For our July session we were very pleased to welcome Simon Fletcher, a local poet and publisher, to head up a workshop on the theme of ‘My Place.’ We also opened up the workshop to non-members of the group so we had a couple of visitors with us for the session.
Simon led a discussion on our individual ideas of ‘My Place’, and we discovered that different people interpreted the concept in different ways, from a house, a home, a country, heritage, community or even a role. We each feel in our ‘place’ in a variety of locations and situations – and sometimes it’s the culmination of everything that’s come before which creates your own ‘place.’
Then we looked at some different writers’ ideas on the theme of ‘place’, including an excerpt from Meera Syal’s Anita and Me, where she considers her mother’s Punjabi upbringing, and part of a Gabriel Okara poem, Piano and Drums, in which the poet reminisces on his homeland of Nigeria.
Our first writing exercise was to make notes on somewhere we could call our ‘special place.’ It was interesting to hear how people felt about certain locations, houses or places they’d visited. We had descriptions of places all over the world, from right on our doorstep in Wolverhampton, to Africa and Asia.
Then we expanded on this by describing the place in detail. There were some very good preliminary pieces emerging from this second exercise. Some people stuck with the same place, and some people changed their places. After all, we’re not confined to being connected to only one place! We had some great ideas which also encapsulated more abstract ideas of ‘My Place’. Hearing the stories about places people felt close to gave the writing much more depth. It will be very exciting to read the pieces when they are tidied up!
We’d like to thank Simon for leading such an inspiring workshop – it certainly gave us a lot to think about in terms of writing about ‘My Place’!
‘My Place’ is a key part of your identity…which you might remember is the theme for our anthology! Don’t forget, you can submit your works – including any written in Simon’s workshop – to be considered for the anthology, as per the guidelines, which can be found here.