Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘Poetry

We’ve got many keen women who are students of literature and budding creative writers. One piece of advice given to writers looking to improve their wordcraft is to read as widely as possible. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, which is why magazines like Mslexia are so vital to bring together women with creative energy to learn from each other.

So how do writers achieve the effect of creating imaginative scenes, characters and worlds? This TEDEd video by Nalo Hopkinson suggests that good writers play with language to evoke our senses. From Shakespeare to Angela Carter, there are certain literary devices such as alliteration, imagery and tone which combine to build a multi-layered story full of movement, sound, taste, sight and smell. You could probably give me some examples.

If you are new to creative writing a good book to read is ‘Experiencing Poetry‘ series. In these short books, they describe famous poets’ use of language simply and get you thinking about how to put into words what seems impossible to say.

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Baby at the Beach Cafe by Lucy DiamondWe decided to run our World Book Night on Friday 29 April so we could maximise the attendance of our Next Level learners although officially World Book Night is 23 April.

This year we were giving out copies of Lucy Diamond’s Baby at the Beach Cafe which is one of the 2016 Quick Reads based around the main character Evie who has inherited a cafe from her aunt in Cornwall (in a previous Lucy Diamond novel called The Beach Cafe)and is now expecting a baby and needs a maternity leave stand in to cover her absence. Her husband finds Helen who has escaped from the stresses of city life. But unfortunately the two women do not get on.

As a result all of activities and display were around the beach themes. Our LRC Assistant Debbie selected poems with a sea theme to inspire the Next Level learners and other attendees from Pre Access, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Preparation for Work, Access to Higher Education: Humanities and Social Sciences and Access to Higher Education: Health and Human Sciences to write their own poems. Our LRC Facilitator Philippa made a beach-themed banner and we had a games table going so the participants could go around the tables:

  • making their own sunglasses
  • doing a word search
  • putting sections from three different stories together  from a Quick Read and graded readers (Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Clare West, Tinker’s Island by Stephen Rabley and Michael Salter and A Sea Change by Veronica Henry)
  • working out which photo of a beach taken from Britannica ImageQuest matched the pins on a world map
  • identifying famous beaches from around the United Kingdom on an interactive map of the British Isles.

Debbie also made a lucky dip sand box with free prizes.

The refreshments followed the beach theme with popcorn,  savoury fish-shaped snacks and ice pops!

Many thanks to the students from Next Level and the tutors who gave us feedback requesting more events like this during the year! Read more about our activities and what our students thought on our Sway.

 

Snowy Winter Road in a Forest (Hanacek)This time of year the decorations and festivities brighten the coming of the longest night. It feels merrily bleak. Oxymoronic perhaps, but you may agree. A good time to cosy up with a book or poem that in the summer just wouldn’t have the same effect. An atmospheric poem set in the winter that is very famous is ‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening‘ by Robert Frost. The repetition of the last line is particularly spooky. Is the narrator just standing there being seduced by the snow or are they continuing on their journey? This article on the The Paris Review blog points out how unusual it is for a poem to be famous in a time when poetry is often thought of as old-fashioned and out-of-touch. What do you think? Are poems just for English class?

If you like poems, you might like to try Carol Ann Duffy or Cynthia Antoinette Roomes. Over the holidays you can also browse the Scottish Poetry Library’s online collection by the ‘Winter’ tag.

 

 

We have been updating the VLE calendar and the YELLOW FOLDER with events going on next month. It is fun to find out all the exciting things you can do – often for only a tenner or for free!

It’s International Women’s Day on the 8th March so there are lots of cultural events going on to celebrate and support women.

The Southbank Centre has a whole host of great speakers and guests, performances and comedy shows as part of the WoW Festival. It stands for Women of the World – and the whole world wants to be there! I am particularly interested in the debate on What will the next government do for women? It’s on at 7.45 on Monday 2nd March. I now need to book a couple of tickets before you all jump on it! You can follow all the action on Twitter or Facebook searching the hashtag .

The Museum of London Docklands is also putting on a family weekend event on the Saturday 7th March. Rich Mix in the East End has a poetry reading on 6th March – but don’t yawn – it sounds like it will be a really exciting and unusual take on poetry. It is run by Scottee who, according to the website plumpf, “a dyslexic who thinks poems should rhyme.” Intriguing!

If there are any events going on in the nearby area to Surbiton I will be on the lookout, but please let us know of anything that might appeal to the wonderful women of Hillcroft.

Stag's leap front cover face downThe United States poet Sharon Olds won the  T S Eliot Prize for her collection of poems published in her book Stag’s Leap this week.

The collection of poems focuses on the steps towards her divorce.

The prize is run by the Poetry Book Society. Take a look at their Review of the T S Eliot Prize Shortlist for 2012.

Our Learning Resources Centre (LRC) borrowers can borrow the collection from us.


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