Everything got off to a wonderful start on New Year’s Day and Bank Holiday Monday. I went for several walks, spent hours away from the internet, read loads, cooked great food, laughed at my husband’s jokes, listened to my kids’ music, generally hung out with the family, wrote some new poems.
Then I got stumped on a poem. The first twelve lines seemed to leap into my notebook but then I didn’t know how to move the poem forward without making it look a badly edited movie. You know the kind of thing, one moment you’re in bright sunlight in a swimming pool, possibly in California or Florida, the next second you’re in a graveyard in a northern English town. How to make the transition without a bad jump cut? Should I sit and work this out or switch on Facebook – just for a little while?
You can probably guess the rest and you now have some idea about the kind of things that go on inside my head. So, a failure by Day Three but Day Four dawned and I resolved to start again. The walking was still going very well, even in the rain and frost, and I felt so much better for it.
On Day Five, I thought that I should probably do some advertising for my Poetry from Art workshop at Drawing Projects UK, Trowbridge, on January 21st (10am – 1pm). So I created an Event on…. you’ve guessed, it Facebook! Because how else am I going to advertise? And, within minutes somebody else had booked onto the workshop. So this isn’t doing much for my resolve to be less facebook but it is good news for spreading the word about what I’m up to.
I guess, all things in moderation, that’s the answer. Be realistic about why I’m on Facebook and how long I’m spending there. Facebook is a very helpful means of sharing news, there’s no doubt about it even though I’m creating other ways of communicating (see below re my newsletter). For some reason, more of my contacts in and around Wiltshire are on Facebook, whereas friends and associates in London and further afield tend to be on Twitter.
Anyway, my plans for my Poetry from Art workshop are coming along beautifully. I absolutely love researching and assembling poems for workshops. I like to investigate other poets and provide poems as helpful reference points and stepping off points for participants. I’m gearing up for writing some poems in response to Anita Taylor’s drawings as well. I think it’s important to do everything I expect my workshop group to do – and I like to test my own workshop activities.
One exciting point, which is probably obvious to everyone else, is that writing poems after artworks lends itself to writing sequences of poems. I’ve noticed that Pascale Petit does this in What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo, for instance. There are different viewpoints, different perspectives and different personas to adopt in each work of art. Perhaps I’ll write more about this after the workshop.
Another thing I’ve done this week is set up a monthly newsletter (using Tiny Letter) for Trowbridge Poetry News. I need to develop my presentation skills but this is another, more targeted, way of sending out news to people who might like to know about local poetry events. If you would like to receive a monthly newsletter the address is https://tinyletter.com/JosephineCorcoran – do please let me know if this works/doesn’t work! So much of what I do is trial and error.
I hope you all have a great week, on or off Facebook or anywhere in between.