Saturday, March 04, 2006

Workshops that don't cost a thing, and one that is worth every penny

"I like to write for performance, but I end up doing things which are somewhat beyond my capacities as a performer... What I can do, at a poetry reading, is give you an impression of what a piece would sound like if it were performed by somebody else more competent than myself."-- James Fenton (Don't Ask Me What I Mean: Poets in their own words. Picador, 2003)
Last night at Mocambo, we had the excellent John Gould - always droll and delightful - reading with a terrific discovery, Canadian-born, Vermont-based poet David Cavanagh. Definitely one worth seeking out.

I've been a follower of the Guardian for some time, not least because of its extensive poetry coverage. Last year they began offering an online poetry workshop which is a great thing to try if you're feeling stuck for ideas.

Another place that offers workshop ideas is Mslexia magazine. A good and useful website and a worthwhile extravagence to subscribe to the print copy.

And on the other side of the coin... well a pile of coins really... ok, to get to the venue might take quite a *big* pile of coins, with some paper thrown in... check out Tamar Yoseloff's workshop in Crete coming up in June - no idea how full it is, but if you can do it, do it. I did last year, and I'd happily do it again. Have you ever seen such a delicious workshop space, or a more focused group of writers? Man, the calories we burned working on those writing exercises... This particular taverna, Notos, served the best kolokythokeftedes, tzadzki, octopus and much more besides. Our favourite lunching spot.

My first time in Greece, and yep I really get it now, why everyone who goes there gets misty and wistful talking about it. The food, the food: everything just tastes better under a Cretan sun.
Here's a little bite from one of the pieces I wrote in Tammy's workshop:

Kalispera, Good Evening

An evening breeze, kalispera,
blows us towards dinner, till now
the only Greek I’ve ever spoken:
fluent in haloumi, moussaka, souvlaki,
names grown tender
in the memory of my mouth...

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1 Comments:

Blogger Tracy Hamon said...

Crete sounds lovely, and thanks for sharing the delightful poem.


Thanks for the link for Mslexia--the exercise looks amazing and promising; when I have a few spare moments, I will do it.

5:20 PM  

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