We began with afternoon tea and words which came to us in the moment. Words such as ‘open, outreaching, cosy and gleaming’ which defined the horizon of writing lying before us.
Thematically we explored landscapes through a variety of poetic responses included a collaborative found poem using books and leaflets about the geographic landscape that surrounded us. I am beginning to create my own collection for Sussex to use in the classroom already!
Glimpse fish beneath
Reflected in the sea.
The fishing boat comes home to rest;
Our final poetic explorations used the inspiration of other writers drawing upon the interdependency of reading and writing. We took Ursula Le Guin’s poem from ‘Steering the Craft’ to influence an exploration of sound and ‘Near Hunstanton’ by Michael Hofmann to use a repetitive structure and starting sentences to create a poem of our own.
Through these landscapes we took inspiration for our own writing as well as tracing the paths of our writing journeys and experiences. As I wrote in reflection during the residential:
‘I had overlooked that teachers of reading do largely read in their own time but as teachers also of writing we don’t write. It is rare and infrequent. And with exploring my own writing, with this at the heart of what NWP do, I rekindled a love for it. I enjoyed the freedom and escape that it gave me and sometimes I wrote something that may be of some value. So let your palette knife, your pencil, your pen and your mind run a little more freely and don’t be afraid to leave an impression of yourself strewn across the page. Make your voice heard.’
As the half term holidays draw to a close we are ready to build upon the landscape of writing we have already begun to lay in our classrooms and continue to find the space in our own lives to let our own pens explore this landscape further.
Many thanks to Jeni and Simon for created such a wonderful experience for us all during the October half term.