A free writing workshop on theme of writing from difficult personal experiences – part of A Poem to Remember. A Poem to Remember is a national initiative launched by Prince William, encouraging people to write poems of hope over adversity to mark the end of the First World War.
The session will be led by Clare Shaw. She writes ‘Words are how we make sense of ourselves, how we make sense of each other; how we understand and are understood; how we reach out.’ Drawing from her own life and from her work in mental health services, Clare has a deep faith in the ability of language to sustain, change and save us. In today’s session, we will explore how the act of giving words to difficult experiences can enable us to find meaning and comfort, even in our darkest times.
Clare Shaw has two collections from Bloodaxe: Straight Ahead (2006), which attracted a Forward Prize Highly Commended for Best Single Poem; and Head On (2012), which is, according to the Times Literary Supplement “fierce … memorable and visceral”. Her third collection, Flood, will be published by Bloodaxe in June 2018. Often addressing political and personal conflict, her poetry is fuelled by a strong conviction in the transformative and redemptive power of language.
Clare is a Royal Literary Fellow, and a regular tutor for the Poetry School, the Wordsworth Trust and the Arvon Foundation. She is also a mental health trainer, activist and author: her publications include Otis Doesn’t Scratch: talking to young children about self-injury (PCCS Books, 2015); and Our Encounters with Self-Harm (2013).
Instructions: Please bring pens and paper, and some words.
A Poem to Remember workshops are presented by The Poetry Society