lines of poetry and for running such a productive and enjoyable workshop.”
“Smashing workshop – good original activities to describe and to “do” focusing the mind on specifics. Great facilitation and encouragement throughout.”
“The combination of the facilitator and the participants seemed to produce some magic from everyone. Thank you, Heather.”
“Very good & enjoyable. A catalyst for thought & further poems.”
“Thoroughly enjoyable session. Good direction; friendly, pertinent advice. We all produced a piece of work.”