Thursday, 31 May 2012

Wise Words goes live!

On Tuesday 29 May we (Kasia and myself) ran our first Wise Words workshop at St Nicholas School. We worked with some year 9 students and some ladies from the Moving Memories dance group.

The session kicked off with a couple of ‘getting to know you’ game. Firstly, each person chose to take 1, 2 or 3 sweets and then had to tell us that many things about themselves. Everybody took 3, so by the time we had finished, we felt we all knew a lot more about each other. On hindsight, chocolate buttons weren’t such a good idea on a really hot day! But luckily everyone ate them so quickly, they didn’t have time to melt.

Then we played a game designed to show people how much they have in common whether they are 14 or 60. Each group drew round someone’s hand and then thought of as many things they all like or have in common. It’s surprising how many things are the same about people, no matter how different we seem.
We spent the rest of the time writing group Kennings poems, each group read theirs out and we tried to guess what animal they had written about. I’ll add them on here once they’re typed up.

Both the school class and the Moving Memories were a pleasure to work with, they all got on really well and afterwards told us the workshop was ‘awesome’, ‘refreshing’ and that they liked working in groups.

Thanks to everyone who took part, we had so much fun with you all, and we’re looking forward to the next session where we’ll have some more fun writing activities for you to try.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Wise Words

Last Friday I went to the first meeting and launch of an amazing project. Wise Words is an intergenerational creative writing project run as part of Canterbury’s Laureate scheme. I am lucky enough to be taking part in the project, which involves four trainee teachers from Christ Church Uni and four creative writing postgraduates from Kent Uni pairing up and delivering writing workshops to community groups. The work coming out of the project will be compiled into an anthology, and there will be performances at the local festivals. The people taking part all seem to be so enthusiastic and very talented at what they do, so I think it’s going to be an amazing experience.

The launch event took place at Eastbridge Hospital in Canterbury, which was founded in the 12th century. Walking down into the building you can feel the age of it. And it’s a little chilly! Just before 4pm there weren’t many people, and we wondered whether anyone would be here. But by ten past four it was packed, and we were shuffling along to make space.

Along with an introduction to the Wise Words project, we were treated to readings from Sarah Salway and Patricia Debney. Maybe it was something to do with the atmosphere, as well as the words, but I know I wasn’t the only one brought to tears by the readings.

I’m so excited to be part of this project, this afternoon is our first training session to help plan our workshops, and I’m expecting to be bubbling over with ideas afterwards.