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Poetry As Speech - Workshop

Poetry Sundays run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and each session will frame workshops around an hour of story-telling.

I owed much to an old woman who resided in the family. She had, I suppose, the largest collection in the country of tales and songs concerning devils, ghosts, fairies, brownies, witches, warlocks, and other trumpery. This cultivated the latent seeds of poetry

Using a mixture of well-known and perhaps less familiar poems and collections, this is a course on oral poetics and will dive into how we can take poetry off the page. Using voice, movement and gesture, intertwining poetry and storytelling, each session will explore bringing text alive through the body and performance.

Each session will begin with a storytelling. Although folktales belong to no particular century, over five consecutive Sundays the sessions will follow a notional chronology, tracing the different ways the same events found throughout folklore tell themselves to different cultures. We will then spend time re-telling the narrative and using it as the ground for growing poetry. Peter will lead warm-ups which will involve learning some of the techniques of eurythmy; sounds interpreted as gestures. Through this we will seek to develop a fuller, less prosaic way of speaking poetry. We will work towards a final performance in which other people can enjoy this drama.

Participants are asked to come to the first session with something they already know by heart, if possible.

A note from Alice and Peter:
Our idea is to offer a different kind of workshop - not so much tinkering with lines and rummaging in the personal past....as waking up the folklore in people. A poem known by heart and spoken out of a weave of remembered stories is a living thing. We hope to provide a space which poems will sometimes enter alive.

Our focus is on the Anonymous voice of poetry - how to embody it by learning its language by heart; how to hear its singular note even in poems with named authors. What does Homer have in common with Ted Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Clare, David Jones, Poor Tom, the Goddoddin poet, the old English riddle-makers, exhausted mothers singing vengeful nursery rhymes, as well as the nursery rhyme collections of Vasko Popa and Mallarmé and what do all these have in common with folktale? We believe that the best way to answer this question is through the living voice.

Sunday 25th February,  3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th March 2024, 10am - 4pm

Price per class: £15. Book for all five sessions and only pay for four.